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#063: Forming Healthy Habits with Missy Bunch

Missy Bunch of Death of the Desk reveals how to form healthy habits at the desk that will provide you with a lifetime of health and wellness.

Disclaimer: This is a podcast transcript and grammar will not be ideal, but the info is valuable!

Announcer: We all have to earn a living, but sometimes, we don’t think of the effects sitting for an extended period of time has on our physical well-being.Welcome to The Modern Desk Jockey, providing you with healthy solutions for the desk worker.Our conversations with industry professionals and topic-based podcasts are guaranteed to keep you active for a healthy, more effective work-week.

Now, here’s your host Dr. Kevin Christie

Speaker 1: Alright! Welcome. We got our first two-time guest today which is great. This is Missy Bunch, and she was on episode 4 which I definitely recommend you checking out.In that particular episode she dove in to the two-minute desk drills and some other things you can do while at the desk and we were actually in Chicago a year ago for that episode and we had first met, and since that year has gone on I’ve been doing a lot of things, obviously with the desk workers and so has Missy and her now fiancé, Ryan, which is obviously something I think is different now than back then a year ago.

So, welcome to the show again and give us a little bit about what last year’s been like for you.

Speaker 2: Thank you so much. I’m so glad to connect with you again.It’s very crazy what can happen in a year. I was proposed to at an airport which was so amazing.It was actually because of a two-minute drill that he did that.So, we filmed the entire thing.He made me think we were filming for the death of the desk and proposed right on camera so,that was awesome.

Speaker 1:That’s pretty clever. I like it.

Speaker 2: He put a lot of thought into that. So, he set the camera up, and he’s like, “yeah, you know when you’re feeling stiff right when you get off the plane. Missy what would you do?”.

Speaker 1:So he was mixing business with pleasure.

Speaker 2: Exactly.Which we always want to do, right?

Speaker 1: Yeah, absolutely.Good stuff. Well, congratulations.

Speaker 2:Thank you… thank you.It’s just been such a wild ride.You know, that’s the thing I love about our company, is we had this passion separately, and then we met, and it was kind of like, this is a done deal. We both want to contribute to the sedentary lifestyle.We both have experience in it.

It was actually one of the worst times of my life, to be honest. Started getting migraines, weight gain, I was getting pale, you know, things like that and then, I just decided one day, I want to contribute to this very specific demographic because they need us, you know?

Speaker 1:No, they absolutely do.

Speaker 2:Yeah but you know, it’s speaking to the choir, but Ryan had a similar situation. I think he was selling life insurance or something and he lasted about six months sitting at a desk. We have similar stories that are different, but Death of the Desk was built on a true passion that we had separately and us meeting just confirmed it.It’s really special.

Speaker 1: It is, and you guys are. The passion for it oozes in the videos that you do and the different things that you put out, and it’s always good too.You guys are a dynamic duo for sure, and it’s really good information , and you can tell you both feed off each other in the videos, and I’m sure you guys just kind of constantly are brainstorming on different ideas.

Speaker 2:Yeah, exactly. I appreciate that a lot.Being in a relationship where we work together physically at a facility, we also run a business together and then we also have to be in our relationship too.So you know if that makes sense.People can smell BS from a mile away. I think people can tell that we actually like each other and we’re in love, and this is our videos which all started organically as well which it’s kind of the whole fun thing about it.We started filming stuff, and then, people were interested, and we said,“Oh!We should probably make money off this then.”

Speaker 1: Where can our audience find those videos?

Speaker 2: There’s a couple of ways.Right now, my number one goal of contributing to others is we have a Death of the Desk membership, and there are over 400 videos on there, and they’re all one to five minutes.Most of them are two minutes, and it is designed for the busy professional.Someone who sits all day as well as someone who stands all day.Just anyone who doesn’t have time to really take care of themselves during the workday and honestly, I find myself that way sometimes. That’s the majority of where you can find the in-depth instructional videos, a little bit higher quality and then, we also have a YouTube page which we just throw up a bunch of stuff there. I think that one has about 200 videos which it’s always funny to get started. I love it, you know, comments, all that stuff.

Speaker 1:Yeah, absolutely.Maybe you would recommend that if they’re just now hearing this, they can maybe watch one or two videos a day and take it from there.

Speaker 2: Oh, absolutely, yeah. That’s what the free stuff is for.It’s to get a feel for it, right, and at that time, we were doing what we could with what we have as you know.So, we would be at airports,like Michigan and you know, just random stuff like that.So, now they’re a little bit more professional and high quality and all that good stuff.

