Obesity in the Workplace by Doris Silva

doris pulse Employers have pursued many strategies over the years to control health care costs and improve care. Disappointed by efforts to manage costs through the use of insurance-related techniques (e.g., prior authorization, restricted provider networks), employers have also begun to try to manage health by addressing their employees' key lifestyle risks. Reducing obesity (along with tobacco use and inactivity) is a priority for employers seeking to lower the incidence and severity of chronic illness and the associated demand for health services. (U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health).

Obesity is a condition where a person has accumulated so much body fat that it could negatively impact their health. According to the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC), they estimate that three-fourths of the American population will likely be overweight or obese by the year 2020. Their latest polls show more than one-third if U.S. adults are obese and seventeen percent of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years are overweight. Obesity causes many health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and certain cancers. Medical care costs for obese Americans are very high. This is due to the chronic obesity-related medical conditions that arise from being overweight. Obesity is very common in the U.S. with more than 3 million cases per year. It’s usually self-treatable but can have lasting health conditions if not taken care of right away.

What is obeburger coke obesitysity?

Obesity is the condition of being grossly overweight. More than two-thirds (68.8 percent) of adults are considered to be overweight or obese. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. Childhood obesity is now the number one health concern among parents in the United States, topping drug abuse and smoking.

Who can be affected by obesity?

Ultimately anyone can be affected. Obesity does not discriminate by age, color, or ethnicity.

What causes obesity?

A lot of different things can cause obesity. The most common causes are genetic factors, lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating patterns, or a combination of these factors. Only in rare cases is being overweight caused by a medical condition such as a hormonal problem.

How do you know if you are obese?

Body mass index (BMI) is a calculation of height and weight.  For many, BMI is an effective estimate of body fat.  A BMI of 25-29.9 is overweight and any BMI higher is considered obese.

What are the symptoms of obesity?

There are many symptoms of obesity. You may experience fatigue, snoring, or have a pot belly. You might also have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol or joint pain/disease. Along with these medical conditions, you may also encounter psychosocial problems such as low self-esteem, discrimination, and reduced quality of life. See a provider for more information.

How do you prevent obesity in the workplace?

  • Healthful on-site dining, with the healthiest selections labeled at each station; healthy “grab and go” choices; a daily “smaller portion, smaller price, smaller you” option, allowing employees to purchase a reduced portion of an entrée and vegetable side at a reduced price.

  • No candy or high-calorie impulse purchases at the checkout and receipts can be obtained that have total calories, saturated fat, and salt printed on the receipt.

  • Offer healthy snack items in vending machines.

  • A free bottle of water with the purchase of a designated “value-added meal” (a healthy entrée); after purchasing six healthy entrées on a punch card, the seventh is free.

  • In newly built buildings, attractive, open stairwells with changing visual stimulation (works from the corporate art collection have been hung in stairwells at various times).

  • Attractive walking paths between buildings (in addition to shuttle buses).

  • On-site fitness centers.

  • Regular campaigns and communications on nutrition, weight management, and physical activity, including individual employees' success stories.

  • Health professionals on-site who serve as champions for healthy lifestyles and make themselves available for questions and consultation on health and behavior change.

  • Tobacco-free campus.


 

Did you know?

According to the CDC, obesity affects some groups more than others. Non-Hispanic blacks have the highest rate of obesity (48.1%) followed by Hispanics (42.5%), non-Hispanic whites (34.5%), and non-Hispanic Asians (11.7%). Obesity is higher among middle age adults age 40-59 years (40.2%) and older adults age 60 and over (37.0%) than among younger adults age 20–39 (32.3%).

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

Source:

US National Library of Medicine
National Institutes of Health

 

 

 

 

 

Working on Your Feet- Plantar Fasciitis by Your Marque Team

muc web useMany jobs require standing or walking for prolonged periods of time.  Unfortunately, this can take a toll on one's feet.  The sole of the foot is what is referred to as the plantar area. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation to the plantar fascia ligament.  It is an injury causing micro-tears to the ligament as it attaches to the heel bone or other areas of tightness on the sole of the foot. The plantar fascia is the largest ligament in the human body.

