Episode 18

Keep on moving while working from home with Kristi Barker

Energetic Physiotherapist Kristi Barker gives us the low down on the science of keeping moving to stay healthy. With so many of us now heading into our second year working from home, it's more important than ever that we spare a thought for the need to mix it up, to sit and to stand, to get outside and stay active, but most of all - to find our own balance of activity.

About the show:

Problem Busters is a show that explores solutions to the biggest and the smallest of problems. Hosts Jonathan Goodwin and Oliver Happy discuss making the world a better place with guests from far and wide.

About our guest:

Kristi Barker is a Physiotherapist from Regina Saskatchewan, in Canada who specialises in rehabilitation and injury recovery.

Show mentions:

  • I've been a Physical Therapist for 5 years now.
  • I was really into Volleyball when I was younger and kept injuring myself
  • 02:30 I got into Physio after a trip to Uganda to help distribute wheelchairs. A young man who was destined for a wheelchair was re-diagnosed, educated and avoided being put into a wheelchair!
  • Where Reach Rehab came from: How can we use education to help educate in a bigger scale?
  • I put it on Instagram and it's taken off. I've never looked back since!
  • It has been such an amazing way to educate thousands of people at once.
  • Instagram - a social media platform for images and videos.
  • Tik Tok is the new version.
  • Instagram: Reach.rehab. Videos of Kristi explaining how to recover from injuries.
  • 06:00 What is Physiotherapy when you really get down to it? A mix of Chiropractor and Massage therapy. Clicking and joints, to working with muscles. We look at the muscles and joints, how they work together and we are the doctors of movement. To ensure you are moving optimally and functioning at your best.
  • There are so many different regions of Physiotherapist. With babies, in the hospital, with patients, with people who are recovering, with athletes.
  • There is a lot of research going on. The Masters program made it a 6.5 year degree.
  • In the USA, there are doctors of Physiotherapy.
  • 09:00 Jonathan's first introduction into Physiotherapy - Science faculty folks were working alongside sports doctors.
  • For teeth health it is ingrained in us as a child that we should brush our teeth daily. So why isn't mobility and strengthening daily ingrained in us?
  • That majority of people who are on pain medication, by the time I see them, don't want to be on them.
  • Movement is medicine!
  • Prevention is an exciting trend. People coming in to prevent future injury.
  • You don't need to have an injury to come and see a Physical Therapist, you can talk to us to help prevent injuries.
  • What complaints from working from home? Back pain, neck pain, hip pain and tennis elbow. It is more the static posture we are in for prolonged periods. This leads to lengthened and shortened ligaments.
  • The wonderful people who work in the NHS.
  • It is great to see Physiotherapy embedded in Hospitals and within the healthcare system.
  • Being prescribed a Physio in a situation that used to lead, with the same doctor, to being prescribed pain medication.
  • 16:00 Post-surgery it is almost imperative to see a Physio.
  • What is the difference between Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists? Occupational Therapists look at your movement for every day life. Exercises specific to daily living.
  • 18:30 What are the main causes for discomfort in patients? How often we move and how we move. Be careful not to move from static to extreme exercise. Match the activity levels. Don't push too hard.
  • Most people I see are either not doing enough and doing too much. It's about finding a balance for you.
  • Some of it could be improper form as well. Dead lifting too heavy, or improperly can also cause problems.
  • What is the asymmetry aspect? Can people favour one leg or the other? Don't be fearful of discovering asymmetry. It is common. What is a problem is repetition. E.g. using the mouse with one hand.
  • Ollie's Penguin ambidextrous mouse.
  • 21:30 What about switching? It isn't about doing it all one way. Switching from side to side is great, giving each side a break.
  • Yoga, Occupational Therapy, Massage, Lifting, it's all movement.
  • 24:00 We are built to be movers, to be hunters and gatherers. We weren't built to be sitting still all day. Our bodies tell us. This hurts, I've been sitting still. It encourages us to get the body moving.
  • 27:00 If you think about how you move and what you do most throughout your day. Say you are at your desk all day, then you go weight lift. Visualise it. You are getting the strength component. But what about mobility? Perhaps try yoga.
  • Even marathon runners need to add strengthening to their running endurance.
  • What is Crossfit? Think of weight lifting, timed exercises, a community of people, there are gyms, there are competitions. High-intensity based exercise.
  • The Crossfit games
  • Things you could ask your Physical therapist - how is my form? How am I moving?