Speaker 1: One thing I did like too, it seems like you mix a lot. I’ve talked to desk workers about this too, is that sometimes their ailments aren’t only caused by the desk.They can be caused by activities of daily living like, you said, the airport flying, things like that, at home, but then, it manifests itself while they’re at the desk or makes it worse and so you’re also tying in some activities of daily living as well, correct?

Speaker 2: Oh, absolutely. I’m really glad you brought that up.One thing I noticed I do like to clear up is we’re not trying to vilify the desk at all.It’s mostly just kind of a metaphor for, exactly like what you’re saying, you could be driving a truck, you could be an Uber driver, right, and so, they are the daily living stuff.You know, what I don’t do is teach everyone the science behind all of the two-minute drills that we teach, as you know.

Let’s say you fly a lot, your inner ear system that governs your balance is called your vestibular system, gets messed up because of something called sensory mismatch which most people don’t realize and I might say in the two-minute drill,“Hey guys, we’re doing an eye circle.Keep your head still and look like this or stare at a target and shake your head.”

They might not realize that my intention is actually to fix a ton of other problems, but this is the easiest way to convey the message.

Speaker 1:Yeah,the point.

Speaker 2:You get to the point, right, and honestly, our clients, your patients, they don’t care about the science.

Speaker 1:Yeah. You get the occasional… like from the engineering department, they may be more a little analytic and want to know something but a lot of times, they don’t. Obviously, they have that trust in you that it’s not a farce and it is evidence-based, and so, they want to know how to do it and maybe why and get it done and provide them with consistent value which what you’re doing.

Speaker 2:Yeah, exactly. I’m all about ‘create the result as fast as possible.’ If they want to know why, they’ll ask, and then, I would love to talk about the why, but no one wants to so, I leave it at “stare at it, shake your head.”

Speaker 1: One of the things I wanted to transition to because I’ve over the last year; obviously, you moved from Chicago to SanDiego, and it seems like you more corporations and stuff.What are what are the companies bringing you in to do? I know you’re doing a lot of on-site stuff and so, what exactly are they contracting you to do for them?

Speaker 2:Yeah. Basically,they must have been referred by someone, or they saw us on Instagram and they’re like,‘wow, these people say they can make a difference in the office.’ They might have heard some thing like, we bring energy to the room, boosting productivity and improving peoples moods.So, what we do in the one hour… it could be a workshop or lunch and learn kind of whatever the culture calls it, we do a very interactive workshop where you’re moving, and we go over some really cool neurology 101 of how when you’re walking, force comes up one side of your body and ends up on the other side.We call them the common pain points.

What we go in there and do is teach people how to movie their joints in a very strategic way that’s based on science to alleviate any issues so that they don’t take a day off of work and have to get surgery for carpal tunnel if not necessary, you know.Just teaching them the science about why moving the joints is so important. So, you’re listening to lecture for maybe 15 minutes total and then the rest of it; they are assessing themselves and learning what the best movements are for their body in any position that they need at the desk, at the water jug thing, at the in the bathroom, whatever it is.

So, what they leave with is like,‘Wow! I can actually feel amazing at work, and I have access to this at any time,’ and it just blows their mind. They don’t know they can do an eye circle or move their ribcage until we get there.

It’s really fun, very interactive.We try to make it fun and enjoyable rather than were presenting and talking at you.

Speaker 1: Yeah, that’s the key because I mean, not only does it make it more of an experience for them, that helps them actually remember it and really, remember the whole experience and get a lot from it.It’s going to go a long way when they’re implementing it which is one of the biggest struggles we have with the desk worker is, we can come up with all the great things but are they implementing it?So, sometimes you have to get strategic with how you’re going to do that, and the way of doing that.

Speaker 2:Exactly and you know, I think we’ll probably always struggle with that implementation.We just realized at least they have the tool to access it and then they start hearing their co-workers, you know,“oh I feel better, I did that” and then hopefully, it rubs off but the actual ultimate goal, Doc, is changing the work culture. I tell everyone I would be ecstatic if I walked into this office on a Tuesday and somebody was in here doing shoulder circles, and no one thought it was weird. They refrain from it because they think it’s weird and they don’t want to look stupid next to their colleagues.Well, if everyone were doing it, you wouldn’t feel stupid.

