The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that more women than men failed to receive preventive care during the pandemic. Statistics show that 38% of women skipped their annual checkup compared to 26% of men and nearly one in four women failed to get a recommended medical test or treatment versus only 15% of men. Income did not appear to be a big factor, leading consultants to believe that fear of exposure to Covid-19 and the inability to access medical facilities were big contributing factors.
Dietitians recommend drinking half your body weight in ounces per day – that’s 75 ounces of water daily if you weigh 150 pounds. But what type of bottled water is best? The International Bottled Water Association offers the following descriptions.
Spring water comes from underground, flowing naturally to the earth’s surface.
Purified water is produced by distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis or other approved process.
Mineral water is natural and contains a constant level of mineral elements coming from its source. No other minerals can be added.
Sparkling bottled water is treated but can only contain the same amount of carbon dioxide it had when it emerged from its source.
While well water is derived from a hole in the ground that taps the water aquifer, artesian well water comes from a source above an underground layer or rock or sand.
Alkaline water has a higher pH level than tap water, meaning that it is less acidic.
While many choices exist, health experts say the amount of water you consume is far more important than the type of water. No matter what water you prefer, keep a bottle handy and stay hydrated!
Cleveland Clinic, regarded as the number one healthcare system for cardiac care, wants you to know that a new study shows that in addition to great flavor, blueberries are good for your heart. Vitamin C and a wide array of healthy phytochemicals and anthocyanins help lower existing risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure and more. In the six-month study, people with these and other characteristics who ate a cup of blueberries daily for six months were in better shape than those who did not. Vessels and arteries were in better condition with a 12 to 15 percent lower risk of heart disease. To receive the therapeutic benefits of blueberries, add a cup to oatmeal, a smoothie, salad or just enjoy your blueberries as a mid-day snack.
Many of us have read about actions some larger employers are taking to help employees struggling with psychologi- cal effects of Covid-19. Indications are that many small and mid-size organizations are taking positive steps as well. LinkedIn, a social media platform used by millions of businesses and individuals, is offering online courses to help employees address high levels of stress and fatigue. Meditation and how to deal with grief and loss are just two topics covered. A few regional banks are expanding telemedicine options to address some of the isolation experienced by those working at home.
Data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that in November of 2020, 42 percent of Americans reported symptoms of an anxiety or depressive disorder. While many employers plan to introduce programs supporting mental health, only about a third of employees surveyed in the PwC Workplace Pulse Survey said their employer was doing so.
The National Council for Behavioral Health’s Mental Health First Aid program offers a great deal of information and resources to help employers and individuals cope. To learn more, visit https://www.thenationalcouncil.org/covid19/.
Business and pleasure travel came to a serious halt in 2020, but industry representatives say bookings for later in 2021 are soaring. If you’re considering a hotel stay, a few questions suggested by the Infectious Diseases Society of America may be worth asking. For example…
- Ask about current occupancy levels and limits the hotel or resort may have imposed.
- What Covid-specific policies has the hotel or resort put in place?
- Are face masks and social distancing measures required and enforced?
- Are there limits on the number of guests allowed in the lobby and other public spaces?
- How often are employees tested for the virus?
Finally, you may want to ask if the hotel’s HVAC system has hospital-quality filters and how long the hotel keeps a room empty between guest stays. Doing so for at least 24 hours is recommended as a way to clear the air of any aerosol transmissions. Other small measures to look for include sealed water glasses and strapped toilet seats in your room as well as self-parking, automated check-in and check-out, no-touch elevators and easily accessible staircases.
You don’t have to dig very deep to discover higher stress levels due to the pandemic. To combat the problem, many companies are taking creative steps to help employees relax. While some are providing a free day each quarter, others are doing it monthly. From “you days” to “disconnect and recharge” days, these are must-take days where everyone is free to enjoy a break without feeling guilty or worrying about what they may be missing.
According to the 2019 edition of the Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index, the United States ranks 35th among 169 recognized by the World Health Organization. This was one position lower than the U.S. earned in 2017. Spain surpassed Italy to become the world’s healthiest country and four other European nations ranked in the top 10. While Japan was the healthiest Asian nation, China dropped from 51 in 2017 to 53 in the 2019 rankings. Based on data provided by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Population Division, the index evaluates health factors and risks including behavioral concerns, environmental characteristics and more.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 30 million Americans have diabetes – a chronic condition that happens when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or process sugar efficiently. The surprising thing is that about 7.5 million people are diabetic and don’t know it!
Doctors say if you’re over 45 years of age, are overweight or diabetes is part of your family history, you should be screened regularly. If these characteristics don’t apply, you may want to talk with your physician if you demonstrate any of the following symptoms:
- Increased need to urinate
- Being very thirsty or more hungry
- Bleeding or swollen gums, receding gum line and mouth pain
- Bruises and cuts that take a long time to heal
- Losing weight without trying
- Increased fatigue
- Dizzy or fainting spells
- Yeast and fungal infections
- Dark spots around your neck and armpits
- Tingling or numbness in your hands and/or feet
- Itchy, dry skin
There are several steps you can take to prevent or control diabetes, but like most serious illnesses, early detection is critical. Diabetes or pre-diabetes can be determined by a simple blood test.
As public health officials work to identify a respiratory illness putting people who vape in the hospital, negative reports continue to frighten parents. In the last month or so, two young people have died in Illinois and more than 20 others have been hospitalized throughout the state. The news is similar in other states, as more than 190 hospitalizations were reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. State and federal health officials are searching for answers, including details on what these people vaped.
While manufacturers say their e-cigarettes were always intended as an alternative to cigarettes for adult smokers, legal challenges are being directed at manufacturers for aggressive marketing to teenagers.
Some mega-employers manage clinics on their own while others outsource to clinic vendors or healthcare systems. Many provide clinics within their own facilities, but some offer near-site locations and even share a near-site clinic with other companies. Regardless of which model is preferred, more organizations with 5,000 or more employees are deciding that on-site or near-site clinics can make primary care more convenient and affordable for everyone.
Some of these clinics offer pharmacy services and many have expanded to offer services such as physical therapy, telehealth and even behavioral health. One benefit that clinic operators often emphasize is that by making primary care convenient to employees, and in many cases their family members, fewer employees will neglect primary care because of cost or the inability to take time off to see a doctor.