SPC Stand Up!

9 ways sitting hurts

When you sit still for too long for too many years, problems build up. Your muscles shorten, tighten and become weak. You lose flexibility and develop joint problems, herniated discs and chronic energy loss.

On the other hand, even gentle movement gets your blood flowing and increases your heart rate and breathing, which helps your lungs. Exercise is great, of course, and it’s ideal if you could work out and move your body throughout the day. But if you can’t do anything more strenuous, taking regular breaks from sitting is very valuable.

Some ideas:

The Walking Meeting: If you have an office job, go for a walk with your colleagues. Bring a small notebook or just dictate notes into your phone.  As a bonus, movement causes increased blood flow to the brain, so you may find it easier to concentrate and think during a walking meeting — especially compared with a crowded office with too little oxygen.

The Five-Minute Restart: If you’re desk-bound, get up and walk around for five to seven minutes every hour. Refill your water glass, walk up and down the stairs or just circle around the office. Taking a short walk before lunch helps your digestion.

The Desk Jock: If walking breaks aren’t an option, at the very least you can raise yourself up several times in a row from your chair. Or stand behind your chair, hold on to the edge and bend your knees in a series of squats. Stretch your neck from side to side and shrug your shoulders.

Studies show most people think they move much more than they do. A good goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day — not all at once, but throughout the day. That’s the equivalent of about eight kilometers, which may sound daunting, but the average person walks more than half that distance in a typical day. Taking a five-minute walking break every hour of your work day would add several thousand steps to your daily total. Add in a stroll before lunch and after dinner, and you’re almost there. No gym membership required!

If you’re considering moving more, the hardest part is sticking with it long enough to develop the habit.  Find little ways to reward yourself for your efforts in those crucial first few weeks and keep reminding yourself that it will get easier. Eventually, you will come to enjoy adding more movement to your life.

Posted in Back Care, Exercise/Fitness, Prevention | Leave a comment

April 7th is World Health Day 2015: Food safety

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Unsafe food is linked to the deaths of an estimated 2 million people annually – including many children. Food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances is responsible for more than 200 diseases, ranging from diarrhoea to cancers.

New threats to food safety are constantly emerging. Changes in food production, distribution and consumption; changes to the environment; new and emerging pathogens; antimicrobial resistance – all pose challenges to national food safety systems. Increases in travel and trade enhance the likelihood that contamination can spread internationally.

The topic for World Health Day 2015 is food safety

As our food supply becomes increasingly globalized, the need to strengthen food safety systems in and between all countries is becoming more and more evident. That is why the WHO is promoting efforts to improve food safety, from farm to plate (and everywhere in between) on World Health Day, 7 April 2015.

WHO helps countries prevent, detect and respond to foodborne disease outbreaks – in line with the Codex Alimentarius, a collection of international food standards, guidelines and codes of practice covering all the main foods and processes. Together with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), WHO alerts countries to food safety emergencies through an international information network.

Five keys to safer food

Food safety is a shared responsibility. It is important to work all along the food production chain – from farmers and manufacturers to vendors and consumers. For example, WHO’s Five keys to safer food offer practical guidance to vendors and consumers for handling and preparing food:

  • Key 1: Keep clean
  • Key 2: Separate raw and cooked food
  • Key 3: Cook food thoroughly
  • Key 4: Keep food at safe temperatures
  • Key 5: Use safe water and raw materials.

World Health Day 2015 is an opportunity to alert people working in different government sectors, farmers, manufacturers, retailers, health practitioners – as well as consumers – about the importance of food safety, and the part each can play in ensuring that everyone can feel confident that the food on their plate is safe to eat.

Posted in Balanced Nutrition, Prevention | Leave a comment

April is Counseling Awareness Month

The American Counseling Association (ACA) has named April “National Counseling Awareness Month”.

What is professional counseling?
Counseling is a collaborative effort between the counselor and client. Professional counselors help clients identify goals and potential solutions to problems which cause emotional turmoil; seek to improve communication and coping skills; strengthen self-esteem; and promote behavior change and optimal mental health.

