Connect with us

Fitness & Exercise

WHO Says $1 Trillion Is Lost Annually To Workplace Depression and Anxiety Disorders

Should discussing mental health issues at the workplace be a taboo?

Published

on

mental health at work leads to lower productivity
Mental health at work should not be a taboo topic. Photo Credit: Shivmirthyu/Pixabay

Yesterday, April 28, was the World Day for Safety and Health at Work. This is an annual celebration and promotion of occupational safety and health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), low productivity in the workplace as a result of depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy $1 trillion each year.

WHO estimates that over 300 million suffer from depression, leading to reduced work performance, around the world.

Many of the people suffering from depression also experience anxiety, even though this is not always related to work. But WHO made it clear that a negative work environment is linked to mental and physical health prooblems, as well as lost productivity as a result of absenteeism and substance abuse.

Employers Should Address Mental Health Issues at Work by Reviewing Work Cultures

“Workplaces that promote mental health and support people with mental disorders are more likely to reduce absenteeism, increase productivity and benefit from associated economic gains,” WHO wrote.

With the 2019 World Day for Safety and Health at Work, mental health and workplace experts agree on one thing: mental health issues start with individuals and spread to the entire workplace, impacting work culture and overall productivity, Psychology Today wrote. They therefore advise employers and work supervisors to address mental health issues in the workplace.

mental health at work costs billions in loss of productivity

Mental health at work costs billions in loss of productivity. Photo Credit: Wokandapix/Pixabay

They can do this by acknowledging that mental health is real and counterproductive. They should therefore create a workplace culture that reduces stress and anxiety, as well as encourage employees to speak up about personal or work worries. This will ultimately boost employee engagement and productivity in the workplace.

Why Discussing Mental Health in the Workplace Shouldn’t Be a Taboo

The problem however is that it has become a taboo to talk about mental issues in the workplace. Some employers do not even agree that mental health is associated with work productivity. Such employers prefer to talk about work safety and health, but not mental health. This gives employees the impression that owning up to work stress is taboo, and that it may endanger their employment status.

Morra Aarons-Mele in a Harvard Business Review disclosed that employees rarely talk about mental health at work. She said people lock up themselves in the bathroom if they feel emotional at work or offer an excuse to be absent from work. They do not ask to have a flex time or work from home unless of course they have a new baby or receive news that their parents are ill.

“The burden of depression and anxiety is shared by all members of a workplace, and it’s a vicious cycle,” Aarons-Mele said.

Working from Home Reduces the Effects of Workplace Stress and Anxiety

With newer technologies, people are able to ask to work from home if they feel down, transforming the workplace experience and giving better flexibility to workers. Mental health issues in the workplace can be reduced if people can afford to work from home.

Without this option, people get easily experience a burnout and run dangerously low on personal bandwidth.

Debilitating mental health in the workplace impacts an individual in four major areas – mental, physical, emotional/interpersonal, and financial. “Each affects the other in a downward spiral of cognitive drain, physical debilitation, compromised relationships, and a real loss of productivity and profits,” wrote Camille Preston in her 2012 book, Rewired.

 

 

Liu Kang is an American with Chinese ancestry. She attended University of Maryland where she studied Political Science. She worked on the politics desks of newspapers and later switched to the health desk where she covered health issues. She is married with two kids. She records personal songs in her spare time.

Continue Reading

Fitness & Exercise

Long-Term Weight Loss Can Be Most Assured With Metformin, Study Finds

Metformin induces 5% weight loss in one year, with promises of permanent weight loss forever

Published

on

Metformin and weight loss
Metformin and lifestyle interventions effective for weight loss. Photo Credit: PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay

People who lose weight have problems keeping it that way. Yet, effective weight loss is important for overall health management. It is also crucial to preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes. To this end, researchers found identifying predictors of long-term weight loss is important for better health. Metformin has been found to help.

In a clinical trial and follow-up study of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), researchers found that patients who used metformin lost 5% of their body weight within one year. The American College of Physician researchers further found that the ability of a patient to lose weight within the first year of treatment is essential for continued loss of weight in subsequent years.

People Who Lose Weight with Metformin in First Year Maintain It for Several Years After

In fact, they found that people who used metformin lost significant weight and demonstrated potential for more weight loss in later years. This is not so true for people who were treated with placebo or asked to observe lifestyle interventions for weight loss.

Apart from treatment with metformin, researchers also found that older people who lost weight within one year are able to maintain their weight loss permanently for many years.

This study was published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. The study involved 3,000 participants with pre-diabetes. The research study is the largest and longest-running study where metformin is applied for the prevention of diabetes.

Participants who used metformin and adhered to lifestyle changes did not only lose 5% of their body weight within the first year of treatment, they maintained their weight loss 6-15 years after treatment. Meanwhile, early weight loss is essential for effectively managing diabetes incidence.

Metformin Tends To Lower Risks Associated With Obesity and Its Complications

Experts say patients who lose 5% of their body weight in one year have lower risks of developing full diabetes 15 years after.

The study authors advise that future studies should examine if metformin would be effective for maintaining long-term weight loss after initial weight loss with lifestyle modifications, anti-obesity drugs or devices, or bariatric surgery.

Obesity complications have been linked to diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and other health complications that are life-threatening. Some people find it hard to lose weight while others find it harder to maintain weight loss.

Medications such as metformin among others used in combination with lifestyle changes and weight loss devices have held out so much hope for patients.

