10 Ways to Avoid Summer Health Problems During and After COVID-19

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It’s summer. The days are long, the sun is shining, and all the kids want to do is play outside, in spite of COVID-19. However, it’s important to keep in mind that, in addition to the COVID pandemic, summer itself does pose its fair share of health risks, even if you are quarantining in your own backyard. Here are the top ten summer health issues and how to prevent and care for them, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. HEAT STROKE

Heat stroke is caused by the body overheating as a result of extended exposure to the sun or other forms of heat. Common symptoms include confusion, dry skin when you should be sweating, racing heart rate, and nausea. If you think you’re experiencing heatstroke, immediately get inside and douse yourself in cold water. If symptoms persist, head to your local emergency room. Avoiding heatstroke is as simple as staying inside on blistering days.

2. DEHYDRATION

When you’re losing more fluids than you’re taking in, your body is dehydrating and weakening. Although it’s more common in young children and older adults, dehydration can occur to anyone spending prolonged periods of time in high heat. Even if you wish you were sipping something sweet, the sugars in smoothies and fruit juices counteract the necessary water your body needs. Dehydration is solved by drinking water, Gatorade, or Pedialyte.

3. HEAT RASH

Exactly what it sounds like: a rash caused by sweat becoming trapped under the skin in humid conditions. Common in both children and adults, there’s no reason to seek medical treatment over the mild itchiness this rash produces. Use calamine lotion and spend some time in a cool location until it relieves itself.

4. SUNBURN

Everyone is at risk for sunburn. People with fairer skin and lighter hair are more prone to redness and peeling, along with people who repeatedly burn themselves on the quest for the “perfect” tan. Sunburns can lead to skin cancer, melanoma, cellular damage, and rapid aging. The easiest way to protect yourself from a sunburn is to use sunscreen frequently, check your skin routinely, and avoid exposure to high UV levels. If you do get sunburned, use aloe to reduce the burn.

5. ASTHMA AND ALLERGY FLARE UPS

If you find yourself wheezing within moments of stepping outside, you’re likely having an asthma or allergy flare up. Check the air quality before you head outside, always carry a rescue inhaler (if you have one) and avoid campfires and windy days that stir up mold and pollen. Ragweed and Bermuda grass are at the height of their terror in July and August; if these are known issues, stay inside.

6. BUG BITES

Mosquitoes, ticks, and spiders thrive in the heat. If you have type O blood, or you emit more carbon dioxide, you may be more prone to attract mosquitoes, ticks, and spiders. Protect yourself by burning citronella candles outdoors, using bug spray frequently, and not spending too long outside around dusk. Most bites will itch for 2-3 days and then fade, but if it persists beyond then and you develop a fever, rash, or other symptoms of infections, see your doctor.

7. FOOT PROBLEMS

Athlete’s foot, sprained ankles, blisters and more; summer offers it all. For many, flip flops seem like the easiest option when visiting a pool or beach. However, for those susceptible to falls and ankle twists, invest in a sandal that provides support. Avoid blisters and athlete’s foot by wearing protective footwear at all times—in showers, on beaches, pool decks, and other public places. If you do find yourself scratching and wincing at painful soles, home remedies such as creams and ice will heal you right up.

8. FOOD POISONING

The food truck right off the beach might seem convenient, but the stomach cramps later aren’t worth it. Food poisoning can occur from improperly cooked food, bacteria in water, and contamination from unsafe cooking conditions. Symptoms of food poisoning include a mild fever, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, sweating, and clutching the rim of the toilet for dear life. Avoid this summer health concern by only eating food you trust and drinking water from safe sources.

9. SUMMER COLDS

You can still develop a summer cold, with symptoms like a runny nose, sore throat, headache, cough, and mild fever, even if you haven’t been diagnosed with COVID-19. Children, or those in constant contact with small children, are at greater risk for developing a summer cold.

The key point to consider: summer colds resolve within a few days, while COVID-19 will take longer.

If you suspect you have symptoms of COVID-19, don’t hesitate to get tested, even though it may take some time to get your test results.

10. EAR INFECTIONS

Due to increased activity in water sports in the summer, ear infections become more common in young kids, those who use hearing aids, and frequent headphone users. Ear infections can be treated with over-the-counter eardrops, pain medicine, and 48 hours of rest. If it’s still a problem, and you can’t keep the kids out of the pool, invest in some earplugs to prevent further infections.

All of these are easily treatable with home remedies. Staying safe this summer is the number one priority, especially in the midst of the COVID-19. To learn more about different healthcare topics, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog. To learn more about different areas of healthcare, sign up for a healthcare course offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy.

How to Make Your Own Comfortable Hypoallergenic Mask

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With facial coverings being mandated around the country, due to COVID-19, if you have an allergy, you want to look for facial coverings called hypoallergenic masks that can be worn comfortably and don’t cause an allergic reaction. To create your own hypoallergenic mask, all you need is a pattern, your chosen materials, and a little determination.