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SPC´s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and Work/Life services are offered through Health Advocate, formerly called Corporate Care Works. The EAP and Work/Life program provides comprehensive and professional assistance to help you lead a happier and more productive life at home and at work.

  • Services are available to you, your spouse, dependent children, parents and parents-in-law.
  • Certified counselors can help you cope with stress, family problems, grief, conflicts, alcohol/ drug problems and other issues
  • Specialists can provide help and referrals to appropriate services for childcare, eldercare, legal concerns, financial issues, and parenting and adoption

Contacts

All SPC budgeted employees and their families are eligible for this  benefit, even if they are not covered through a college insurance plan.

 

Posted in Health Management Resources, mental wellness, Stress Management | Leave a comment

Low Impact Circuit: A Total Body Workout at EpiTech

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You are invited to join our new Low Impact Circuit: A Total Body Workout exercise class on Tuesdays at 4:45pm-5:45pm in room #2-423 in the EpiTech building.

This class starts with low impact exercises which are easy on your joints and muscles, followed by body sculpting using resistance bands and closes with an abdominal focus and a full body stretch.  This is an easy to moderate class, perfect for people just getting back into exercise, or those who want to exercise without doing high impact activity.

What: Low Impact Circuit: A Total Body Workout

Where: Room #2-423 on the EpiCenter Campus.

When: Tuesdays 4:45 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.

Fee: $5.00 per class

Materials: Please wear athletic clothing. Bring bottled water, exercise mat and a small towel.

Release of Liability: Before attending your first class, please fill out this Release of Liability.

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National Poison Prevention Week – March 15th-21st

 Safety tips from the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ poison prevention tips for children and adults.

Drugs and Medicines aapcclogo

  • Only take prescription medications that are prescribed to you by a healthcare professional. Misusing or abusing prescription or over-the-counter medications is not a “safe” alternative to illicit substance abuse.
  • Never take larger or more frequent doses of your medications, particularly prescription pain medications, to try to get faster or more powerful effects.
  • Never share or sell your prescription drugs. Keep all prescription medicines (especially prescription painkillers, such as those containing methadone, hydrocodone, or oxycodone), over-the-counter medicines (including pain or fever relievers and cough and cold medicines), vitamins and herbals in a safe place that can only be reached by people who take or give them.
  • Follow directions on the label when you give or take medicines. Read all warning labels. Some medicines cannot be taken safely when you take other medicines or drink alcohol.
  • Turn on a light when you give or take medicines at night so that you know you have the correct amount of the right medicine.
  • Keep medicines in their original bottles or containers.
  • Monitor the use of medicines prescribed for children and teenagers, such as medicines for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.1
  • Dispose of unused, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs.

Household Chemicals and Carbon Monoxide

  • Always read the label before using a product that may be poisonous.
  • Keep chemical products in their original bottles or containers. Do not use food containers such as cups, bottles, or jars to store chemical products such as cleaning solutions or beauty products.
  • Never mix household products together. For example, mixing bleach and ammonia can result in toxic gases.
  • Wear protective clothing (gloves, long sleeves, long pants, socks, shoes) if you spray pesticides or other chemicals.
  • Turn on the fan and open windows when using chemical products such as household cleaners.

Keep Young Children Safe from Poisoning

Be Prepared

  • Put the poison help number, 1-800-222-1222, on or near every home telephone and save it on your cell phone. The line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Be Smart about Storage

  • Store all medicines and household products up and away and out of sight in a cabinet where a child cannot reach them.
  • When you are taking or giving medicines or are using household products:
    • Do not put your next dose on the counter or table where children can reach them—it only takes seconds for a child to get them.
    • If you have to do something else while taking medicine, such as answer the phone, take any young children with you.
    • Secure the child safety cap completely every time you use a medicine.
    • After using them, do not leave medicines or household products out.  As soon as you are done with them,  put them away and out of sight in a cabinet where a child cannot reach them.
    • Be aware of any legal or illegal drugs that guests may bring into your home. Ask guests to store drugs where children cannot find them.  Children can easily get into pillboxes, purses, backpacks, or coat pockets.
Posted in Prevention, Safety | Leave a comment
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