Is Your Employer Providing Sick Care or Health Care?

Is Your Employer Providing Sick Care or Health Care?

There is a jolting difference in cultural motivation on 'sick care' and 'health care'. Sick care is reactionary, providing individuals support with onset of an injury, health or mental conditions. Sick care recipients pay for medical bills instead of luxuries. Their employers pay for loss of production or new hire training. Health care recipients pay for health resources that reduce the onset of uncommunicable diseases, depression, injury. Their employers pay out bonuses and employee rewards due to improved profit. Is your employer providing sick care or health care? Move health care awareness from knowledge to action. Sharing stories on health movement builds the belief its possible. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shared several stories of national communities that acted on health care. It's understood raw data in percentages or dollar signs build belief in health care. RWJF rewarded some communities for the qualitative data. Behavior follows belief. Raw data happens over an extended period time. Seeking the value of outcome impacts purpose. RWJF believe people are the...
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20 Questions For Sleep Awareness

20 Questions For Sleep Awareness

In response to the statement "employers can educate shift workers about how to improve sleep" in the NBC Health's reveal we aren't getting enough sleep, here are 20 questions to get started. Answers are provided at the end. How many hours of sleep per night do you suspect the average American gets during the week? How do you think this ranked with the other countries: Japan, UK, Germany, Canada, Mexico? How about on the weekend: U.S., Japan, U.K., Germany, Canada, Mexico? Questionnaire respondents were asked: How much sleep do you need to function best? What do you suspect they answered: U.S., Japan, U.K., Germany, Canada, Mexico? What do you think differences existed amongst different countries? How does culture effect sleep? How many hours of sleep are recommended for adults ages 18-64? How about older adults ages 65+? In discussion about sleep,...
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30 Details On Health Costs

30 Details On Health Costs

Health Benefits manager Lisa Mrozinski at Robert W. Baird & Company said, “You may think you’re really healthy, but until you go through the process we can provide, you may not be aware that you’re pre-diabetic or have high cholesterol.” This quote was cited in the book The Grassroots Health Care Revolution by John Torinus Jr. Is there a process in place to learning the genuine health of your company? Here are 30 details on health costs John shared through his book to remind us of the integrity of providing health improvement services: United States of America health costs are 2x per capita of anywhere else in the world. Increased national health care costs then reduced money spent for education, research & development, public safety, environmental improvement, defense, personal finances, and wage increases. Health costs are the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States of America. Pre-existing conditions are highly...
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The 40 Hour Work Week Disrupts the Natural Work Flow

The 40 Hour Work Week Disrupts the Natural Work Flow

“I used to be exhausted all the time, I would come home from work and pass out on the sofa, but not now. I am much more alert: I have much more energy for my work, and also for family life.” These are the words of Lise-Lotte Pettersson, an assistant nurse and participant in a controlled trial of shorter work hours in Sweden. The results will be published in 2016, but so far results indicate nurses are less fatigued and more efficient (Crouch, 2015). A 2014 Gallup survey of 1,200 American adults discovered that the average full time US employee works 47 hours per week and 18% work 60 hours or more (Green, 2015). The workplace is a community I'm passionate about. Work demands are conditions part of my mission. Occupational justice is vague to most, yet sticks to my bones like muscles. Too many people understand occupation to mean career or job instead of a way of spending time. According to occupational science,...
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How Light May Improve Sleep and Overall Health

How Light May Improve Sleep and Overall Health

Light may lull the troubled sleeper right to sleep! Prior to the discovery of electricity, light from the sun controlled sleep-wake cycles.  Artificial light disrupts this natural rhythm, not only in our external environment but also inside our bodies. Questions to Ask: Are you aware of outdoor lighting conditions? What effect does indoor lighting have on you? Do you feel sleepy when it gets dark outside? What time do you shut off electronic screens (TV, phone, computer)? The Circadian System Our circadian system controls the processes within our body that follow a 24-hour cycle: hormone regulation, body temperature, and sleep/wake cycles. How Light Affects the Circadian System A collection of cells called the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) send signals throughout our body to help regulate us to our 24-hour day. Light travels first to our retina, then to our SCN, and ultimately to the pineal gland, which releases melatonin, the hormone that makes us feel...
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Five Questions to Identify Which Stress Condition Is at Risk

