Posts Tagged ‘wellness’

Redefining Success – The Third Metric

Redefining Success, The Third MetricJust 30% of full time workers are engaged at work, while half are uninspired, and another 30% simply “roam the halls” spreading discontent. Some call this presenteeism. Either way, there’s a personal and economic cost.

A Huffington Post article and infographic (below) encourages us to re-think what success means and reassess our priorities, possibly leading to jobs that we really WANT to be doing.

According to Arianna Huffington, “We’ve all bought into this male definition of success, money and power, and it’s not working. It’s not working for men, and it’s not working for women. It’s not working for anyone.”

That’s where their Third Metric infographic comes into play. After the graphic I list some of the key points, as well as related statistics from a similar infographic on sleep. That way, blind people using screen readers can “see” the data too.

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Is Your Glass Half Empty, or Half Full?

Is your glass Half Empty, or Half Ful?Can your attitude affect your health?

YES. According to this article and most of the studies I found, optimism appears to be good for your health and pessimism seems to be bad. But I also found one study that suggested the opposite – that people who are overly optimistic about their future actually faced greater risk of disability or death within 10 years than did those pessimists who expected their future to be worse. So I guess the question about the glass being half full or half empty still depends on your perspective.

Optimism about the Future

This week I was one of several presenters giving short talks to the World Future Society about what makes us optimistic about the future. Rather than rant about health reform, as I often do, I chose instead to talk about BIG Broadband and Google’s choice of Austin for its next gigabit fiber network, Kansas City being their first. I spoke of the applications enabled by Internet access that’s more than 100 times faster than what we currently have, how it enables exciting new applications and innovations in telehealth, telework, distance learning, e-commerce, e-government, and more.

But this article takes a different spin, with text provided by Anne Boysen, one of the other speakers. Her interesting approach fits nicely with the half empty / half full question, because she looks at several trends that bring out the pessimist in us, followed by balancing trends that give us hope.
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TIME & SLEEP — America’s Real Deficit Crisis

The Time & Sleep DeficitBy Arianna Huffington (comment at Huffington Post)

Are you busy right now? Are you already behind on what you wanted to accomplish today? Or this week? Or this year? Are you hoping this will be a short post so you can get back to the million things on your to-do list that are breathing down your neck? Okay, I’ll get on with it: Our culture is obsessed with time. This is our real deficit crisis, and one that, unlike the more commonly discussed deficit, is actually getting worse.

In order to manage time — or what we delude ourselves into thinking of as managing time — we rigidly schedule ourselves, rushing from meeting to meeting, event to event, always just a little late and trying to save a bit of time here, a little bit there. We download apps for “productivity” and eagerly click on links promising time-saving life-hacks. We fear that if we don’t try to cram as much as possible into our day, we might be missing out on something fun, or important, or special.

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The Wheelchair Gym

Do you have a favorite product to tell others about? Here’s one I learned about from Richard Marcantonio. He’s 83 and designed an interesting piece of exercise equipment for mildly to severely disabled individuals. Special grips allow those with conditions such as Cerebral Palsy and Muscular Dystrophy to regain improved movement and strength in core-muscles groups.

From Richard: “The Wheelchair Gym was design for the growing wheelchair or power-chair population. It’s an undeserved group, and to that end I developed this simple, user-friendly piece of equipment called The Wheelchair Gym.”

Learn more at http://www.lotechusa.com/

Getting a Better Night’s Sleep

So far we have published over a dozen articles on the relationship between good sleep and good health and recommendations for getting a good night’s sleep, but here’s a video from TODAY’s Health that features 8 different gadgets you might be interested in.

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The BUSINE$$ of Obesity

Over two thirds of American adults are overweight.Because March is National Nutrition Month, we’re featuring this infographic (below) and these related articles.

  • America’s Obesity Epidemic, a BIG Problem – features the trailer and all four episodes of HBO’s documentary, “The Weight of the Nation,” along with a collection of supporting statistics.
  • How States are Battling Obesity – a byline article by Scott Kahan, M.D., an Obesity Medicine physician and Director of STOP Obesity Alliance
  • Is Obesity a Disease – discusses the pros and cons of labeling it as a disease or just a risk factor for health problems and not a disease itself
  • MyPlate replaces Food Pyramid – Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack unveil the federal government’s new food icon, MyPlate, to serve as a reminder to help consumers make healthier food choices
  • The Hunter-Gatherer Diet – Dr. Terry Wahls presents an incredible TEDx talk, shares how she learned to properly fuel her body, and tells of the diet that cured her MS and allowed her to get out of her wheelchair
  • Six Ways TV Might Be Killing You – about typical Americans who watch an average of four hours and 39 minutes of television every day, one-quarter of their waking life, and how their lives may shorten considerably
  • Donuts Don’t Grow on Trees – a music video about healthy eating by health advocate Barry David Butler
  • A Place at the Table –- a new documentary about the relationship between Poverty, Hunger & Health
  • Working Poor Families Struggle to Pay Bills – featuring statistics and a video of Congresswoman Nancy Peloci about the direct relationship between poverty, obesity, and the cost of healthcare.
  • Poverty in America – featuring The Line, an important documentary that covers the stories of people across the country living at or below the poverty line
  • Sleep Apnea and Poverty – a byline article by doctors Susan Redline and Michelle Williams about how socioeconomics impacts proper diagnosis and treatment
  • Americans are Sicker and Die Younger – a byline article by Marty Kaplan, Director, Norman Lear Center and Professor at the USC Annenberg School
  • What the Fork — featuring the $100 HAPIfork device that functions like a friendly shock collar by paying attention to when you eat, how many bites you take, and the intervals between each bite, vibrating to tell you when you’re eating too fast or too much
View the Infographic and Read the rest of this entry »

