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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.

The opinions and thoughts expressed here those of the authors and do not necessarily correlate with those of the National Wellness Institute. Read more.


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Leadership Engagement Positively Affects Students' Physical Activity

Posted By Carol Kennedy-Armbruster, PhD, FACSM, Tuesday, January 28, 2020
Updated: Friday, January 24, 2020
Great research on how your pedometer/fitness monitor is positively affected when leadership is engaged. In this case, when the teacher moved, the students moved. The same will hold true with your tribe. Get leadership engaged and people will adapt to the leader's routines.  

Pedometer program promotes physical activity for children and teachers in the classroom and could be a practical way for students and teachers to work towards achieving the 2018 PA Guidelines for both teachers and students while in a school setting. 

Implementation of a Pedometer Program to reach the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines during the School day in an Elementary School Setting


The 2018 Physical Activity (PA) Guidelines Advisory Committee recently released the 2018 PA Guidelines, which clearly state that PA bouts of any duration or length contribute to the health benefits associated with the accumulated volume of PA. A teacher-led Health and Wellness Committee at an elementary school created a pedometer program focused on increasing PA and movement throughout the school day for teachers and students in order to meet the 2018 PA Guidelines during the school day. This paper will outline the “how-to’s” of the pedometer program in order to encourage program replication and best practices in an elementary school setting. 


In 31 self-contained classrooms, teachers and one rotating student per classroom wore a pedometer during the school day and recorded step counts over two academic school years. 


The pedometer program revealed a significant increase in steps during the school day for teachers and students.  


The pedometer program promoted PA for children and teachers in the classroom and could be a practical way for students and teachers to work towards achieving the 2018 PA Guidelines for both teachers and students while in a school setting.

Research conducted by: P. Brian Kiessling II, M.S. (Corresponding Author); Carol Kennedy-Armbruster, PhD, FACSM; Jessica Yoder, MPH; Michael Frisby, M.S.

Tags:  Leadership  Physical Activity  Physical Wellness  Research 

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New Parkinson's Treament on Horizon

Posted By NWI, Monday, October 3, 2016

New research from Johns Hopkins indicates a new hope for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.


Cancer researchers with Johns Hopkins have discovered a protein that enables toxic chemicals to travel from cell to cell within an organism’s brain – and have found a way to block that protein.


Initially thought to be an inhibitor of brain cancer, this treatment is now being tested as a way to prevent Parkinson's-spreading chemicals from reaching the high-functioning areas of the brain that control processes like thought and memory.


This treatment has already been performed on mice, and has been moved on to human clinical trials. The importance of this finding for the million-plus people in the US living with Parkinson’s cannot be overstated.


To read the original materials from Johns Hopkins, click here.



Tags:  Brain health  brain science  disease  parkinson's  Research 

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90% of Strokes Could Be Prevented

Posted By NWI, Monday, August 1, 2016

Research released in The Lancet on July 15 state that a full 90 percent of strokes worldwide could have been prevented by attending to 10 modifiable risk factors.


The researchers studied 27,000 people from 32 countries to come to these conclusions.


Topping the list of preventable factors that contributed to the strokes are high blood pressure, obesity, stress, diabetes, high blood pressure, and poor diet.


Each individual factor contributing toward stroke was correlated to a risk percentage. For example, hypertension contributed a 47.9% risk of stroke.  When multiple factors were compounded, however, the researchers came to the conclusion that 90% of these strokes were avoidable.


The researchers found that individual risk factors were not equivalent across geographies.  Europe, North America, and Australia found a risk of hypertension of 38%, while Southeast Asia had a hypertension risk of 60%.


The researchers are hopeful that this information will help doctors in each geographic region target the stroke indicators that are strongest in each region and drop the risk significantly worldwide.


To read the research in The Lancet, click here.

Tags:  Brain science  global health  research  stroke 

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Diet is no longer “One Size Fits All.”