Who’s at Risk:

It is most commonly found in people that do excessive running or walking, have low or very high arches, who tend to be overweight, or that spend long hours on their feet especially when wearing inadequate foot gear.

Symptoms of Plantar Faciitis:plantar fasciitis

  • Heel pain

  • Foot Pain

  • Stiffness

  • Tenderness


Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis:

Physical therapy methods, including stretching exercises, are used to treat and prevent plantar fasciitis. Other methods of treatment may include anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or cortisone injections.  These are often helpful along with custom-made orthotics.

Some patients who had custom-made orthotics made, noticed a difference in about 2 weeks. Their natural arch came back after a few months, for those who wore them continuously. The patients who opted out of medication treatments are highly recommended to buy a great sports running shoe that has soft, cushioned soles to reduce irritation of inflamed tissues from plantar fasciitis.  In some rare cases, surgery is performed on chronically inflamed plantar fascia if conservative treatments fail.

Methods of Prevention:


    • Wearing appropriate foot gear

    • Make stretching and flexibility part of your daily routine - allow yourself plenty of time to warm up and stretch your calf and feet before beginning any activity



 

Before opting for immediate surgery, it is best to try the above conservative methods such as orthotics or medications for treatment first.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autophagy: Our Body’s Own Recycling Program by Walid Faraj, D.O.

dr. faraj newOptimize your performance at work and in life- is autophagy the key to good health?

In 2016, the Nobel Prize winner in Medicine/Physiology was Japanese Cell Biologist, Yoshinori Ohsumi, PhD. He discovered and explained the mechanism of autophagy as it relates to disease and aging. Autophagy is a process by which your body ‘cleans out’ various ‘debris.’ Literally, the terms means “self-eating." It has been explained as “your cells create membranes that hunt out scraps of dead, diseased, or worn-out cells; gobble them up; strip’em for parts; and use the resulting molecules for energy or to make new cell parts.” Dr. Colin Champ, radiation oncologist also explains it well: “Think of it as our body’s innate recycling program. Autophagy makes us more efficient machines to get rid of faulty parts, stop cancerous growths, and to stop metabolic dysfunction, like obesity and diabetes.”

One of Dr. Ohsumi’s major accomplishments was identifying the genes used for autophagy in baker’s yeast. He was then able to use this info to illustrate how this mechanism for autophagy works in human cells. These discoveries helped to reveal that mutations in autophagy genes can cause disease states, such as cancer, neurodegenerative conditions, and type 2 DM, in humans. This is because autophagy helps control six important physiological functions:

  • Providing energy production

  • Supporting the building blocks for cellular renewal

  • Augmenting cellular response to stress, including starvation

  • Renewing debris after infection

  • Contributing to embryo development and cell differentiation

  • Controlling quality control measures, such as eliminating damaged DNA


 

As a result, boosting autophagy is a critical consideration to improve and maintain our well-being. Three important lifestyle modifications can help induce and optimize autophagy:

EXERCISE

The first is exercise, especially high intensity interval training, which induces damage to muscles and tissues.

INTERMITTENT FASTING

Two is intermittent fasting, that is 16-18 hours per day, usually done by skipping breakfast, which induces biological stress.

HIGH FATS and LOW CARBS

The third is a high fat and low carb diets, which induces ketosis. This occurs when diet consists of 60-70% fat, 20-30% protein, while carbohydrates are kept below 50gm. Further, similar benefits occur when carbohydrates did not exceed 30% of the overall caloric intake. Interestingly, too much protein in the diet can inhibit autophagy. Furthermore, lowering protein intake to 25gm per day once a week can further induce autophagy.

