Health warnings about sitting too much. A major new study led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that Americans sit too much. Sitting for prolonged periods of time, increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. And most Americans in desk jobs are finding this study to be accurate. According to the study, the research teams analyzed surveys of 51,000 people from 2001 to 2016 to track sitting trends in front of TVs and computers and the total amount of time spent sitting on a daily basis. Unlike other studies that have looked at sedentary behaviors, the research is the first to document sitting in a nationally representative sample of the U.S. population across multiple age groups—from children to the elderly and different racial and ethnic groups. The summary found that in a almost none of the groups analyzed are the numbers going in the right direction. Most Americans spend at least two hours per day sitting and watching television or videos. Among children ages 5-11, 62 percent spent at least that long in front of screens daily. For adolescents ages 12-19, that number was 59 percent. About 65 percent of adults ages 20 to 64 spent at least two hours watching television per day. And most recently, 84 percent of adults over age 65 spent at least that much time sitting watching television. Desk jobs sitting at school were large factors as well. The decline of movement and sitting computer screen time outside of work and school increased. At least half of individuals across all age groups used a computer during leisure time for more than one hour per day. And up to a quarter of the U.S. population used computers outside of work and school for three hours or more. Total daily sitting time increased among adolescents and adults from 2007 to 2016, from seven hours per day to just over eight for teenagers, and from 5.5 hours per day to almost 6.5 for adults, the researchers found. What does this all mean? We sit too much for our own good. We’re seeing more and more health problems from sitting and staying stagnant. We need to get up and move, be more active, and stand up throughout the day to encourage healthier behavior.
Finding the right weight for you. When it comes to weight loss, it’s important to pick the right plan for you, not just the plan that’s popular at the time. There are no lack of fad diets promising fast results. But such diets limit your nutritional intake, can be unhealthy, and tend to fail in the long run. Lifestyle Changes are Key Short term diets generally fail. Short term diets do not help you to change your habits for the long run. The key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is about the lifestyle changes you decide to make. Healthy eating, regular physical activity, and balancing the number of calories you consume with the number of calories your body uses, are all key to changing your lifestyle. Staying in control of your weight contributes to good health now and as you age. Balancing Diet and Activity to Lose and Maintain Weight If your body weight has not changed for several months, you are in caloric balance. If you need to gain or lose weight, you’ll need to balance your diet and activity level to achieve your goal. Your doctor can help you decide how many calories you should have in a day to achieve and maintain your recommended weight. Keep track. To learn how many calories you are taking in, write down the foods you eat and the beverages you drink, plus the calories they have, each day. By writing down what you eat and drink, you become more aware of what you are consuming. Also, begin writing down your physical activity each day and the length of time you do it. Need more tips to help you get on track to a healthy weight? Talk to your doctor to discuss the best track for you and how you can set goals that are achievable.
Antibiotic resistance Year after year, we’re seeing more and more cases of antibiotic-resistant infections. Antibiotic resistance does not mean the body is becoming resistant to antibiotics; it is that bacteria have become resistant to the antibiotics designed to get rid of them. Antibiotic resistance is becoming one of the biggest public health challenges of our time. How Antibiotic Resistance Happens According to the CDC, antibiotic resistance happens when germs like bacteria and fungi develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. That means the germs are not killed and continue to grow. Infections caused by antibiotic-resistant germs are difficult, and sometimes impossible, to treat. In most cases, antibiotic-resistant infections require extended hospital stays, additional follow-up doctor visits, and costly and toxic alternatives. Antibiotic Resistance Threats It threatens everyone. It can affect people at any stage of life, as well as the healthcare, veterinary, and agriculture industries, making it one of the world’s most urgent public health problems. According the the CDC, at least 2 million people in the United States are infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and at least 23,000 people die as a result. No one can completely avoid the risk of resistant infections, but some people are at greater risk than others (for example, people with chronic illnesses). If antibiotics lose their effectiveness, then we lose the ability to treat infections and control public health threats. Many medical advances are dependent on the ability to fight infections using antibiotics, including joint replacements, organ transplants, cancer therapy, and treatment of chronic diseases like diabetes, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis.
