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April 17, 2012
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Strategies to improve employee and population health

  Wellness Programs & Trends 
  • Facebook breaks increase employee productivity, study shows
    An Academy of Management study found giving employees a 10-minute break to use the Internet and check Facebook increases happiness, health and productivity. Employees using Facebook were 16% more productive than those who could not use the Internet during breaks and almost 40% more productive than those who did not get any break at all. CNBC/Tech Media Network (4/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Competition shows gender gap among incentive winners
    A competition sponsored by Healthy Wage had 66 employees from several large corporations bet $100 that they could lose at least 10% of their body weight to win $400. After six months, 63% of the men but only 15% of the women reached the goal. A Cornell University economist said the gender difference raises issues about how to tailor incentive programs to different groups of people. Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (4/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Common misconceptions can derail fitness efforts, report says
    Exercise myths that can derail fitness efforts include the idea that regimens that do not lead to weight loss are not working, according to Consumer Reports. Other misconceptions include that exercise can lead to weight loss in specific body areas, that stretching is needed before working out, that sports drinks are better than water and that calorie counters on exercise machines are accurate. The Washington Post/Consumer Reports (4/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health News & Research 
  • Report links mental illness to increased risk of physical problems
    Adults who experienced any form of mental illness in the past year had a higher risk of developing physical problems than those without mental problems, a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration report found. Adults who had serious mental problems in the past year were at greater risk of hypertension, asthma, heart disease, diabetes and stroke than those without mental illnesses. (4/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Scientists debate issue of trace chemicals found in foods
    Research shows that trace levels of harmful chemicals in packaging seep into food, and scientists are researching and debating what levels are dangerous. Janet Nudelman of the Breast Cancer Fund calls it a huge health issue that is not getting enough attention from regulators, while the American Chemistry Council contends there is no reason to worry because all packaging that comes into contact with food must meet FDA safety standards. The Washington Post (4/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Higher mortality risk seen in diabetes patients with CKD
    An analysis in the Journal of the American Heart Association found chronic kidney disease was an important predictor of mortality in type 2 diabetes patients. Older patients, those with longer diabetes duration and those with higher blood pressure had the highest mortality risk, researchers said. (4/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Schools & Community 
  • La. district is honored for wellness, nutrition efforts
    The St. Tammany Parish school system in Louisiana was recognized by the American School Board Journal's Magna Awards program for its efforts to improve student nutrition and wellness. The district received an honorable mention for efforts to "improve food quality, give students greater opportunities for physical activity, and provide classroom instruction on healthy lifestyles," according to the ASBJ. The Times-Picayune (New Orleans) (4/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Oregon schools focus on fitness, nutrition
    An elementary-school physical-education teacher recently invited parents to class as part of "Shape Up Across Oregon" -- a monthlong event promoting fitness -- and as part of plans to teach students about healthy eating. Other "Shape Up" events include a competition in which students pledge to exercise for 1,350 minutes this month and log their progress to complete a virtual trek across the state. The Hillsboro Argus (Ore.) (4/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Wellness Industry Developments 
  AHIP News 
  • Let's get America talking. Dr. Deepak Chopra shows how.
    Physician and New York Times best-selling author, Deepak Chopra, M.D., FACP, will share with us how we can, and should, promote a national conversation around health and well-being. What programs will yield the greatest health benefits to Americans? And, how can we work together to create a culture of health and a community of shared responsibility? Learn more at Institute 2012. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."
--André Gide,
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