In all, our body’s autophagy process contributes significantly to preserving health and reversing disease by decreasing inflammation and improving cellular health.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

Bipolar Disorder at Work by Jessica Suarez

Jessica suarezDid a boss or employee lose their cool in the company meeting?  Does that colleague seem a bit volatile and unstable? It can be challenging working with individuals who have inconsistent personalities which may mask a deeper, underlying, serious medical issue.


What is Bipolar Disorder?

Our society often uses the term “bipolar” loosely to describe a person with extremely erratic mood swings.  Bipolar disorder is a serious medical condition which encompasses so much more than just an outburst of anger. It involves episodes of hallucinations, psychosis, delusions, and/or paranoid rage. The known cause of bipolar disorder involves dysregulation of the brain functioning and it can also be genetic. It is usually diagnosed between the ages of 15-24 and persists throughout a lifetime. Once you have been diagnosed, the doctor will decide on a treatment plan that works best. The treatment plan could include medication, psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy, etc.

Symptoms

Bipolar “mood episodes” include unusual mood changes along with unusual sleep habits, activity levels, thoughts, or behavior. People may have manic episodes, depressive episodes, or “mixed” episodes. A mixed episode has both manic and depressive symptoms. These mood episodes cause symptoms that last a week or two or sometimes longer. During an episode, the symptoms last every day for most of the day.

Mood episodes are intense. The feelings are strong and happen along with extreme changes in behavior and energy levels. (https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder/index.shtm)

Frequently Asked Questions

Are bipolar disorder and depression the same?  Although bipolar disorder and depression share similar symptoms, people with bipolar disorder experience periods of high energy called mania.stigma_work-640x325

Are mood swings normal?  Experiencing mood swings from feeling happy to sad are normal. The difference between mood swings for people who have bipolar disorder is that they are far more severe.

Do children get bipolar disorder?  Although children are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, doctors usually have a hard time distinguishing bipolar from ADHD.

Facts:

Although genetics can play a role in being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the condition will be inherited. For instance, research of identical twins showed that even when one twin has bipolar disorder, the other may not. In addition to genetics, stressful life events could trigger bipolar symptoms.

People with bipolar disorder are rarely a danger to others. In fact, research shows that people with bipolar disorder and other mental illness are at higher risk to be victims of abuse.

References

http://www.everydayhealth.com/bipolar-disorder-pictures/bipolar-disorder-facts-and-myths-0119.aspx#15

http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/bipolar-disorder-manic-depression

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

Recordable Injuries and Risk Management by Ann Marie Byrd, Ph.D.

Ann Marie webEmployers are often concerned about a new injury affecting their Xmod, but only certain types of workplace injuries have an impact on an employer’s loss run.  But which injuries “count” and which ones do not?  Let’s shed some light on the topic!

“Recordable” injuries do indeed impact an employer’s Xmod.  According to the California Labor and OSHA guidelines, “recordable” work-related injuries and illness include the following:


 

  • Injuries that result in death, loss of consciousness

  • Days away from work or restricted work activity and job transfer

  • Medical treatment beyond “first aid”

  • Work-related cancer, chronic disease, bone fractures or punctured eardrums

  • Needlesticks, cuts with blood cross-contamination and TB infection


 

XmodThankfully, minor injuries that are considered “first aid” are not “recordable.”  A first aid claim that has been “reported” by the provider does not affect the employer’s loss run.

Additionally, if employers are concerned about the rising costs of work comp insurance premiums, there are actions that they can take, such as requesting an audit to verify accuracy and dispute errors with their insurance provider.

Another approach is for employers to re-evaluate the risk for injury in the workplace.  Businesses can use these helpful tips to support risk management efforts.  Consider doing the following, if your business hasn’t done so already:

  • Offer OSHA safety classes

  • Implement a Safety Procedures and Training Program

  • Reward employees for safe behavior


 

This spring, make safety in the workplace a top priority!

Resources:

http://www.osha.com

http://www.labor.ca.gov/laborlawreg.htm

lancastersafety.com/safety-training

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 

 

Electronic Cigarettes by Lynn Stanton, M.D.

