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This site is an archive of our Well Written Blog posts until April 2020. For the most up-to-date content visit NWIJournal.com.

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Quotes (March 2011)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Updated: Thursday, December 27, 2012

This month’s quotes are inspired by an event on March 22: World Water Day. The international observance of World Water Day is an initiative that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro. You can now start preparing actions for World Water Day 2011. The theme will be Water for Cities: Responding to the Urban Challenge. UN-WATER and UN-HABITAT are organizing the day, content and key messages.

Water is a basic requirement for all life, yet water resources are facing increasing demands from, and competition among, users.

Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody. – Mark Twain

Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams - they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do - they all contain truths. – Muhammad Ali

My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them. – Mitch Hedberg

When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat. – Nelson Mandela

Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all. – Nelson Mandela

Water, air, and cleanness are the chief articles in my pharmacy. – Napoleon Bonaparte

In the world there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong nothing can surpass it. – Lao Tzu

Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it. – Lao Tzu

If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above water. – Ernest Hemingway

If you must speak ill of another, do not speak it, write it in the sand near the water's edge. – Napoleon Hill

Water is the driving force of all nature. – Leonardo da Vinci

Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation... even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind. – Leonardo da Vinci

There's something wrong with a mother who washes out a measuring cup with soap and water after she's only measured water in it. – Erma Bombeck

I'll do whatever it takes to win games, whether it's sitting on a bench waving a towel, handing a cup of water to a teammate, or hitting the game-winning shot. – Kobe Bryant

My main job was developing talent. I was a gardener providing water and other nourishment to our top 750 people. Of course, I had to pull out some weeds, too. – Jack Welch

The man who never alters his opinions is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind. – William Blake

Take a course in good water and air; and in the eternal youth of Nature you may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you. – John Muir

Soap and water and common sense are the best disinfectants. – William Osler

Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer. – Dave Barry

If you can't stand a little sacrifice and you can't stand a trip across the desert with limited water, we're never going to straighten this country out. – Ross Perot

Tags:  Environment  Inspiration  March 2011  Physical  Quotes  Social 

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Fun Facts (March 2011)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Updated: Thursday, December 27, 2012

March brings with it the Spring or Vernal Equinox and more hours of daylight. In salute to increased daylight and sunshine, this month’s Fun Facts are dedicated to the environmental dimension of wellness. Below are some great facts about solar power.