A Place at the Table – about Poverty, Hunger & Health

Spread the word today! This important documentary is coming to movie theaters, YouTube and on-demand on March 1.

A Place at the Table shows us how hunger poses serious economic, social, health and cultural implications for our nation, and how the problem of hunger can be solved once and for all, with your help.

Now think about the dramatic role that a proper diet can play in decreasing obesity, diabetes, chronic illness, food allergies, and healthcare costs by improving the health of Americans.

As Dr. Wahls says in her TED video, “Hunter-Gatherer diet feeds Mitochondria & Brain Cells.”  “You’ll pay one way or another” – either pay now for a nutritious diet that improves your productivity and quality of life, or pay more later for medical intervention and long-term healthcare. This concept applies individually or nationally as portrayed in A Place at the Table.

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Sleepy Yet? — How Light from Electronics Effects Sleep

While the warm orange glow of a campfire promotes good sleep, the cool bluish light of a tablet or PC inhibit good sleep.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, it may be your electronics.

As I wrote in How Light effects Melatonin and Sleep, the hormone melatonin helps regulate our sleep & wake cycles (the circadian clock). Production of this hormone is triggered by darkness and inhibited by light, and that helps explain why we have trouble with jet lag, shift work, and winter months with fewer daylight hours. But it’s not just the availability or intensity of light; it’s also the color temperature, and it’s been that way for thousands of years.

We’re genetically programmed to get sleepy at dark and wake in the light of day, but man’s DNA has not evolved as fast as electricity or electronics. The flickering flame of a campfire, with its warm orange glow, plays a role in getting our bodies ready for sleep, as does the bright morning sunlight that helps us wake up. So it’s not surprising that the cool blue light of a television, PC, or tablet does the same thing.

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What the Fork – $100?

HAPIforkWhy do we need a smart fork, you may ask? Well, here’s the hype…

Studies show that people who eat slower eat 11% fewer calories and digest food better, so HAPILABS introduced 2 devices at CES: HAPIfork and HAPItrack. The dishwasher safe HAPIfork got immense press coverage, including articles in Consumer Reports and Bon Appetit, as well as placement on the Stephen Colbert Show (see video below).

This latest electronic gadget functions like a friendly shock collar by paying attention to when you eat, how many bites you take, and the intervals between each bite, vibrating to tell you when you’re eating too fast or too much. The goal is to encourage you to slow down, chew your food, improve your digestion, transform the way you eat, and… enjoy life more. HAPIfork then communicates with your smartphone so you can track your eating habits or share them with friends online. Read the rest of this entry »

Working Poor Families Struggle to Pay Bills

There’s a Direct relationship between poverty, obesity, and the cost of health care.

Here’s some statistics, mostly from the 2010 census:

  • 15.1% of Americans (46.2 million) live in poverty, including 22% of our children. 20% live in extreme poverty.
  • 3.2 million Americans were kept out of poverty by unemployment insurance.
  • 20.3 million were kept out of poverty by social security.
  • The poverty threshold for a family of four is $22,113; the 2010 avg. income of the bottom 90% was $26.364.
  • $6,298 — decline in median working-age household income from 2000 to 2010.
  • 49.1 million — number of people under 65 without any health insurance.
  • 13.6 million — decline in people under 65 with employer-sponsored health insurance from 2000-2010.
  • Public health officials can accurately predict obesity and longevity rates by zip codes. One inner city example had an average lifespan of just 64 years while it was 90 years in a wealthier neighborhood just 8 miles away. (HBO’s documentary, The Weight of the Nation)
  • Disadvantaged communities are at higher risk for many preventable health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis B and C, and infant mortality, largely due to the lack of health care, nutritious food at affordable prices, and sidewalks and parks to encourage exercise.
  • Pressures from Job, Money, Divorce and Violence cause a vicious cycle of Stress = Obesity = Stress.

Tech innovation and automation also plays a role, increasing productivity and profits for some, but eliminating jobs faster than creating new ones. Dr. Oz apparently agrees, as shown in this article, which also features a CBS report on the jobs impact of robotics and a collection of slides that I recently presented to a local jobs group.


 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/15/us-working-poor_n_2476463.html

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