What Parents Need to Know about Enterovirus D68 Enterovirus D68. Ever heard of it? Most people haven’t, but it’s something you need to be aware of as a parent. According to the CDC, millions of children in the United States catch enteroviruses every year. Enteroviruses can cause coughing, sneezing, and fever. These viruses most often spread in the summer and fall. Enterovirus D68 is one of many enteroviruses that can make people sick and happens to be on the rise. Take the basic steps to protect your child and others from it. Because they may not have been exposed to these types of viruses before and may not yet have immunity (protection) built up, infants, children, and teenagers are at higher risk than adults for getting infected and sick with enteroviruses like enterovirus D68. If your child has asthma, he or she may be at greater risk for severe respiratory illness from enterovirus D68. Most of the cases were among children, many who had asthma or a history of wheezing. Enterovirus D68 is not a new, but seems to be on the rise and activity varies from year to year. Better lab testing has led to easier detection over the years. Know the Symptoms of Enterovirus D68 Learn about the signs and symptoms of this virus, including the mild and severe symptoms below: Mild symptoms may include:
- runny nose
- body and muscle aches
- difficulty breathing
- Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Washing hands correctly is the most important thing you can do to stay healthy for this virus and other viruses.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact, such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils, with people who are sick.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or shirt sleeve, not your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
- Stay home when you are sick and keep sick children out of school.
Important reasons you should immunize your child. With the recent measles outbreak, news outlets have been flooded with talk about how you should immunize your child. We understand you want to do the best for your children, but it’s also really important to know the importance of immunizations. Like car seats, baby gates and other ways to keep your kids safe, immunizations are just another way to protect them from harmful viruses that your child’s immune system may not be prepared to handle. Immunizations can save your child’s life. Because of advances in medical science, your child can be protected against more diseases than ever before. Some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children, have been eliminated completely and others are close to extinction– primarily due to safe and effective vaccines. Vaccination is very safe and effective. Vaccines are only given to children after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals. Vaccines will involve some discomfort and may cause pain, redness, or tenderness at the site of injection but this is minimal compared to the pain, discomfort, and trauma of the diseases these vaccines prevent. Serious side effects following vaccination, such as severe allergic reaction, are very rare. The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for almost all children. Immunization protects others you care about. Children in the U.S. still get vaccine-preventable diseases. In fact, we have seen resurgences of measles and whooping cough (pertussis) over the past few years. Since 2010, there have been between 10,000 and 50,000 cases of whooping cough each year in the United States and about 10 to 20 babies, many of which were too young to be fully vaccinated, died each year. While some babies are too young to be protected by vaccination, others may not be able to receive certain vaccinations due to severe allergies, weakened immune systems or other reasons. To help keep them safe, it is important that you and your children who are able to get vaccinated are fully immunized. This not only protects your family, but also helps prevent the spread of these diseases to your friends and loved ones. Immunizations can save your family time and money. A child with a vaccine-preventable disease can be denied attendance at schools or child care facilities. Some vaccine-preventable diseases can result in prolonged disabilities and can take a financial toll because of lost time at work, medical bills or long-term disability care. In contrast, getting vaccinated against these diseases is a good investment and usually covered by insurance. The Vaccines for Children program is a federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children from low-income families. Find out more by talking to your doctor. Immunization protects future generations. Immunizations have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago (example smallpox). By vaccinating children against rubella (German measles), the risk that pregnant women will pass this virus on to their fetus or newborn has been dramatically decreased, and birth defects associated with that virus no longer are seen in the United States. If we continue vaccinating now, and vaccinating completely, parents in the future may be able to trust that some diseases of today will no longer be around to harm their children in the future. Still have questions about immunizations? Talk to your doctor and find out more.