  • The importance of finding great instructors to make sure your technique is good.
  • What do you think of standing desks? Recent reports came out stating that they are helpful if you are changing posture every hour, or even every half hour. If I'm still just sitting here for 5 hours, it's all about moving as frequently as possible.
  • Have a little timer, and remember to switch it up every 30 minutes or an hour.
  • If you could have office workers do strengthening exercises on one area, what would it be? There is never one fix. I'd give you two things
  • 32:00 The number one takeaway: Get moving. If you are sitting then stand. If you are standing, then sit. This will have the biggest impact on your pain.
  • A good mobility one, if you have been sitting. Is to get you up and standing. I would go for a good chest opener. Don't pull on your head, but rest your hands behind your head and curl down and breath out. Then breathe in and look up.
  • A good strengthening one: 4 point. Getting onto your hands and knees. A scapular pushup. Think about pressing palms into the floor, press away with a straight elbow pushup.
  • How many you do, the sets and reps and duration - depends on the people and their goals.
  • If you are not ready to commit to 3-5 mins of exercise, then start small - create habits of starting small and giving you a reason to get out of your desk.
  • The Happy gun massager. Ollie has one too and loves it!!
  • 40:00 What does Kristi do for mobility? I do about 5-10 minutes of morning mobility, targeting whatever is sore. Mine has been neck and shoulders. I do some in between my patients. I'll take 5 minutes to move during the day in between appointments. I'll typically go to the gym after work. I mix it up, do a bit of weightlifting and more mobility while watching Netflix. So about an hour of weightlifting and half an hour of mobility.
  • How to watch Netflix and do mobility. Every time an episode changes, I'd get up and do 5 mins. Now I'm feeling so good that I'm doing it during the show.
  • People can be doing stretching.
  • Tell us about the Happy gun massager. Ollie has one too and loves it!! It is a percussion gun which adds small beats to your muscles. The different attachments do different things. The beats help to give pain relieve. It is taking our nervous system, from fight or flight, and the impulses can help take us into the rest and digest phase of nervous system.
  • But, that shouldn't be the end all treatment. It is a passive-based form of rehab. It will give pain relief, but won't necessarily fix the underlying issue.
  • So we have to pair strengthening with stability.
  • Comparing Dentistry to Physio - and it being interesting how many different areas a Physio needs to know about.
  • 49:00 Who do you most look up to in the world? My sister. I've consistently always looked up to her. She's one of those people who is her true authentic self. I respect the life that she lives. It's just her as a person.
  • 51:00 I want to be people's biggest cheerleader and to motivate them to be better.
  • Book: Self-observation. It really forces you to observe your patterns and your thoughts. The more we can stop just reacting and just responding, the better outlook and impact we can have. Our reactions are based off our past experiences. Our bodies automatically go into that reaction and emotion. By being aware of it, you can stop yourself and wait, and give a difference response instead. It can be applied to anything in life.
  • I'm all about mindset and getting that straight. Mindset so heavily impacts us and is so heavily related to the body.
  • My goal with Reach Rehab? I'm interested in making programs to help people to work on their injuries. How can you get involved? Sign up on Instagram, and I'll send more detailed information about it - and ask people what they want. Give me feedback on what you need.
  • My ultimate goal? To give back. To be able to use my skills as a Physical therapist to help.
  • InShot: An app I use to make my videos
  • Canva: An app for graphic design
  • What is a reel? A shorter, quicker reel on Instagram. I try to incorporate fun!
  • The biggest takeaway? Move your body as much as possible. And find that balance between strength and mobility.

Getting in touch

Logo and concept by Christy O'Connor

About the Podcast

Show artwork for Problem Busters
Problem Busters
Highlighting people with ideas

About your hosts

Profile picture for Oliver Happy

Oliver Happy

Oliver works in tech and builds things that help improve people’s lives. He hosts indie podcasts Old Fox Young Fox, Problem Busters and Gone Workabout. Oliver is a Kiwi, travels a lot, eats a lot and loves sharing good ideas. He is determined to leave the world in a better state than he found it.
Profile picture for Jon Goodwin

Jon Goodwin

Jon Goodwin works in financial tech implementing clever solutions that help simplify business processes every day. His passions include science, engineering and dreaming up solutions to common problems. In his spare time he is a multimedia producer & friendly co-host of two podcasts the Bouyon Boys and Problem Busters.