  • SOLAR ENERGY: The production of oxygen and food would be impossible without solar energy. Today less than 0.1 percent of our heating, transportation and power energy comes from direct sunlight although it is now possible to meet all our energy needs with this simple, renewable resource.
  • SOLAR HOUSE: A solar house is any house that makes good use of the suns energy. It's a solar energy fact that an ordinary house becomes a solar house when it gains more energy than it loses. Passive Solar greenhouse additions can transform ordinary houses into solar houses, but these additions are best suited for arid sunny areas. Active solar, hydronic systems are best suited for cold climates where sunlight is minimal and extended heat storage is critical.
  • SOLAR COLLECTORS AND SOLAR PANELS: Solar Collectors transform short wavelengths into long wavelengths and trap this energy in the form of heat which is transferred and transported into a heat storage vault. Solar panels convert selected wavelengths of light into electricity.
  • ENERGY IN SUNLIGHT: The energy from the sun varies from place to place and is very dependent on weather conditions. Without an atmosphere 1.4 KW/m2 per hour is available, but with an atmosphere we can only count on 1KW/m2 per hour in the absence of clouds.
  • VALUE OF SUNLIGHT: How much is one hour of sunlight on three square meter worth? If we are talking about electricity and we say that electricity is worth $0.10 per KWH than 3KWH are worth $0.30. The problem is that PV panels have a radiant energy conversion rate of about 20 percent or less so three hours of sunlight on one square meter of a solar panel is worth less than $0.06. How about heat? How much is 3 hours of sunlight on one square meter of a solar collector worth if we are talking about heat? Well 1KWH = 3400 BTU so 3KWH = 10,200 BTU. Since one gallon of fuel oil contains 150,000 BTU 10,200 BTU are the equivalent of .07 gallons of fuel oil. Now if fuel oil is selling for $2/gallon which it soon will be the value 10,200 BTU is about $0.14. How about the value of heat energy over the period of one year on a roof (20’ x 50’). At $2.00/gallon our solar roof, constructed optimally, could save us as much as $6,460/yr.
  • COST OF SOLAR ENERGY: It will typically cost a person between $100,000 and $200,000 to convert their house into an energy independent house using commercially available solar application retrofit products and commercial installers. Even at a cost of $200,000 this kind of retrofit may not be feasible if the roof is too small or oriented in the wrong direction. Sounds like a lot of money huh? It is a lot of money. This is why most people don not take solar energy seriously. You could dabble with a few solar toys if you like, but if you are seriously interested in declaring energy independence at a reasonable price you should consider designing and building an energy independent house from the ground up for not much more than a conventional house. The more involved you get with the process the more you will save.
  • Why is solar energy so expensive? Competition is minimal. Government regulations will not allow house owners to install their own systems. And many more reasons…What can we do to change the current climate?
  • Why do other countries use more solar energy than the U.S.A. ? Oil is three or four times more expensive in many non American countries. Solar energy alternatives are less expensive than fossil fuels and grid power. It is as simple as that. If you had to pay $7 gallon would you consider the possibilities of solar?
  • May I install my own solar electric system? Legally speaking, most state regulations prohibit individuals from installing their own system even though these installation fees are excessive. If you do install your own system you could easily cut your bill in half, but then you would not be entitled to a rebate.
  • May I install my own solar hot water system? Legally speaking, most state regulations prohibit individuals from installing their own solar hot water system, but the rebates are at best minimal and very difficult to apply for. The penalty for installing your own system could be as harsh as an order to remove it when you sell your house. If you think you have the necessary plumbing skills go for it, but do not expect your insurance company to cover any plumbing damages.
  • Can I heat my house with sunlight? Most definitely. If you live in the south west all you need is a simple passive solar greenhouse. Northern climates require lots of insulation as well as an entire solar thermal roof dedicated to the process of gathering heat and an enormous heat storage vault for storing it. The labor and materials required to heat a house with sunlight are minimal compared with the government regulations and the building permit headaches.
  • How does a solar hot water system work? Most hot water systems are designed to preheat water before it enters a conventional hot water heating system. The five parts of the system include a collector, a pump, a heat storage tank and a differential thermostat.
  • How does a solar heating system work? Hydronic solar heating systems work the same way as solar hot water systems except that the stored hot water is used for house heating rather than domestic hot water systems. Hydronic solar heating systems are typically ten or more times larger than domestic hot water systems. In mild, sunny areas the hot air from solar greenhouses are often used for house heating, but hydronic systems are more suited for cold climates.
  • Is an integrated system possible? Solar heating and solar hot water systems may share the heat from the same heat storage vault.
  • What is radiant solar heating? Radiant heating is a method of heating slab of material. Since the temperature of stored solar hot water is low radiant heating is preferred. This is true because the large surface area of a radiant heating system is required to obtain the same results of a conventional concentrated heat source. A warm floor is a warm house. Radiant solar heating systems circulate hot water through a network of plastic tubes into the flooring of a concrete slab. Plastic tubes are used because they will not corrode in the presence of concrete.
  • What is a solar greenhouse retrofit? A retrofit is sort of an after thought. After a house is built the owner decides to add something. If a house is oriented properly and landscaping permits a fair amount of sunlight into the proposed solar greenhouse a practical method of heat gain is possible. Solar greenhouses are different than standard greenhouses in that they have a net heat gain effect on the house.
  • What is a multi tank heat storage vault? A multi drum heat storage vault system is a practical, efficient, method of collecting, storing and distributing large quantities of heat at low cost.
  • What is a solar thermal roof? A solar thermal roof is basically a roof converted into one giant collector. The materials needed to make a solar thermal roof of this size cost about $4,000. It takes two men two days to assemble. A 3,000 gallon heat storage vault takes a full day to build. The plumbing and radiant heating system could take another day. The material cost of the entire system would be about $6,000. The problem is that most roofs are not oriented south with the steep pitch needed to maximize winter heat gain so a radical roof and house reconstruction might be necessary to make a solar thermal roof practical. This is why more thought should go into new construction and house builders should be educated about the possibilities of a solar thermal house.
  • What is a solar thermal power? Commercial solar power plants use superheated steam to generate electricity. A residential solar hot water storage vault stores hot water system operates at a much lower temperature.

Tags:  Environment  Fun Facts  March 2011  Social 

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Fun Facts: How does the government hope to increase your health? (February 2011)

Posted By Temporary Temporary, Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Updated: Thursday, December 27, 2012

The U.S. Government's Healthy People program provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. For 3 decades, Healthy People has established benchmarks and monitored progress over time in order to:

  • Encourage collaborations across sectors.
  • Guide individuals toward making informed health decisions.
  • Measure the impact of prevention activities.

Key Objectives include:

  • Increase the proportion of adolescents who have had a wellness checkup in the past 12 months
  • Reduce the overall cancer death rate
  • Increase the proportion of persons at high risk for diabetes with pre-diabetes who report increasing their levels of physical activity
  • Increase the number of Tribes, States, and the District of Columbia that have public health surveillance and health promotion programs for people with disabilities and caregivers
  • Increase the proportion of elementary, middle, and senior high schools that have health education goals or objectives that address the knowledge and skills articulated in the National Health Education Standards (high school, middle, elementary)
  • (Developmental) Increase the proportion of worksites that offer an employee health promotion program to their employees
  • Increase use of alternative modes of transportation for work
  • Increase the proportion of pregnancies that are intended
  • Increase the proportion of women with a family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer who receive genetic counseling
  • (Developmental) Improve the health literacy of the population
  • Increase the proportion of persons who have had a hearing examination on schedule
  • (Developmental) Increase overall cardiovascular health in the U.S. population
  • (Developmental) Increase the proportion of adults with prehypertension who meet the recommended guidelines for (Developmental) Body mass index (BMI), (Developmental) Saturated fat consumption, (Developmental) Sodium intake, (Developmental) Physical activity, (Developmental) Moderate alcohol consumption
  • Reduce the suicide rate
  • Increase the proportion of primary care physicians who regularly measure the body mass index of their patients
  • Reduce the proportion of adults who are obese
  • Increase the contribution of total vegetables to the diets of the population aged 2 years and older
  • Increase the contribution of dark green vegetables, orange vegetables, and legumes to the diets of the population aged 2 years and older
  • Reduce Injuries in private sector industries resulting in medical treatment, lost time from work, or restricted work activity, as reported by employers
  • Increase the proportion of older adults who are up to date on a core set of clinical preventive services
  • Increase the proportion of low-income children and adolescents who received any preventive dental service during the past year
  • Reduce the proportion of adults who engage in no leisure-time physical activity
  • Increase the proportion of 4-year colleges and universities that offer public health or related majors and/or minors
  • (Developmental) Increase the proportion of 4-year colleges and universities that offer public health or related majors and/or minors which are consistent with the core competencies of undergraduate public health education
  • Increase the proportion of 2-year colleges that offer public health or related associate degrees and/or certificate programs
  • Increase the proportion of adults who get sufficient sleep
  • Reduce average annual alcohol consumption
  • Reduce tobacco use by adults

    For a complete outline of what Healthy People 2020 includes visit: http://www.healthypeople.gov/hp2020/

Tags:  Emotional  February 2011  Physical  Policy  Social  Wellness 

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Quotes (February 2011)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Updated: Thursday, December 27, 2012

Good leaders must first become good servants. – Robert Greenleaf

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. – John Quincy Adams

True leadership must be for the benefit of the followers, not to enrich the leader. – John C. Maxwell

Servant-leadership is more than a concept, it is a fact. Any great leader, by which I also mean an ethical leader of any group, will see herself or himself as a servant of that group and will act accordingly. – M. Scott Peck

Whatever our career may be, true leadership means to receive power from God and to use it under Gods rule to serve people in Gods way. – Leighton Ford

We are here to add what we can to, not get what we can from life. – Sir William Osler

A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves. – Lao Tzu

The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant. – Max De Pree

A Godly Leader finds strength by realizing his weakness, finds authority by being under authority, finds direction by laying down his own plans, finds vision by seeing the needs of others, finds credibility by being an example, finds loyalty by expressing compassion, finds honor by being faithful, finds greatness by being a servant. – Roy Lessin

We must be silent before we can listen. We must listen before we can learn. We must learn before we can prepare. We must prepare before we can serve. We must serve before we can lead. – William Arthur Ward

The purpose of life is not to win. The purpose of life is to grow and to share. When you come to look back on all that you have done in life, you will get more satisfaction from the pleasure you have brought into other people's lives than you will from the times that you outdid and defeated them. – Rabbi Harold Kushner

Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it. – Marian Anderson

There is no more noble occupation in the world than to assist another human being to help someone succeed. – Alan Loy McGinnis

My research debunks the myth that many people seem to have . . . that you become a leader by fighting your way to the top. Rather, you become a leader by helping others to the top. Helping your employees is as important, and many times more so, than trying to get the most work out of them. – William Cohen

The most valuable currency of any organization is the initiative and creativity of its members. Every leader has the solemn moral responsibility to develop these to the maximum in all his people. This is the leader's highest priority. – W. Edwards Deming

People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. – John C. Maxwell

The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say 'I'. And that's not because they have trained themselves not to say 'I'. They don't think 'I'. They think 'we'; they think 'team'. They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don't sidestep it, but 'we' gets the credit.... This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done. – Peter F. Drucker

The goal of many leaders is to get people to think more highly of the leader. The goal of a great leader is to help people to think more highly of themselves. – J. Carla Nortcutt

Being a leader who serves is very different from being a servant leader. – Isabel O. Lopez

Few people are successful unless other people want them to be. – Charlie Brown

If leadership serves only the leader, it will fail. Ego satisfaction, financial gain, and status can all be valuable tools for a leader, but if they become the only motivations, they will eventually destroy a leader. Only when service for a common good is the primary purpose are you truly leading. – Sheila Murray Bethel

You will find yourself in service to your fellow man, your country, and your God. – Mahatma Gandhi

A leader lives with people to know their problems. A leader lives with God in order to solve them. – John C. Maxwell

The adventure of life is to learn. The purpose of life is to grow. The nature of life is to change. The challenge of life is to overcome. The essence of life is to care. The opportunity of like is to serve. The secret of life is to dare. The spice of life is to befriend. The beauty of life is to give. – William Arthur Ward

A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader, a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves – Unknown Author

A person who is worthy of being a leader wants power not for himself, but in order to be of service. – US Senator Sam J. Ervin, Jr.