Your knees are the largest joint in your body and often take the brunt of the heavy lifting. It heavily relies on ligaments to support it and undergoes a lot of strain to fulfill its range of motion through the course of normal activities. And because of that, people are more prone to knee injuries than other parts of your body. The following items are the most common ailments to the knee. ACL Tear The most common and dramatic knee injury is a tear to the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL. The ACL is the central stability center for the knee as it bends. A fall or twist can predispose the ligament to tearing. ACL tears are the most common tears among athletes such as football players or downhill skiers and can also result from cycling, running, and more. Also, when your quadriceps are stronger than your hamstrings this can predispose you to this injury. When you injure your ACL you will more than likely know you’ve encountered a more serious injury. Generally patients have difficulty bearing weight and there is usually swelling in the joint. Surgery and physical therapy are the most common fixes for this injury. Meniscus Tear Meniscus tears are also very common knee injuries. The meniscus is the cartilage pads between the femur and tibia bones. It helps cushion and stabilize the knee joint. Meniscus tears generally happen during a deep-knee bend, twist or slip and fall. The does not heal easily and may need to be surgically trimmed or repaired. Those that injure their meniscus generally have difficulty bearing weight, swelling, and limited motion. Patients generally may even have problems fully bending or straightening their your knee. Injury Prevention The key to injury prevention and healing from a knee injury includes regular stretching and strengthening. Not only do you want to strengthen the muscles surrounding your knee, but core strengthening is also very beneficial. Stretching with a normal range of motion, and gaining core strength and stability will help before the injury occur. Limber muscles are better able to respond to quick movements and allow the knee to maintain normal motion. Hip and core strength is especially important to knee stability, as weak hips and core can stress the knees. You should consider developing a strength training program that works for you. Physical therapists, athletic trainers, coaches, and other professionals should be able to help you build a program tailored to you. By stretching and strengthening approximately three times a week, you will significantly decrease your likelihood of a knee injury.
Flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, and the sun is staying up longer. And here in Colorado, depending on what part you’re in, we may still even be shoveling snow. It’s this time of year that runners ditch their treadmill for the trail, spring fruit and veggie recipes start to emerge and people are embracing this great transition into summer. It's time for a healthy spring. Here are four new ideas for embracing spring.
- Start cleaning - Spring cleaning! Not only is it a good idea to declutter and organize your house, but take the time to recharge your mind and evaluate your social and work schedule to make more time for yourself.
- Swap the winter soups with fresh salads. Get creative and swap out plain lettuce or romaine for arugula, spinach or kale. Also, try experimenting with new vegetables, like this Endive and Snap Peas Salad with a homemade dressing.
- Get active outdoors! Take a run through the park or grab a friend for a hike. It's nice to come out of hibernation and get a dose of fresh air and feel re-energized in your workout. Get outside and get some fresh air while you work out.
- Eat healthy and have a picnic. Pack a healthy lunch, grab your family, a blanket and head over to your favorite scenic spot. Not sure what to pack? Finger foods, like veggies or salsa are easy to pack and make for convenient snacking.
Mold Exposure and Your Health. Spring often brings wet crawl spaces, and flooded basements. Each of those problems can bring mold. But how does mold affect your health? Keep reading and find out. According to the Centers for Disease Control, exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects, or none at all. Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, molds can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or, in some cases, skin irritation. People with mold allergies may have more severe reactions. Immune-compromised people and people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may get serious infections in their lungs when they are exposed to mold. These people should stay away from areas that are likely to have mold. In 2004 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people; with asthma symptoms in people with asthma; and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition. The IOM also found limited or suggestive evidence linking indoor mold exposure and respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children. In addition, in 2004 the IOM found sufficient evidence to link exposure to damp indoor environments in general to upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people and with asthma symptoms in people with asthma. The IOM also found limited or suggestive evidence linking exposure to damp indoor environments in general to shortness of breath, to respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children and to potential development of asthma in susceptible individuals. In 2009, the World Health Organization issued additional guidance, the WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mold. Other recent studies have suggested a potential link of early mold exposure to development of asthma in some children, particularly among children who may be genetically susceptible to asthma development, and that selected interventions that improve housing conditions can reduce morbidity from asthma and respiratory allergies, but more research is needed in this regard. If you have mold in your home, or are exposed to it in other areas such as a compost pile, cut grass or wood piles, it’s important that you are avoid breathing in mold in these areas to help keep your lungs healthy. Still have questions about mold and your health? Ask your doctor.