Posted By NWI, Monday, November 30, 2015
Updated: Monday, November 30, 2015

Israeli researchers published findings  of a new study in the journal “Cell” that indicate that an individual’s effects from their diet can be drastically different, and even sometimes opposite, the effects of another person eating the exact same diet.

This research seems to upend what was previously believed to be a solid understanding of human nutrition, in which foods were supposedly processed in  human bodies much the same way, regardless of individual factors outside of age and  BMI.

This knowledge may lead to vast changes in the way that diets are analyzed and prescribed, perhaps even going so far as to eliminate stigmas of “good” and “bad” diets, instead replacing them with “good for you” and “good for me” diets.

These initial study was done on  a cohort of 800 people between the ages of 18 and 76.  Though this sample size is relatively small, the subjects of the study were excited about the findings, and have told many others about their experience. The researchers now have a waiting list longer than 4,000 to take part in the next cohort.

Tags:  Diet  nutrition  research 

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Report Finds Employers Measure VOI of Wellness Programs

Posted By NWI, Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Willis Health and Productivity Survey Report 2015 was released earlier this week, and the findings about workplace wellness programs were unsurprising. Namely – employers want more for their money.

There is positivity in the report, however, with Willis referring to 2015 as a “watershed year” for worksite wellness programs.

The report states that many employers have come to grips with the idea that an immediate ROI is difficult to be achieved in a short amount of time after starting a worksite wellness program. Instead, they’re shifting their focus to VOI (Value on Investment) of different aspects of their work culture that can be achieved through a quality worksite wellness program. Aspects of work culture like presenteeism, loyalty, and tenure are being improved by providing a workplace that values wellness.

ROI is still a major concern for many employers, though, and a focus on reducing medical costs of employees still weighs heavily on many employers’ minds in terms of what they expect from a wellness program.

In terms of whether or not there is merit in having a worksite wellness program, the consensus among those polled for the Willis report seems to be a resounding “Yes.”

Tags:  Employee Health  Employee Wellness  Research  Wellness  Wellness Programs  Worksite Wellness 

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Advancements in Type 2 Diabetes Treatment

Posted By NWI, Saturday, November 1, 2014
Updated: Monday, October 20, 2014

November is American Diabetes Month (sponsored by the American Diabetes Association; see www.diabetes.org for more information). In recognition of this month, Wellness News You Can Use is reporting on a recent important advancement in diabetes research.

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden are testing a treatment for type 2 diabetes which targets the disease mechanism itself, not just the symptoms. The result of this research would be a more personalized approach to diabetes treatment. Details of the treatment were released in a press release October 14, 2014.

By using an individual patient’s genetic risk profile, this treatment is able to restore the individual’s capacity to secrete insulin. The treatment is undergoing additional testing.

While this treatment news is exciting for individuals who have type 2 diabetes, it is also important to focus on ways to prevent getting type 2 diabetes and on management strategies.

The following is from the American Diabetes Association.

Things you can do to lower your risk of contracting type 2 diabetes:

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  •  Eat a well-balanced diet of fruits and vegetables.
  •  Incorporate exercise into your daily routine.
  • Have your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked and work with your medical provider to maintain healthy levels of both.
  • If you smoke, quit.

If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the following six steps are critical in the management of the disease:

  • Work with your doctor to plan a diet that supports healthy diabetes maintenance.
  • Get physically active.
  • Take medicine (if your doctor prescribes it).
  • Check your blood glucose (if your doctor recommends it).
  • Go to all of your check-up appointments


Source: Tang, Y., Axelsson, A.S., Spegel, P., Andersson, L.E., Mulder, H., Groop, L.C., Renstrom, E., Rosengren, A.H. Genotype-based treatment of type 2 diabetes with an  2A-adrenergic receptor antagonist. Science Translational Medicine, 2014; 6 (257): 257ra139 DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3009934

Tags:  Diabetes  November 2014  Physical  Research 

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