The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly. – Jim Rohn

Use power to help people. For we are given power not to advance our own purposes nor to make a great show in the world, not a name. There is but one just use of power and it is to serve people. – US President George Bush

As leaders shift their focus to customers and quality, they realize that the old authoritarian leadership style does not work anymore. To achieve quality, service, and rapid response, leaders must utilize all available talent. They must find ways to inspire, involve, and empower employees. They must create a work environment that encourages commitment, innovation, and cooperation. Instead of evaluating, leaders now coach. Instead of doing, they delegate. Instead of telling, they facilitate. No one is expected to boss anyone. Everyone is expected to participate. – Dr. Suzanne Willis Zoglio

Nothing so conclusively proves a man's ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself. – Thomas J. Watson, Sr.

No enterprise can exist for itself alone. It ministers to some great need, it performs some great service, not for itself, but for others; or failing therein it ceases to be profitable and ceases to exist. – US President Calvin Coolidge

He that cannot obey, cannot command. – Benjamin Franklin

Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. – Martin Luther King Jr.

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

A new moral principle is emerging which holds that the only authority deserving one's allegiance is that which is freely and knowingly granted by the led to the leader in response to, and in proportion to, the clearly evident servant stature of the leader. Those who choose to follow this principle will not casually accept the authority of existing institutions. Rather, they will freely respond only to Individuals who are chosen as leaders because they are proven and trusted servants. To the extent that this principle prevails in the future, the only truly viable institutions will be those that are predominantly servant-led. – Robert K. Greenleaf

Leadership is getting people to help you when they are not obligated to do so. – John C. Maxwell

Life is a place of service. Joy can be real only if people look upon their life as a service and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness. – Leo Tolstoy

Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish. – Sam Walton

No leader can possibly have all the answers . . . . The actual solutions about how best to meet the challenges of the moment have to be made by the people closest to the action. . . .The leader has to find the way to empower those frontline people, to challenge them, to provide them with the resources they need, and then to hold them accountable. As they struggle with . . . this challenge, the leader becomes their coach, teacher, and facilitator. Change how you define leadership, and you change how you run a company. – Steve Miller

To lead the people, walk behind them. – Lao Tzu

As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others. – Bill Gates

Leaders don't inflict pain - they share pain. – Max Depree

Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them. – John Maxwell

People are more inclined to be drawn in if their leader has a compelling vision. Great leaders help people get in touch with their own aspirations and then will help them forge those aspirations into a personal vision. – John Kotter

Servant-leadership is all about making the goals clear and then rolling your sleeves up and doing whatever it takes to help people win. In that situation, they don't work for you, you work for them. – Ken Blanchard

As you wait upon the Lord, you learn to see things from His perspective, move at His pace, and function under His directives. Waiting times are growing times and learning times. As you quiet your heart, you enter His peace: as you sense your weakness, you receive His strength: as you lay down your will, you hear His calling. When you mount up, you are being lifted by the wind of His Spirit . . . When you move ahead, you are sensitive to His timing. When you act, you give as yourself only to the things He has asked you to do. – Roy Lessin

Read more: http://www.bukisa.com/articles/266874_quotes-on-servant-leadership#ixzz1C5RFa1am

Tags:  February 2011  Inspiration  Intellectual  Leadership  Occupational  Quotes  Social 

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Cognitive Disorders and Aging (February 2011)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Updated: Thursday, December 27, 2012

Slightly more than five percent of the nearly 39 million Americans age 65 and older in 2007 reported one or more cognitive disorders, such as senility or dementia, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Seniors age 85 and older were the most likely to have reported one or more cognitive disorders (18.4 percent), compared to seniors ages 75 to 84 (6 percent), and seniors ages 65 to 74 (1.1 percent).

AHRQ found that for elderly Americans age 65 and older in 2007:

  • Seniors with less than a high school education were more likely to have reported one or more cognitive disorders than seniors that were high school graduates (8.6 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively) or seniors with more than a high school education (2.7 percent).
  • Nearly eight percent of poor seniors reported one or more cognitive disorders compared to 4.1 percent of middle and high income seniors reporting such a condition.
  • Nearly 11 percent of seniors who had both Medicare and another type of supplemental public insurance reported one or more cognitive disorders, compared to 5 percent of seniors with Medicare only and 4.1 percent of seniors with Medicare and supplemental private insurance.
  • Average annual health care expense for seniors reporting one or more cognitive disorders totaled $15,549 a year, compared to $9,019 for seniors not reporting any cognitive disorders.

    AHRQ, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, improves the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans. The data in this AHRQ News and Numbers summary are taken from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), a detailed source of information on the health services used by Americans, the frequency with which they are used, the cost of those services, and how they are paid.

    Source: AHRQ News and Numbers, January 26, 2011

Tags:  Aging  Cognitive  Emotional  February 2011  Intellectual  Physical  Social 

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Drug-resistant bacteria, insects, and farm animals (February 2011)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Updated: Thursday, December 27, 2012

According to a recent study published in BMC Microbiology, January 25, 2011, drug resistant bacteria are finding ways into our homes through common insects. New research indicates insects could be responsible for spreading antibiotic resistant bacteria from pigs to humans.