Continue Reading

Fitness & Exercise

Increasing Bone Fractures in Seniors Linked To Walking Leashed Dogs

Walking a dog comes with personal injury risks to elderly seniors

Published

on

walking a dog injury
An old woman walking her dogs. Photo Credit: Pxhere

Elderly American seniors walk their dogs as a way of exercising themselves. Where seniors are not able to engage in strenuous physical exercises, they see dog-walking as a viable alternative. Researchers have however associated increasing bone fractures suffered by seniors with dog-walking activity.

This was according to a study was published in the journal JAMA Surgery by authors from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Hip Fracture and Injury to Upper Body Parts Is Commonest With Dog-Walking Incidents

The research was conducted from 2004 to 2017. The number of seniors who suffered bone injuries when walking a dog in 2004 was 1,671 and 4,396 in 2017 – a 163% increase. This largely occurred to seniors aged 65 and above. The bone fractures usually involved the wrist, hips, upper arm, and shoulder among other body parts in the upper extremities.

Hip fractures related to dog walking is the commonest injury among the seniors. Incidentally, 30% of mortality rates are related to hip injuries in seniors older than 65. When elders suffer hip fractures, they experience poor health, lack of mobility and reduced physical fitness.

The researchers attribute the rising incidents of dog-walking related injuries among seniors to two factors. These are increased pet ownership and greater emphasis on physical activity for seniors. Seniors see dog-walking as a way of getting active; and it also provides them with emotional, social and physical health benefits.

Study lead author Kevin Pirrucio of Penn Medicine said the study highlights the benefits to walking a dog. But it also reveals there are injury risks to dog-walking and American seniors would do well to be aware of them. The study team included Jaimo Ahn, an associate professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, and Yeo Myoung Yoon, a research assistant at Penn.

Research Focus on Dog-Walking Is As Important As On Cancer and Heart Attacks

Only fractured patients who presented themselves for treatment at the hospital within the study period participated in the research. This made the authors of the study to believe they may have undercounted the actual numbers of seniors who suffered fractures while walking dogs within the study period.

Other seniors with dog-walking related injuries were not considered for the study because they were not available for inclusion.

The researchers said they do not intend to discourage seniors from owning or walking dogs. But want them to be aware of the injury risks associated with the outdoor activity.

According to Ahn, “everyday actions mean everyday consequences.” To this extent, researching and reporting on little things such as walking a dog is as important as medical focus on “rarer but devastating conditions such as cancer and heart attacks.”

Continue Reading

Fitness & Exercise

Scientists Create Tool To Document Injuries in Older Patients & Prevent Elder Abuse

Old patients injuries and assaults to be documented and prevented

Published

on

elder abuse Geri-IDT
Elder abuse can be managed with better Geri-IDT documentation. Photo Credit: truthseeker08/Pixabay

Researchers say about 10% of older adults are subjected to various forms of physical abuse every year. And since very old folks are prone to physical injuries such as fractures and bruising, it becomes difficult for clinicians to determine if an injury is caused by an accident or elder abuse.

This situation led to the creation of the Geriatric Injury Documentation Tool (Geri-IDT).

Geri-IDT enables clinicians and prosecutors to document elder injuries with a view to determining if they are caused by accidents or physical abuses. Experts believe that when aged folks sustain injuries, this is caused by accidents occasioned by neglect, or ill-treatment and physical assaults. But with the standardized framework for documenting injuries found on aged folks, professionals will be able to prevent elder abuses.

Geri-IDT Important For Documenting and Preventing Geriatric Injuries and Elder Abuse

A study led by Laura Mosqueda lead to the creation of the new tool. She is the dean of the Keck School of Medicine at the University of South Carolina. Mosqueda is professor of family medicine and the director of the National Center on Elder Abuse. The study and the application of Geri-IDT were published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

elder abuse preventable with Geri-IDT

Elder abuse and injuries preventable with Geri-IDT tool. Photo Credit: Truthseeker08/Pixabay

According to the study leader, Geri-IDT as a tool includes diagrams and questionaire which clinicians can use to examine an injury and ask relevant questions necessary to documenting injuries. This will not only provide detailed injury documentation but also aid in improved medical treatments.

It becomes necessary to document geriatric injuries and abuse because of the following needs –

  • Need for medical professionals to understand patient history
  • Physical appearance of patients before treatment is administered for injuries
  • Physical head-to-toe examination for wounds
  • Evidences that negate patient abuse and neglect

Geri-IDT Saves Lives, Apply Justice to Caregivers, and Makes Doctors Work Easier

Clinicians may initially find it hard to use the injury tool, but they will soon find that its value goes beyond documentation to saving of lives and legal exonerations.

“The need to protect our older loved ones from elder abuse is great,” said Alexis Coulourides Kogan, PhD, assistant professor of family medicine at the Keck School and co-author of the study. “If documentation of physical findings is poor, then we may be missing the big picture.”

Kogan said clinicians and doctors cannot fully understand patients’ injuries from their medical chart or their reasons for hospital visit. But the new geriatric tool for injury documentation will go a long way to help.

“If there is suspected elder abuse, these records can potentially help prosecutors achieve justice and protection for older adults or exonerate innocent caregivers,” Kogan said.

While commending the researchers for including photographs and body diagrams with written documentation, experts said it would be great to integrate Geri-IDT into electronic medical records already in use for elderly patients.

The researchers are now looking into obtaining funding to test the Geri-IDT tool in clinical settings.

Continue Reading

Trending