Here are some things you should consider if you choose to make your own hypoallergenic mask.

Hypoallergenic Mask Materials

One of the most popular materials being used in face mask coverings is cotton. Cotton is naturally hypoallergenic. The thicker the cloth, the more protection it will give you. If you are allergic to dye, don’t use printed materials to make your mask.

Another good material that you might want to consider is linen. Linen is an excellent alternative due to its natural hypoallergenic nature and antimicrobial properties. This material is commonly used in bed sheets because it can absorb more liquid than other materials before becoming damp to the touch. Linen keeps moisture away from your mouth while still being able to stand up to machine washes.

Avoid Elastics and Plastics

If you choose to use plastic elastic bands to hold your mask on, you may experience some skin irritation. Instead, try using tie backs or try making a wrap-around mask. Alternate materials for securing your mask are easy to obtain; you’ll just need a little creativity. Using the same material you used from your mask, you can create a tie to secure your mask and keep it from falling down. If you are not allergic to silk fabric, you can use ribbons to secure your mask.

To avoid strain on your ears, create a wrap-around mask that you can secure at the back of your neck with Velcro. You can use buttons and snaps also to secure your mask at the back of your neck. Use a shorter tieback also to create the same effect.

Alternative to Making a Mask

If you are not able to create their own hypoallergenic mask, there are several options available to buy them. Neoprene and surgical masks are popular for facial covers. Visit Amazon to see the different varieties of face mask that are up for sale. Be cautious when choosing your mask. Keep in mind your own allergies, and ask questions if you’re not sure about the mask you are considering buying.

Regardless of whether you choose to make your own mask, or to buy one online, don’t forget to wash your masks often to keep them clean. Remove your mask using the elastic band around your ears, or the tieback that is holding your mask on. Don’t touch your mask directly with your hands to avoid contaminating it. Make two masks if possible, so that if one needs to be washed, or is being washed, you can use the second mask as a backup while the first mask is being washed.

To stay up to date on the latest news in healthcare, pertaining to COVID-19, quarantining, face masks, and other hot topics, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog. To take a healthcare course, visit the Avidity Medical Design Academy website.

How to Protect Yourself From COVID-19 if You Share a Desk with a Coworker

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Shot of a group of businesspeople using their computers at a desk in a modern office

Sharing an office can be challenging under normal circumstances. Your coworker may leave the desk a mess, adjust the chair without putting it back, and constantly walk off with your favorite pens. Working during COVID-19 presents a new problem: how can you safely share a desk when you don’t know if your coworker is taking proper precautions? Here are three tips for protecting yourself in a shared office space, especially if you work a different shift, and you share a desk with another coworker who works an earlier shift.  

1. Keep Your Office Space Sanitized

Get into the habit of wiping down your desk, chair, computer keyboard, and other surfaces with Clorox wipes or disinfecting spray as soon as you arrive at work and before you head home at the end of your shift. These cleaning products will kill the vast majority of potential germs in your office space, which can significantly lower your fear of contracting COVID-19 at work. If you know your building’s custodian or the coworker you share your desk with well and trust them, you might consider working out a cleaning schedule to share responsibilities, but it’s usually a good idea to handle it yourself so that you know it was done right. 

2. Purify Your Air to Reduce the Spread of Germs

Because little is known about how long COVID-19 can live in the air, investing in a small air purifier can provide an extra layer of protection from viruses, especially if your shift begins immediately after your coworker’s. HEPA filtration is capable of blocking nearly all particles that are the size of the COVID-19 virus.  

3. Bring Your Own Office Supplies

Rather than trying to sanitize every pen, marker, and stapler in your desk, now is a good time to avoid sharing office supplies altogether. Consider storing a small bag of inexpensive personal supplies in your briefcase or purse to reduce the number of items you have to touch that may be harder to clean than larger surfaces.   

Sharing a desk doesn’t have to be unsanitary. Follow the Avidity Medical Design blog for more tips for managing COVID-19 risk.

Consider making the most of your free time by enrolling in one of our courses. Visit Avidity Medical Design Academy for more information on the following courses:

  1. “How to Prevent Medical Conditions Caused By TOXIC People in Your Life (and Be Healthier!)”
  2. “How to Make Money in Healthcare (Working from Home) (Full Time!)”
  3. “How to Protect Your Own Medical Identity (in 8 EASY Steps!)”
  4. “How to Learn Basic Medical Terminology (in 5 EASY Steps) (and USE IT in EVERYDAY Living!)”
  5. “How to Prevent Disease in Your Body (By Eating Fruits and Vegetables!)” and many more. Visit Avidity Medical Design Academy for more information and a complete listing of courses that are currently available.