Kids Health: Seasonal Allergies - Your kids are having sneezing fits, and cold-like systems —sneezing, congestion, and runny nose. Think it’s just a spring cold? It could actually be seasonal allergies. Colds and seasonal allergies have similar symptoms but generally happen at the same time every year. Often called "hay fever", otherwise known as seasonal allergic rhinitis, are allergy symptoms that happen during certain times of the year, usually when outdoor molds release their spores, and trees, grasses, and weeds release tiny pollen particles into the air to fertilize other plants. An immune system of one that is allergic to mold spores or pollen treat these particles (called allergens) are treated by the body as invaders, and your body feels the need to defend against them. It's the release of these invaders that causes allergy symptoms. Kids can be allergic to one or more types of pollen or mold. The type someone is allergic to determines when symptoms happen. For example, in some states tree pollination is February through May, grass pollen runs from May through June, and weed pollen is from August through October. That said, some kids with these allergies are likely to have increased symptoms at those times. Even kids who have never had seasonal allergies in years past can develop them. Seasonal allergies can start at almost any age, though they usually develop by the time a child is 10 years old and reach their peak in the early twenties, with symptoms often disappearing later in adulthood. Signs and Symptoms If your child develops a "cold" at the same time every year, seasonal allergies might be to blame. Allergy symptoms, which usually come on suddenly and last as long as a person is exposed to the allergen, can include:
- Nasal congestion
- Itchy nose and/or throat
- Clear, runny nose
- Itchy, watery and/or red eyes
Coloradans are known to love hiking, being outside and getting into the mountains. Colorado also has ticks, which can cause problems to our health, including Lyme disease. Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne illness in these regions, Lyme disease is transmitted by the bite of an infected black-legged tick, commonly known as a deer tick. You're more likely to get Lyme disease if you live or spend time in grassy and heavily wooded areas where ticks carrying Lyme disease thrive. It's important to know the signs and symptoms and take common-sense precautions in tick-infested areas. According to the Mayo Clinic the following signs and symptoms are often common with Lyme disease.
Signs and Symptoms:Signs and symptoms of Lyme disease can vary. They usually appear in stages, but the stages can overlap.
Stage 1: Early signs and symptomsA small, red bump, similar to the bump of a mosquito bite, often appears at the site of a tick bite, or often the actual tick will be in the place of the bite. A tick removal and red bum often resolves over a few days. This normal occurrence doesn't indicate Lyme disease. However, these signs and symptoms can occur within a month after you've been infected:
- Rash. From three to 30 days after an infected tick bite, an expanding red area might appear that sometimes clears in the center, forming a bull's-eye pattern. The rash (Erythema migrans) expands slowly over days and can spread to 12 inches (30 centimeters) across. It's typically not itchy or painful but might feel warm to the touch.
- Erythema migrans is one of the hallmarks of Lyme disease, although not everyone with Lyme disease develops the rash. Some people develop this rash at more than one place on their bodies.
- Other symptoms. Fever, chills, fatigue, body aches, headache, neck stiffness and swollen lymph nodes can accompany the rash.
Stage 2: Later signs and symptomsIf you do have Lyme disease and it goes untreated untreated, new signs and symptoms of Lyme infection might appear in the following weeks to months. These include:
- Erythema migrans. The rash may appear on other areas of your body.
- Joint pain. Bouts of severe joint pain and swelling are especially likely to affect your knees, but the pain can shift from one joint to another.
- Neurological problems. Weeks, months or even years after infection, you might develop inflammation of the membranes surrounding your brain (meningitis), temporary paralysis of one side of your face (Bell's palsy), numbness or weakness in your limbs, and impaired muscle movement.