Ludek Zurek and collaborators from Kansas and North Carolina State Universities isolated bacteria from farm pig feces and compared them to the bacteria present in the intestines of the house flies and German cockroaches caught on those farms. They subjected the bacteria to a range of different antibiotic resistance testing and genetic analysis and discovered that not only were the same types of bacteria carried in the intestines of all the insects and pigs, but also that there was a high prevalence of antibiotic resistance. In particular, the common gut bacteria Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium were found to be frequently resistant to tetracycline, erythromycin, streptomycin, and kanamycin -- common antibiotics used to treat human infections.

Dr. Zurek explains in his report: antibiotics are widely used in pig farming as growth promoters. As a result, the digestive tract bacteria in pigs are often exposed to selective pressure and many become resistant to antibiotics. Consequently, there's a risk that these bacteria might be transferred—by common livestock and urban pests such as house flies and cockroaches from pig farms to humans. Plus, since the research uncovered the ability of the bacteria to be transferred, it is possible that flies and cockroaches carry other microbes originating from swine feces with even greater public health importance and may transport them to the surrounding urban environment.

While there is thought to be no risk to humans from eating properly cooked pork meat, the widespread use of antibiotics in confined swine production is likely to only increase the selection and evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains.

Reference: Aqeel Ahmad, Anuradha Ghosh, Coby Schal and Ludek Zurek. Insects in confined swine operations carry a large antibiotic resistant and potentially virulent enterococcal community. BMC Microbiology, January 25, 2011.

Tags:  Disease  February 2011  Health  Physical 

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More research: Not only are you what you eat, but what you eat can change who you are (mentally) (February 2011)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Updated: Thursday, December 27, 2012

Researchers from the universities of Navarra and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria have demonstrated that the ingestion of trans-fats and saturated fats increase the risk of suffering depression, and that olive oil, on the other hand, protects against this mental illness. They have confirmed this after studying 12,059 SUN Project volunteers over the course of six years. In this way the researchers confirmed that despite the fact that at the beginning of the study none of the volunteers suffered from depression, at the end of the study 657 new cases had been detected.

Of all these cases, the participants with an elevated consumption of trans-fats (fats present in artificial form in industrially-produced pastries and fast food, and naturally present in certain whole milk products) had a 48 percent increase in the risk of depression when they were compared to participants who did not consume these fats. In addition, the study found a dose-response relationship: more trans-fats equaled more depression.

Healthy fats, (polyunsaturated fats abundant in fish and vegetable oils were associated with a lower risk of suffering depression

The researchers proposed that the increase prevalence of depression worldwide is linked to the change in our diets.

Source: esciencenews.com

Tags:  Diet  February 2011  Nutrition  Physical 

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Servant Leadership and Why it Matters for Wellness (February 2011)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Updated: Thursday, December 27, 2012

The phrase "Servant Leadership" was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in The Servant as Leader, an essay that he first published in 1970. In that essay, he said:

"The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions…The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature."

"The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people's highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived?"

In his second major essay, The Institution as Servant, Robert K. Greenleaf articulated what is often called the "credo." He said:

" This is my thesis: caring for persons, the more able and the less able serving each other, is the rock upon which a good society is built. Whereas, until recently, caring was largely person to person, now most of it is mediated through institutions—often large, complex, powerful, impersonal; not always competent; sometimes corrupt. If a better society is to be built, one that is more just and more loving, one that provides greater creative opportunity for its people, then the most open course is to raise both the capacity to serve and the very performance as servant of existing major institutions by new regenerative forces operating within them."

Servant Leadership is thus the idea that to grow people, institutions, and society in a healthy way, we must serve them—develop them based on their needs, their strengths, and their abilities. It is the idea, that leaders should build people up. Living wellness asks us to practice healthy social, occupational, emotional, and intellectual habits. The following are examples of Servant Leadership implementation as a wellness practice:

  • Take time to notice the work others do and thank them.
  • Every day, look for and act on opportunities to empower other people.
  • Strive to understand your strengths and weaknesses so that you may better serve others.
  • Be open to the ideas of others.
  • Actively listen.

There are many more ways to implement the ideas of Servant Leadership, for more information visit: The Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership

Tags:  Emotional  February 2011  Intellectual  Leadership  Social  Wellness 

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The Affordable Healthcare Act timeline and changes of note (January 2011)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Saturday, January 1, 2011
Updated: Thursday, December 27, 2012

For more information on any of the below 'Changes of Note' visit www. http://www.healthcare.gov/law/timeline/index.html