Five Questions to Identify Which Stress Condition Is at Risk

One-fourth of all employees view their job as the number one stress in their lives. ¹  Yale University found that twenty-six percent workers report they are "often or very often burned out or stressed by their work. ² Health care expenditures are nearly fifty percent greater for workers who report high levels of stress. ³ The National Institute of Occupational Science and Health state that job stress is: the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources or needs of the worker. Identifying the varied signs of job stress are what occupational therapy practitioners are skilled at. Stress is rarely seen as serious by both employees and employers. It's become a societal norm that people simply refer to their day as 'so busy'. Research resolved speculation of body and mind side-effects as early warning signs of job stress, including: cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal and psychological disorders. Workplace injury, suicide, cancer, ulcers and impaired immune systems are more often...
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Why Contextual Factors Improve Workplace Performance and Design

Why Contextual Factors Improve Workplace Performance and Design

Contextual factors is a term rarely used in the workplace or with employee performance. It is one of three factors that categorizes performance elements for improving performance outcomes. Any feature of yourself that is not part of a health condition or health status is defined as the personal context that influences performance (WHO 2001). Our performance and design coaches facilitate improvements through the following contextual elements: Expectations of Culture, Personal Beliefs and Customs, Behavioral Standards, Demographics, Stage of Life and History, Relationship to Time, and The Non-Physical: Simulated, Real-time, and Near-time. Gender and education levels are demographics that overlap into personal beliefs and customs. Context at an organizational level includes millennial, generation X, baby boomer, retired or volunteer life stages. 'Supervisor' may be a cultural custom or expectation of rank in workplace cultures. At the population level beliefs may be as an immigrant...
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Six Key Employee and Workplace Contextual Elements

Six Key Employee and Workplace Contextual Elements

There are workplaces with a culture expectation of work tracked by shift hours or a behavior standard to cover all tattoos. A workplace belief and custom may be whispering through cubicle workstations. These are examples of contextual elements in the workplace. Context is one of three performance factors used to improve performance outcomes. Contextual elements identify opportunities for education, employment and economic support as accepted by the culture in which one is a member. Context is one of three performance factors to divide performance into behavior-specific elements. The elements categorized as contextual include: expectations of culture, personal beliefs and customs, behavioral standards, demographics, stage of life and history, and relationship to time.   Occupation and sense are the additional factors to organizing performance elements. The context factor digs into workplace policy and procedures, as well as the employee's present state of workability, perspective, and values. When employee...
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Four Reasons A Mini Trampoline Works

Four Reasons A Mini Trampoline Works

Here's one idea to help get past that midday point: trample through it! When most reach for caffeine, sugar or just plain zone out, a mini trampoline (also known as a rebounder) is better than a candy dish for visitors.  It would certainly bring laughter into your work space! Below are four reasons a mini trampoline works in the workplace. Jump and chat. Kick off your pumps and jump. Start jumping contests with co-workers.  Ten jumps or fifteen seconds on the mini-trampoline can circulate your blood to wake up your brain and body, lower stress, and cuts out unnecessary snacking! Katrina manages a team of over sixty employees within an international business. She vows her rebounder is an asset to managing the stress within her day: Outside of many health benefits, rebounding is fun, gives you a sense of freedom and I believe it curtails fatigue and makes me feel extremely energetic and confident.  Most importantly, I find myself smiling while I am...
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Facts About The Relationship Between Stress and Sleep

Facts About The Relationship Between Stress and Sleep

Neurosicentist Russell Foster nailed the facts on sleep in his most this TED talk. His advice rings true and in line with wellbeing education and strategies we facilitate. Sleep rebuilds bodily needs that logic is unable to do. Here are Foster's facts on sleep: Retaining information while sleep-deprived creates a self-battle - 'smashed' is how Russell described the war. Sleeping enhances creativity because while sleeping that function is strengthened (creativity = problem-solving). What we burn up during the day is restored while we sleep. What we burn up during the day is restored while we sleep. It's worth re-typing. Fatigued brains crave strategies to wake it up like drugs or stimulants. Caffeine represents the stimulant of choice across much of the Western world. The other stimulant is nicotine. Fueling a waking state with stimulants demands sleep enhancers at the 11 o'clock hour. Some resort to alcohol. Alcohol may be a mild sedative on the infrequent...
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8 Easy Freebies For Guaranteed Body Support At Work or For Travel

