A LifeWorks survey found the most popular well-being benefits were health insurance, flexible scheduling and free food, while benefits used the least included employee assistance programs, wellness programs and mindfulness training. Top reasons employees did not use the benefits included being unaware of them, not understanding the benefits and not having time to use them.
Chicago startup company Karrot Health aims to revamp how employee wellness bonuses work by allowing employers to set up a recurring bonus for people who reach their goals and fitness milestones. Employees can track their progress on their wearable devices or phones and the program's app automatically pulls in the data.
Even short bursts of exercise can alter the molecular composition of fat tissue in a way that benefits metabolic health, a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found. Researchers compared fat samples before and after exercise and found slight, but significant, increases in genetic activity responsible for improved blood flow and reduced inflammation.
Obese women may be at higher risk of developing rosacea, researchers wrote in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. The study also found higher waist circumference and hip circumference were associated with a higher risk of rosacea, independent of body mass index.
A Danish study in the journal Arthritis Care & Research found that children whose mothers had rheumatoid arthritis had a nearly threefold higher likelihood of developing RA, compared with those whose mothers didn't have RA. The findings also showed a 2.2 times increased odds of thyroid disease and 1.6 times greater epilepsy risk among those whose mothers had RA.
Youths who had higher blood concentrations of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids starting at age 8 had a reduced risk of developing asthma and allergies by age 16, according to a Swedish study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Researchers also found that children with high levels of the omega-6 fatty acid called arachidonic acid had a lower risk of developing rhinitis and asthma by age 16.
Doctors practicing telemedicine should be certified in it because a virtual visit "involves a true medical interaction that needs to be defined and categorized," said Dr. Michael Nochomovitz, co-author of a paper published as a JAMA Viewpoint. Nochomovitz does not think there will be a problem with telemedicine adoption if the certification takes shape because "[d]octors will want to do it right."
Seventeen schools in South Carolina are participating in a three-year pilot program that seeks to study the effectiveness of robots in teaching students with autism. The robot used in the study is designed to offer social, emotional and behavioral lessons.
Migrating birds can bring avian influenza to North America from other continents, threatening poultry and waterfowl, according to a genomic study by scientists with the US Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center. Influenza viruses that probably evolved in Asia spread easily among wild birds and between domestic and wild birds in North America in a 2014-15 outbreak, but the spillover rate was minor, and the infection in poultry persisted without further transmission from wild birds, researchers reported in Evolutionary Applications.
A puppy may be an adorable present, but dogs require time, patience, lifestyle changes and a significant financial investment, and the decision to get a dog or puppy should be carefully considered, writes Emily Birch, who studies human-canine interactions at Nottingham Trent University. A UK dog adoption charity said the number of dogs abandoned at its shelters increased 54% last year around Christmas, Birch notes.
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