  • March 23, 2010, bill becomes law. Changes of note: $250 Medicare drug cost rebate, Expanded coverage for young adults, Small business tax credits, Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans
    • Effective Jan. 1, 2010: Up to 4 million small businesses are eligible for tax credits to help them provide insurance benefits to their workers. The first phase of this provision provides a credit worth up to 35% of the employer's contribution to the employees' health insurance. Small non-profit organizations may receive up to a 25% credit.
    • Effective April 1, 2010: States will be able to receive federal matching funds for covering some additional low-income individuals and families under Medicaid for whom federal funds were not previously available. This will make it easier for states that choose to do so to cover more of their residents.
    • First checks mailed in June, 2010, and will continue monthly throughout 2010 as seniors hit the coverage gap. An estimated 4 million seniors will reach the gap in Medicare prescription drug coverage known as the "donut hole" this year. Each such senior will receive a $250 rebate. Expanding Coverage for Early Retirees. Applications for employers to participate in the program available June 1, 2010. Learn more about the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program.Too often, Americans who retire without employer-sponsored insurance and before they are eligible for Medicare see their life savings disappear because of high rates in the individual market. To preserve employer coverage for early retirees until more affordable coverage is available through the new Exchanges by 2014, the new law creates a $5 billion program to provide needed financial help for employment-based plans to continue to provide valuable coverage to people who retire between the ages of 55 and 65, as well as their spouses and dependents. For more information on the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, visit www.ERRP.gov
    • Providing Access to Insurance for Uninsured Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions. National program established July 1, 2010—A Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan will provide new coverage options to individuals who have been uninsured for at least six months because of a pre-existing condition. States have the option of running this new program in their state. If a state chooses not to do so, a plan will be established by the Department of Health and Human Services in that state. This program serves as a bridge to 2014, when all discrimination against pre-existing conditions will be prohibited. Learn more about the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan.
    • Extending Coverage for Young Adults. Effective for health plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010—Under the new law, young adults will be allowed to stay on their parent's plan until they turn 26 years old. (In the case of existing group health plans, this right does not apply if the young adult is offered insurance at work.) Some insurers began implementing this practice early. Check with your insurance company or employer to see if you qualify. Learn more about the young adults insurance policy.
    • Providing Free Preventive Care. Effective for health plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010—All new plans must cover certain preventive services such as mammograms and colonoscopies without charging a deductible, co-pay or coinsurance.
    • Prohibiting Insurance Companies from Rescinding Coverage . Effective for health plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010—In the past, insurance companies could search for an error, or other technical mistake, on a customer's application and use this error to deny payment for services when he or she got sick. The new law makes this illegal. After media reports cited incidents of breast cancer patients losing coverage, insurance companies agreed to end this practice immediately.
    • Appealing Insurance Company Decisions . Effective for new plans beginning on or after September 23, 2010—The law provides consumers with a way to appeal coverage determinations or claims to their insurance company, and establishes an external review process.
    • Eliminating Lifetime Limits on Insurance Coverage. Effective for health plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010—Under the new law, insurance companies will be prohibited from imposing lifetime dollar limits on essential benefits, like hospital stays.
    • Regulating Annual Limits on Insurance Coverage. Effective for health plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010—Under the new law, insurance companies' use of annual dollar limits on the amount of insurance coverage a patient may receive will be restricted for new plans in the individual market and all group plans. In 2014, the use of annual dollar limits on essential benefits like hospital stays will be banned for new plans in the individual market and all group plans.
    • Prohibiting Denying Coverage of Children Based on Pre-Existing Conditions. Effective for health plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010 for new plans and existing group plans—The new law includes new rules to prevent insurance companies from denying coverage to children under the age of 19 due to a pre-existing condition.
    • Holding Insurance Companies Accountable for Unreasonable Rate Hikes. Grants will be awarded beginning in 2010—The law allows states that have, or plan to implement, measures that require insurance companies to justify their premium increases to be eligible for $250 million in new grants. Insurance companies with excessive or unjustified premium increases may not be able to participate in the new health insurance Exchanges in 2014.
    • Rebuilding the Primary Care Workforce. Effective 2010—To strengthen the availability of primary care, there are new incentives in the law to expand the number of primary care doctors, nurses and physician assistants, including funding for scholarships and loan repayments for primary care doctors and nurses working in underserved areas. Doctors and nurses receiving payments made under any State loan repayment or loan forgiveness program intended to increase the availability of health care services in underserved or health professional shortage areas will not have to pay taxes on those payments.
    • Establishing Consumer Assistance Programs in the States. Grants Awarded October 2010—Under the new law, states that apply receive federal grants to help set up or expand independent offices to help consumers navigate the private health insurance system. These programs help consumers file complaints and appeals; enroll in health coverage; and get educated about their rights and responsibilities in group health plans or individual health insurance policies. The programs will also collect data on the types of problems consumers have, and file reports with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to identify trouble spots that need further oversight.