Speaker 1: That’s true. I think that the funny part about it is that some people do have that mindset.It’s like,‘I don’t want to do it at their desk and have other people see it’ but you know, get the whole group involved.

Speaker 2:Exactly.That’s kind of one thing in the presentation. I do a couple of moments on the fly where,“Hey!What are you guys dealing with right now?”, and they’re like, “Really?” I’m like,“Yeah, what is it? and somebody will say low back, right shoulder, my eyes hurt, you know, and I’ll then and there based on who is in the room because I found that having something prepared, like ‘we’re only gonna talk about the low back.’ Well, what if this work culture has more of neck issues than the low back, why would I do that?Why would I waste both of our time?

I had to learn that one the hard way.We did a whole hour workshop somewhere, and they were like,“hey it would have been great if you did carpal tunnel, actually but that was nice.”

Speaker 1: Then they come back for a second one, right?We just got contracted by a local city municipality down here, and they had us do ergonomics assessments, and they didn’t want big fancy reports, they wanted us to come, and we have a lot of good materials in the sense of micro-break card and a workstation ergonomics card, nicely designed.We brought that so, each person got one and we just spent ten minutes with them going over their workstation and how to obviously fit them to it and then, I always bring up… I was like,‘look, you know, sometimes doing things the right way will feel a little bit odd at first.Like if you change your ergonomics, it might feel uncomfortable for a little bit, but if we actually can take a few weeks to build the habit, then it’ll become second nature, and you’ll feel better. So, a lot of it is habit formation and having that conversation with them and trying to define ways to make that consistent and I explained it to them because another topic was, she was like,“Well, what about our new hires?” and I was like,“Well, we have a little new-hire packet that they can have as well, and it’s digital base, and so, we try to obviously give them as many routes to make it as habitual as possible, and that’s part of the struggle with the desk workers.They kind of fall into their bad habits if there’s not a consistency there.

Speaker 2:No. I mean, you just nailed it on the head. This stuff gets real deep, and I laugh because, I don’t know if you feel this way, but the more I study, the more mentors I have.The more books I read, the more clear I am that I don’t know anything. I’m like,‘I thought I was smart for like five seconds one time when I was 21.

Speaker 1: Then it’s like paralysis by analysis, right?

Speaker 2: I call it a certification depression. Every time, I’m like I don’t even know why I’m here. I don’t, you know.What I was going to say was with the habit change.Really, that’s what I think healing does come down to.It’s behavior modification, motivational interviewing and getting people present to their ‘why’ if we want to get real. I go in there, do a one-hour workshop, it’s amazing, they feel good for a week, and then they go back to their old habits because they’re not present to their ‘why.’ It’s not at the forefront. If it is at the forefront, you will do anything if you’re clear on your ‘why.’ I mean, anything

Speaker 1:Yeah, I agree with.

Speaker 2: So, that’s a whole other rabbit hole.

Speaker 1:Well, it is, and it seems like you are also supplementing these on-site visits with a good consistent easily to consume videos that will essentially build that habit formation for them which is ideal.

Speaker 2: Exactly.That’s what we’re striving for.We’re trying, like as yourself, we’re just trying to make it as easy and convenient as possible and what some people have been doing is taking our links and putting them in their calendar as a meeting, and I have just loved that.So, it pops up, and they’re like,“Dang it! I have to do this right now!”

Speaker 1: And they can click the link, and it goes right to video.

Speaker 2: Yeah.

Speaker 1: I had a lot of good things going on this year, but I had one big epic fail, not my fault, but we were trying to develop a micro break app that would essentially do that, and I mean, oh God,If there could be a whole podcast on that but needless to say , the developer of it just couldn’t get it done and so finally we had to scrap it and just move on from it.It was a year past due, and then it mind space being eaten in the stress of it, but this seems like a good solution.Just put it on your calendar.Everybody’s got a calendar, whether it’s the Google Calendar or Outlook or whatever and then, put the link of your videos right in there, and it’s great, and it’s kind of like why Steve, my podcast producer, came with up the idea of switching my show from, I think it was a Wednesday release to now, a Monday morning release and we give like one actionable tip for the week for them so they can start the ride beginning of the week.

Listen to the podcast and then have something they can do during a week and form that habit with it. So, just different little tricks like that can help the desk worker find their sweet spot of like,“okay…” because there’s a lot of information and even though. Obviously, you mentioned all the videos you have, I think it’s sometimes distilling down what’s going to work for them and having the right information and then having a game plan to form its a habit, and from there, they’ll see tons of obvious benefits.