8 Easy Freebies For Guaranteed Body Support At Work or For Travel

Adjusting to work conditions as a telecommuter has its challenges. Good fortune may bring a flat surface wide enough to support a laptop. Typically, its propped across the legs with occasional havoc if they're crossed. The back bumper of a car may become a chair. A work surface may be the cost of a warm beverage. Sometimes the price jacks-up when there's the unfortunate parking ticket. Of course, there is that occasional back corner desk that costs musty smells from trash-worthy office furnishings. A spirited stress-less performance while on the road depends on adaption.  This doesn't mean to desensitize postural or mental supremacy. These costs become epidemic to musculoskeletal disorders to the spine or hips or suppressive anxiety beatings. The occasional is an exception but retirement may span into later years if hospital bills or absences from poor work conditions deplete savings accounts. Here are 8 easy freebies guaranteed to unburden and support the mind and body when working or traveling. No new furnishings or equipment required to do these. Frequent...
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Snack and Packing Ideas To Reduce Meal Prep Time

Snack and Packing Ideas To Reduce Meal Prep Time

I used to either eat out or eat garbage - frozen lunches with high nitrate and sodium - but then I would see my colleague with an array of or colorful vegetables, fruits and lean protein. Some signs of disservice to myself that I had noticed after lunch was that I was extremely lethargic and craved salt. Two sure signs of dehydration. Being able to time manage and pack a decent lunch is becoming less and less common. People find themselves with malnutrition, high cholesterol, and all that comes with a poor diet.  However, just like any other occupation, occupational therapists view meal prep as part of instrumental activities of daily living. Throwing a frozen burrito or TV dinner in your lunch bag is not necessarily meal prep. It often is conveniently lazy. Is it archaic or generational-neglect to create a substantially nutritious lunch with produce from a home refrigerator? Perhaps, it's all about time. Time management skills may also be something to improve upon. It...
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Connect the Dots to Relief

Connect the Dots to Relief

This past week, I attended a course that focuses on preventing and managing undesirable behaviors.  As part of the exercise it stated: Connect all dots using two lines: . . .   Fairly easy. It creates a line.  Next was connecting two rows of dots, for a total of six dots.  The instructions read: Connect using 4 lines: .             . .             . .             .   It created a square.  Not too challenging just yet.  The last challenge was to still only: Use four lines to connect 9 circles: .        .        .  .        .        .  .        .        .  I am a very literal person so I assumed the idea was to have every dot connecting to every other dot.  Therefore it made this equation impossible. Unfortunately, this is not the first time this has happened. Over thinking.  Sometimes we complicate things to the...
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Our Gut Brain

Our Gut Brain

Who said we feed more than one brain? The butterflies, the stomach and head aches, inflammation, nausea, gastrointestinal issues, allergies, and many other common illnesses. Our head brain is similar to a car battery. It powers the body. Our gut brain is similar to a car transmission. It turns everything entering the body into energy. Here's how this breaks down. Our gut houses a system called the enteric nervous system. It communicates to our head brain feelings that exceed hunger. Our head brain directly communicates to our gut brain the conversion of sensations to feelings. This information exchange regulates hormone secretion. Stress strains our mood-regulating hormone, serotonin, by a whooping 95%! Organs suffer from that much serotonin. Stress is as common as life choices. It's not bad. The culprit is how or if we are preparing for stress then managing it when it happens. Stress management is taking action by voting for a healthy mind, body, and work environment. Initial exploration to these actions begin with asking these...
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When It All Becomes Overwhelming and You Start to Shut Down

When It All Becomes Overwhelming and You Start to Shut Down

Sometimes I'm scared of my body.  I'm not always sure what pains I will wake up to or what thoughts will wander into my head or even what colors will come out of my nose.  This past year, I've become more in tune with this while living in the Mojave desert.  Lake Havasu City is a very different climate compared to back east - coming in at about 10-18% humidity according to my hermit crabs' barometer.  This has left me at times dehydrated, congested, raspy, and/or wiped out.  Nonetheless, it has helped me become very aware of any changes internally and how the environment affects me. This is something I'm glad I'm beginning to realize now.  It's important knowing who you are and how you react under the most trying experiences because life is constantly providing moments that... keeps us on our toes. This last week I had a student hit on me during his occupational therapy session.  Initially, I realized that...
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