Spotlight on Health: Lightning Safety!

An oldie but a goodie: this post was originally published on July 9th, 2015.

With summer fun in Florida comes summer thunderstorms, which brings along a serious safety threat: lightning. Florida leads the U.S. in lightning-related deaths, and the area from Tampa to Titusville is even known as “Lightning Alley” by meteorologists. Central Florida thunderstorms alone generate hundreds of thousands of bolts that cause billions in damage each year. To help keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy, we rounded up some lighting myths and facts from the National Weather Service.

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Monday Morning Round-Up #13

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Welcome to Monday Morning Round-Up, featuring what’s new in health and medicine from around the web!

Explosive data: See how fireworks injuries skyrocket on the Fourth of July via Stat News

Every year, the Fourth of July brings patriotic displays of color, smoke, and sound — and a slew of emergency room visits from burns and blast wounds. Federal researchers track data on those injuries year-round using the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, a national probability sample of about 100 hospitals in the U.S. and its territories. Fireworks injuries don’t only happen in July, but they are, unsurprisingly, far more common in that month versus the rest of the year.

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Monday Morning Round-Up #10

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Welcome to Monday Morning Round-Up, featuring what’s new in health and medicine from around the web!

Cholera death toll in Yemen reaches at least 180: Red Cross via Reuters Health News

Cholera has killed at least 180 people in Yemen in recent weeks, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Monday, a day after authorities declared a state of emergency in the capital Sanaa and called for international help.

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Seven Apps for Wellness

According to Dictionary.com, wellness is “the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort.” To build on this definition, aside from being a deliberate practice of healthy behaviors, I like to think of wellness as a holistic concept, made up of achieving fulfillment in many areas including financial wellness, social wellness, physical wellness, emotional wellness, etc. Achieving optimal wellness can feel like a precarious balancing act. Drinking enough water, getting exercise, saving money, attending to your emotional state, spending time with friends and family, managing stress… it’s easy to get stressed about all the ways you want to stay well! To make maintaining your wellness a little easier, we’ve rounded up a series of smart phone apps that can contribute to the various domains of your health.

Physical wellness – Plant Nanny

This cute app helps remind you to drink enough water. To record drinking water, you water your virtual plant and it grows over time. If you don’t drink enough water the plant can start to shrivel and shrink.

iOS, Android

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Spotlight on Health: Stand up before you read this

An oldie but a goodie: this post was originally published on January 22, 2015. 

Did you make a New Year’s resolution on January 1st? Was it to exercise more? New research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that instead of just exercising more, we may actually need to sit less. The systematic review and meta-analysis synthesizes the results of 47 studies and comes to the conclusion that sitting for long periods of time can lead to an increased risk of early death, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Ever felt like this? Get up and walk around for a bit!

Ever felt like this? Get up and walk around for a bit!

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MedlinePlus: The Best Database You’re Probably Not Using

An oldie but a goodie: this post was originally published on February 12th, 2015.

MedlinePlus: It's like you have a medical professional right in your computer

MedlinePlus: It’s like you have a medical professional right in your computer

Did you know you can access up to date, authoritative information on nearly 1,000 health topics in easy to read (i.e., non-medical jargon) language for FREE? The U.S. National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine have a terrific resource called MedlinePlus geared toward the general public, and not health professionals.

Health topics in MedlinePlus are available in many different languages, from Japanese to Samoan, even Swahili and Polish. Topics are categorized by body location/system, disorders and conditions, diagnosis and therapy, demographic groups, and health and wellness. You can also find information on drugs and supplements, and watch videos and tutorials.

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The Best Apps for Managing Stress

Stress isn’t always a bad thing. In the short-term, low level stress can help us focus and improve our performance. It can give us the boost we need to finish a big project or make an important decision. However, I think we can all agree when we say that an overabundance of stress is the absolute worst.

First, a quick primer on stress: Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the demands of life.  When your brain perceives a threat (anything from a fast approaching deadline to a fast-approaching wild animal), it signals your body to release a burst of hormones that increase your heart rate and raise your blood pressure. This “fight-or-flight” response fuels you to deal with the stressful situation at hand. Once the threat (or stress-inducing trigger) is gone, your body is meant to return to a normal, relaxed state. However, given the nonstop complications of modern life,  many of us rarely return to that relaxed state, merely hopping from one stressor to another.

It’s easy to get stressed out from day-to-day demands. Luckily, there are healthy ways to manage your stress.

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Monday Morning Round-Up #7

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Welcome to Monday Morning Round-Up, featuring what’s new in health and medicine from around the web!

American Heart Association survey finds patients uncertain about how to best manage their cholesterol via the American Heart Association

According to a new survey from the American Heart Association, nearly 90 percent of the patients with high cholesterol surveyed said they understood it was important to manage their cholesterol levels. But 45 percent said they weren’t confident in their ability to do so, and another 40 percent said they were confused about how to go about it.

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Monday Morning Round-Up #6

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Welcome to Monday Morning Round-Up, featuring what’s new in health and medicine from around the web!

Study: App-based visits seem viable for post-surgical follow-ups via Mobi Health News

Women recovering from breast reconstruction surgery following a mastectomy may be just fine checking in with their doctors via their smartphone rather than having to visit in person, a small study published in JAMA Surgery suggested.

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The Health Benefits of Owning Pets

Today is possibly the best holiday of the whole entire year – National Puppy Day! The Health Sciences Library is full of animal lovers – collectively the library staff owns more than 20 animals! If you are obsessed with love animals like I do, you already know that spending time with furry friends can improve your mood and make you feel cozy inside. However, did you know that there are actually a myriad of health benefits to owning a pet? And for those of you who aren’t pet owners – many of these benefits also take effect if you just spend quality time with an animal, so you can still reap the benefits through playing with another person’s animal for a bit!

Increased physical activity

It’s no secret that owning a pet increases your likelihood to engage in physical activity – after all, most animals need to be walked and/or played with multiple times a day. This increase in physical activity is very healthy, and can even help you lose excess weight.  A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health of more than 2,000 adults found that dog owners responsible for walking their pups are less likely to be obese than dog owners who pass the duty off to someone else or those who don’t own dogs at all.

 

Spending time with animals can help you get moving more often.

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