Speaker 2: Yeah, exactly. I mean that little tip is so huge. I mean, they don’t realize how we see it as if you practice something for five days, it could change their life.

Speaker 1: It absolutely can, and I’ve had a couple of things where I find I’ve done that it’s been such a big part of my life. I’m like,‘I can’t believe I wasn’t doing that before and so, I think if you just make that commitment and you know it’s going to be good for you, and you know the, obviously, the negative effects of prolonged sitting at a desk and you really take it seriously, then it becomes just second nature, and it’s no big deal at all.

Speaker 2: Exactly.That’s what I’m talking about.

Speaker 1: That’s kind of like if you’re playing a sport or you want to do the technique right, and you work on getting that technique right, making it a habit.Hitting a golf ball and being a professional golfer is pretty ingrained in them and it’s pretty habitual. Their golf club maybe their equipment whereas our audience, their equipment is the desk and so, if they can make that ingrained as a good habit, then it’s truly second nature.

Speaker 2: Exactly. I was reading a study from Stanford recently, and they said if you just moved for one minute every 50 minutes, you would decrease global body-wide pain drastically andI’m just like 60 seconds of your life!

Speaker 1: It’s not a lot. That’s why people will ask like, “Should I get this treadmill desk and certain things like that?” I’m like you don; you just got to move. There’s a lot of different things that we could pick apart on that for sure, but I want to change gears and and give you the floor a little bit. What has you excited moving forward with Death of the Desk and what you and Ryan are doing, coming up? What are some of the things you’re excited about?

Speaker 2: Oh, so many things.You know how it is.It’s the business molds and shifts as our audience does and what they request and don’t want and their feedback and this and that.So, you know, I’m excited to… we just moved here six months ago…I’m excited to build a little web of people that know they can trust us and get some results.So, I’m excited to get into these companies and do our one hour workshop, our one hour lunch and learn because it really helps them see what we do and that little door opening will provide,‘now we can come in and assess you at your desk, now we can done on-one evaluations if you want to, now we can talk about low back pain for an hour if you want’. It kind of opens the window once we get into the company and I love building those relationships and seeing their faces when they feel better and then, the next step after that is all geared towards the subscription because we know they can’t afford us inevitably, frequently.

In the long run, people can’t afford to hire me on a private one-on-one basis so, that’s why we designed it.We wanted to give people access to us at the most affordable cost and give them all the information they need in a way that. Is that a word? Wow! I think I just made that up.

Speaker 1: We’re going to make it a word. I’m going to make that the title of the show.

Speaker 2: Implementable! That was good.

Speaker 1: Yeah, no, that’s perfect. That sounds very exciting, and it’s needed.It’s definitely needed.

Speaker 2: It’s so new here. I think the Bay Area in Chicago where little more open, I don’t know. San Diego has a lot of athletic people too.So, I’m not sure. I have to feel the market out a little bit, but I am excited.You know it’s a lot of science people, like Biotech and scientists, which I had no idea, on top of the military base people, which they have their own issues with their body too.

So, it’s been it’s been interesting.The different… Coming from Silicon Valley, right, I had all the technic blah blah blah.Now I’ve got scientists, and I was in the Marines and all that and the Navy.It’s really interesting.

Speaker 1: Good stuff!That’s exciting , and then, obviously, they can find you, it said what,

Speaker 2: Yeah. Easy breezy.

Speaker 1: And then, how else can they find you?You’re pretty active on Facebook, maybe Instagram and such?

Speaker 2: Yeah. Instagram and Facebook are the same. Every handle is Death of the Desk and very easy to find myself and Ryan through those means.

Speaker 1: Perfect.Well, I want to thank you for your time. It was great to catch up. I’ve been meeting to reach out to get this done, and I’m glad we did, and so maybe we’ll do this again sooner, and we’ll have you and Ryan on. I know we were trying to do that but just didn’t coordinate but we’ll have you both on, and we can maybe reenact how he proposed from his words.

Speaker 2: Yeah, let’s do it. You’d have me crying for like five minutes, but you know…

Speaker 1: Perfect. Well, thank you so much for this episode. I appreciate it.

Speaker 2: Yeah. Thank you for your time. I loved getting reconnected with you.We should do it again next year too.

Announcer: Now that you have a better idea of how to improve your physical health while at work , let’s take it a few steps further by subscribing to our show and visiting our website