Dr.-Stanton-224x300Tobacco use is a highly significant detriment to the general health of smokers and chewers.  Additionally, the lingering odor from the smoke is very undesirable; your co-workers can always tell when you’ve had a work break.   Despite the clear warnings about the health dangers of tobacco use, cessation is difficult whether it’s smoked or chewed.  The addictive properties of tobacco are well-known.  Are electronic cigarettes a treatment option?

In 2007, e-cigarettes were introduced in the U.S. Since then, there have been efforts in the medical science community to use the e-cigarettes as a tool to help tobacco users abstain.  So far, the usefulness has been on a par with the nicotine patches.  The effectiveness has been less than ten percent.

There are 3 types of e-cigarettes:



  1. One piece disposable vaporizer with a nicotine cartridge.

  2. Two-piece device with a rechargeable battery and refillable cartridge.E-cigarette-Vape-Store-300x300-1

  3. Three-piece kit with a rechargeable battery, nicotine cartridge, and atomizer.


 

The e-cigarettes are safer than inhaled or chewed tobacco as they lack the tar, carcinogens, and other harmful chemicals found in tobacco.  E-smokers will experience mouth, pharyngeal irritation, and cough.  The federal government is planning to decide how to regulate the e-cigs.  There are currently no laws concerning e-cigarette usage.  They are considered a medical device that does not provide any health benefits.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.
 

The Going and Coming Rule by Catherine Moon, Director of Workplace Wellness

RECORD-BREAKING $10 MILLION WORK COMP SETTLEMENT

cathy moon no bkgrndIn late March, a workers' compensation judge approved a $10 million settlement in a California case weighted on the Going and Coming rule. The details involved an employee that was working beyond the scope of her usual working hours and as a result the case was filed as a workers’ compensation claim because of an exception in the Going and Coming rule. The plaintiff sustained severe overall injuries, which included traumatic brain injury, while commuting from a special assignment on behalf of her employer.  It is a case of particular interest because normal commutes are typically not covered, but the award in favor of the plaintiff was due to the fact that this particular work assignment was not during the normal work hours and further the commute was not part of the normal everyday commute. Press surrounding the case has indicated that the dollar amount is the highest-known award for workers' compensation in the country.

Furtgavel pngher information, resources and research about the Going and Coming Rule can be found at the following websites:

https://www.lexisnexis.com/legalnewsroom/workers-compensation/b/recent-cases-news-trends-developments/archive/2015/08/14/california-exceptions-to-the-going-and-coming-rule.aspx?Redirected=true

https://www.justia.com/trials-litigation/docs/caci/3700/3724.html

 

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Into First Aid by Your Marque Team

Spring is the perfect time to sweep away the dust away and see old, familiar things with fresh eyes—even when it comes to OSHA guidelines!  When is the last time you wondered:  what kinds of injuries really are considered “first aid,” and what does that term actually mean?

According to California Labor Code 5401a, first aid is “any one-time treatment, and any follow-up visit for the purpose of observation of minor scratches, cuts, burns, splinters, or other minor industrial injury which do not ordinarily require medical care by a physician or registered medical professional.”

Here is a quick “spring” refresher course in what is considered first aid:


 

  • Using non-prescription medications at non-prescription strength and administering tetanus immunizationsfirst aid

  • Cleaning, flushing or soaking wounds and using wound coverings

  • Hot or cold therapy, massage, and drinking fluids to relieve heat stress

  • Non-rigid means of support like elastic bandages and wraps and immobilization devices

  • Drilling nails to relieve pressure, draining fluids from blisters, using finger guards

  • Removing foreign objects from the eye or other body parts using irrigation or simple means like tweezers or swabs and covering those areas


 

And remember this important point:  an employee that has a laceration or cut serious enough to require sutures or stiches cannot be considered first aid!  That’s a recordable injury, my friends.

Enjoy the beginning of spring in good health!

 

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.