    • Preventing Disease and Illness. Funding begins in 2010—A new $15 billion Prevention and Public Health Fund will invest in proven prevention and public health programs that can help keep Americans healthy—from smoking cessation to combating obesity.
    • Strengthening Community Health Centers. Effective 2010—The law includes new funding to support the construction and expansion of services at community health centers, allowing these centers to serve some 20 million new patients across the country.
    • Payments for Rural Health Care Providers. Effective 2010—Today, 68% of medically underserved communities across the nation are in rural areas, and these communities often have trouble attracting and retaining medical professionals. The law provides increased payment to rural health care providers to help them continue to serve their communities.
  • Prescription Drug Discounts. Effective January 1, 2011—Seniors who reach the coverage gap will receive a 50 percent discount when buying Medicare Part D covered brand-name prescription drugs. Over the next ten years, seniors will receive additional savings on brand-name and generic drugs until the coverage gap is closed in 2020.
  • Free Preventive Care for Seniors. Effective January 1, 2011—The law provides certain free preventive services, such as annual wellness visits and personalized prevention plans, for seniors on Medicare.
  • Bringing Down Health Care Premiums. Effective January 1, 2011 —To ensure premium dollars are spent primarily on health care, the new law generally requires that at least 85% of all premium dollars collected by insurance companies for large employer plans are spent on health care services and health care quality improvement. For plans sold to individuals and small employers, at least 80% of the premium must be spent on benefits and quality improvement. If insurance companies do not meet these goals because their administrative costs or profits are too high, they must provide rebates to consumers.
  • Addressing Overpayments to Big Insurance Companies and Strengthening Medicare Advantage. Effective January 1, 2011—Today, Medicare pays Medicare Advantage insurance companies over $1,000 more per person on average than is spent per person in Original Medicare. This results in increased premiums for all Medicare beneficiaries, including the 77 percent of beneficiaries who are not currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. The new law levels the playing field by gradually eliminating this discrepancy. People enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan will still receive all guaranteed Medicare benefits, and the law provides bonus payments to Medicare Advantage plans that provide high quality care. Learn more about improvements to Medicare.
  • Improving Health Care Quality and Efficiency. Effective no later than January 1, 2011—The law establishes a new Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation that will begin testing new ways of delivering care to patients. These new methods are expected to improve the quality of care and reduce the rate of growth in costs for Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). By January 1, 2011, HHS will submit a national strategy for quality improvement in health care, including these programs.
  • Improving Care for Seniors after They Leave the Hospital.Effective January 1, 2011—The Community Care Transitions Program will help high-risk Medicare beneficiaries who are hospitalized avoid unnecessary readmissions by coordinating care and connecting patients to services in their communities.
  • New Innovations to Bring Down Costs. Administrative funding becomes available October 1, 2011—The Independent Payment Advisory Board will begin operations to develop and submit proposals to Congress and the President aimed at extending the life of the Medicare Trust Fund. The Board is expected to focus on ways to target waste in the system, and recommend ways to reduce costs, improve health outcomes for patients, and expand access to high-quality care.
  • Increasing Access to Services at Home and in the Community. Effective beginning October 1, 2011—The new Community First Choice Option allows States to offer home and community based services to disabled individuals through Medicaid rather than institutional care in nursing homes.
  • Encouraging Integrated Health Systems. Effective January 1, 2012—The new law provides incentives for physicians to join together to form "Accountable Care Organizations." In these groups, doctors can better coordinate patient care and improve the quality, help prevent disease and illness, and reduce unnecessary hospital admissions. If Accountable Care Organizations provide high quality care and reduce costs to the health care system, they can keep some of the money that they have helped save.
  • Understanding and Fighting Health Disparities. Effective March, 2012—To help understand and reduce persistent health disparities, the law requires any ongoing or new Federal health program to collect and report racial, ethnic and language data. The Secretary of Health and Human Services will use this data to help identify and reduce disparities.
  • Providing New, Voluntary Options for Long-Term Care Insurance. Benefit plan no later than October 1, 2012—The law creates a voluntary long-term care insurance program—called CLASS— to provide cash benefits to adults who become disabled.
  • Reducing Paperwork and Administrative Costs. First regulation effective October 1, 2012—Health care remains one of the few industries that relies on paper records. The new law will institute a series of changes to standardize billing and requires health plans to begin adopting and implementing rules for the secure, confidential, electronic exchange of health information. Using electronic health records will reduce paperwork and administrative burdens, cut costs, reduce medical errors and, most importantly, improve the quality of care.
  • Linking Payment to Quality Outcomes. Effective for payments for discharges occurring on or after October 1, 2012—The law establishes a hospital Value-Based Purchasing program (VBP) in Original Medicare. This program offers financial incentives to hospitals to improve the quality of care. Hospital performance is required to be publicly reported, beginning with measures relating to heart attacks, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, health-care associated infections, and patients' perception of care.
  • Improving Preventive Health Coverage. Effective January 1, 2013—To expand the number of Americans receiving preventive care, the law provides new funding to state Medicaid programs that choose to cover preventive services for patients at little or no cost.
