Each year we hear the same tips to stay healthy and safe, what follows are some tips and tricks you may not have heard before.
SLEEP, SLEEP, SLEEP – In today’s society, sleeping “too much” is seen as weakness, but our hectic lifestyles really require a healthy amount of sleep. Sleeping restores the cells in your body and, while taking naps helps, nothing replaces a full night’s rest. Research indicates people who get six or fewer hours a night have higher blood inflammatory proteins than those who exceed 6 hours of sleep regularly. Premature aging, arthritis, diabetes, stroke and heart disease are all linked to inflammation. Sufficient sleep spurs creativity, improves athletic performances, improves memory, improves grades, sharpens your attention span, keeps you at a healthy weight - in studies dieters felt hungrier when they got less sleep - lowers stress and avoidance of accidents. Insufficient sleep for as little as one night can be as detrimental to your driving ability as having an alcoholic drink. Adequate sleep will keep you healthy and safe. SO, SLEEP IN!
KNOW YOUR FAMILY – Take note of your family’s habits and health history. Even with years of healthy eating, a family history of high cholesterol can still prevail. When you find out which health problems lurk in your family history discuss these with your physician or try http://www.familyhistory.hhs.gov or cancer.org. These resources ask questions about personal or family history and help recommend tips to reduce your health risks.
KNOW YOUR NUMBERS - Know your BMI (Body Mass Index), this is measured through a bioelectric impedance analysis test which is performed at many gyms and doctor’s offices. Know your weight, cholesterol and your daily caloric intake. Your resting heart rate should be between 60 and 80.
KNOW YOUR WAIST TO HIP RATIO - This is one of the best tips for predicting heart attacks. Measure your waist at the smallest point, then measure your hips at the widest point. Divide the first number by the second number. The ideal ratio is 0.8 or lower.
ERGONOMICS - Is your office space ergonomic friendly? The computer monitor should be at least 18 inches from eyes to screen. Your keyboard and mouse should be at elbow height with your feet flat on the floor or a footrest. Your office chair should give you proper lumbar and arm support that can be adjusted to your height. When you can get up and move around to promote circulation. Use proper lifting techniques and avoid repetitive motion when possible. You spend more time in your office space during your waking hours than you do at home, prioritize making your office space comfortable and safe at the same time.
Of course, the common tips are still great advice: Get regular exercise, wash your hands and keep dirty hands away from your face, don’t smoke, schedule regular check-ups, drive safely, etc.
Written by: Deborah Richeal, NRP, MedAire BGA Instructor, USA