  • Increasing Medicaid Payments for Primary Care Doctors. Effective January 1, 2013—As Medicaid programs and providers prepare to cover more patients in 2014, the Act requires states to pay primary care physicians no less than 100 percent of Medicare payment rates in 2013 and 2014 for primary care services. The increase is fully funded by the federal government.
  • Expanded Authority to Bundle Payments. Effective no later than January 1, 2013. —The law establishes a national pilot program to encourage hospitals, doctors, and other providers to work together to improve the coordination and quality of patient care. Under payment "bundling," hospitals, doctors, and providers are paid a flat rate for an episode of care rather than the current fragmented system where each service or test or bundles of items or services are billed separately to Medicare. For example, instead of a surgical procedure generating multiple claims from multiple providers, the entire team is compensated with a "bundled" payment that provides incentives to deliver health care services more efficiently while maintaining or improving quality of care. It aligns the incentives of those delivering care, and savings are shared between providers and the Medicare program.
  • Additional Funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Effective October 1, 2013—Under the new law, states will receive two more years of funding to continue coverage for children not eligible for Medicaid.
  • Establishing Health Insurance Exchanges. Effective January 1, 2014—Starting in 2014 if your employer doesn't offer insurance, you will be able to buy insurance directly in an Exchange -- a new transparent and competitive insurance marketplace where individuals and small businesses can buy affordable and qualified health benefit plans. Exchanges will offer you a choice of health plans that meet certain benefits and cost standards. Starting in 2014, Members of Congress will be getting their health care insurance through Exchanges, and you will be able buy your insurance through Exchanges too.
  • Promoting Individual Responsibility. Effective January 1, 2014—Under the new law, most individuals who can afford it will be required to obtain basic health insurance coverage or pay a fee to help offset the costs of caring for uninsured Americans. If affordable coverage is not available to an individual, he or she will be eligible for an exemption.
  • Ensuring Free Choice. Effective January 1, 2014—Workers meeting certain requirements who cannot afford the coverage provided by their employer may take whatever funds their employer might have contributed to their insurance and use these resources to help purchase a more affordable plan in the new health insurance Exchanges. These new competitive marketplaces will allow individuals and small businesses to buy qualified health benefit plans. Starting in 2014, Members of Congress will be getting their health care insurance through Exchanges and all Americans will have the choice of buying insurance through them, too.
  • Increasing Access to Medicaid. Effective January 1, 2014—Americans who earn less than 133 percent of the poverty level (approximately $14,000 for an individual and $29,000 for a family of four) will be eligible to enroll in Medicaid. States will receive 100 percent federal funding for the first three years to support this expanded coverage, phasing to 90 percent federal funding in subsequent years.
  • Makes Care More Affordable. Effective January 1, 2014—Tax credits to help the middle class afford insurance will become available for those with income between 100 percent and 400 percent of the poverty line who are not eligible for other affordable coverage. (In 2010, 400 percent of the poverty line comes out to about $43,000 for an individual or $88,000 for a family of four.) The tax credit is advanceable, so it can lower your premium payments each month, rather than making you wait for tax time. It's also refundable, so even moderate income families can receive the full benefit of the credit. These individuals may also qualify for reduced cost-sharing (copayments, co-insurance, and deductibles).
  • Ensuring Coverage for Individuals Participating in Clinical Trials. Effective January 1, 2014—Insurers will be prohibited from dropping or limiting coverage because an individual chooses to participate in a clinical trial. This applies to all clinical trials that treat cancer or other life-threatening diseases.
  • Eliminating Annual Limits on Insurance Coverage. Effective January 1, 2014—The law prohibits new plans and existing group plans from imposing annual dollar limits on the amount of coverage an individual may receive.
  • No Discrimination Due to Pre-Existing Conditions or Gender. Effective January 1, 2014—The law implements strong reforms that prohibit insurance companies from refusing to sell coverage or renew policies because of an individual's pre-existing conditions. Also, in the individual and small group market, it eliminates the ability of insurance companies to charge higher rates due to gender or health status.
  • Increasing Small Business Health Insurance Tax Credit. Effective January 1, 2014—The law implements the second phase of the small business tax credit for qualified small businesses and small non-profit organizations. In this phase, the credit is up to 50 percent of the employer's contribution to provide health insurance for employees. There is also up to a 35 percent credit for small non-profit organizations.
  • Paying Physicians Based on Value Not Volume. Effective January 1, 2015—A new provision will tie physician payments to the quality of care they provide. Physicians will see their payments modified so that those who provide higher value care will receive higher payments than those who provide lower quality care.

Tags:  January 2011  Occupational  Physical  Policy  Wellness 

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New tips and helpful information from health.gov (January 2011)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Saturday, January 1, 2011
Updated: Thursday, December 27, 2012

If the litany of health facts, information, to-do lists, and meant-to-be helpful suggestions seem overwhelming to you, Wellness News You Can Use would like to offer a simple way to start. The website health.gov has a handy tool on the right hand side of its landing page that provides a customized health guide just for you!

To use the guide, simply enter in your age and sex. The site will generate a checklist of preventative services you should take advantage of to maintain your health. In addition, each service has quick and easy links with further explanations. What's more, you can use the check list provided as a guide when you visit your doctor and for suggestions on not only maintaining your health, but also improving it.

The site also has useful information on activity guidelines, health news, health literacy, dietary guidelines, and toll-free hotlines you can use related to your health!

To give it a try, visit www.health.gov today!

Tags:  January 2011  Physical  Policy  Social  Wellness 

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