Improving Family Spiritual Health During the COVID-19 Quarantine (Part II)

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While in quarantine, families are spending more time together, having meals around the dinner table, playing games, reading stories at bedtime.  There is no longer the hustle and bustle of getting from one activity to the next. In some cases, parents are working from home and kids are involved in e-learning.  It’s a way of life most of us have not experienced. Some may be enjoying this new, slower-paced life, while others are stressed out and struggling to cope with all the changes, including the fear of worrying about exposure to COVID-19.  In the midst of everything, it is important to maintain not only physical and emotional health but also spiritual health.  Now could be the time for your family to make a spiritual connection or reconnection to improve their overall health.  Here are 4 more ways to improve your family’s spiritual health:

1.  Pray Together

Saying a prayer of thanks at mealtime can be a good way to get your family comfortable with praying.  If you have younger children, you may also say a bedtime prayer with them, after a story, when tucking them in at night.  Older children can be encouraged to say a bedtime prayer on their own. You can suggest they pray for the safety and health of their friends and family, since they may have unspoken worries about them.

2.  Watch an Online Service or Devotion

Many spiritual leaders and churches are offering online services and devotions as an alternative to in-person meetings to comply with at-home orders during the quarantine.  Search for a service that meets the spiritual needs of your family and watch and discuss it together.

3.  Listen to Spiritual or Inspirational Music

In addition to listening to secular music, hymns and other spiritual music can be uplifting and relaxing.  There is an endless supply of children’s spiritual music, providing a positive message of love and peace and safety.  To appeal to adolescents, teens, and even young adults, search for current radio stations playing spiritual music or introduce them to familiar hymns.  Music “therapy” can be very beneficial to overall health.

4. Meditate Every Day

It’s wonderful having family togetherness, but everyone needs a little alone time once in a while.  Meditation is a great way to decompress. Each person should have the opportunity and freedom to find a quiet place, with no interruptions or distractions, to find peace and tranquility, reflect on the day, and re-center themselves for better spiritual health.

The stress of the quarantine and COVID-19 can take a toll on all members of the family, from infants and toddlers to teens and young adults.  Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health are all important in coping with these stressors. For more information on healthy living visit Avidity Medical Design Academy or read more informative articles on our blog.

Beyond Washing Your Hands: COVID-19, Self-Quarantine, and Family Spiritual Health (Part I)

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With all of the focus on washing your hands, sanitizing, social distancing, and the medical considerations that go along with safeguarding your medical health in the age of COVID-19, it is easy to forget about other areas of health, such as spiritual health.

As you quarantine for medical health reasons, you may find yourself dealing with frustration when trying to follow the guidelines for social distancing or for self-quarantining in your home. You might miss your friends and coworkers due to the quarantine, and being forced to stay home with family. You might even feel cramped, crowded and scared. You might worry about getting sick, and washing and sanitizing your hands enough during the day. During this time, while everyone is self-quarantining, it is important to remember that protecting yourself and your family goes beyond just hand washing. Protecting yourself during this COVID-19 pandemic is also about maintaining family spiritual health. 

Let’s look at 5 ways that you can maintain your family’s spiritual health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. Eat Together at the Table

Family connections often mean just existing beside each other instead of establishing quality time with each other. We sit under the same roof with very little contact and very little conversation with other family members, who may spend more time interacting on social media and less time interacting with other family members. The COVID-19 quarantine gives us an opportunity to change, and to grow into having meaningful family relationships. Eating at the dinner table means everyone sitting together and doing something we enjoy – eating. It also opens the door for stimulating conversation about what is (and was) going on in each others’ lives before the quarantine happened. Your family will become much closer when you have a family routine that everyone can do together. 

2. Give Thanks

The dining room table is an excellent place to recognize the things that are still good in the world, and there’s plenty. When our days are spent listening to breaking news about the quarantine, and stepping on each other’s toes due to being quarantined in the house together, giving thanks for what is going well in your family’s life is a great way to stay positive during the quarantine. 

3. Take Deep Breaths

Meditation is another great way to relieve stress. When you are anxious and stressed, take a few minutes and breathe deeply. Inhale slowly, then exhale slowly. Spend some time on self-reflection and self-appreciation. Take the time to live in the present by practicing some meditation exercises. Life will feel much more relaxed and your family’s spiritual health will benefit. 

4. Laugh

Play some board games with your family, like Monopoly, Twister, Chess, or Checkers. If you have children in the household, listen to some old music that your children may not know about, to stimulate laughs and good conversation about fun social events that happened before they were born or when they were little. Do things that make you and your family smile. The power of fun and recreation will reduce feelings of isolation during the quarantine, and improve your relationship with other members in your family. 

5. Keep a Schedule

Lastly, maintain your schedule, eat right, and exercise. This is not the time to sit on the couch and eat or drink too much. Remain active by exercising at home. Encourage your family to keep living their life and appreciating their life. It will help you and your family remain mentally and spiritually healthy, centered, and connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Remember that maintaining your family’s health is important to help ease the pain and frustration of dealing with the pandemic. Remember that keeping your family strong when times are hard, does not happen by accident. It requires a conscious effort. These five tips are a good starting point, and they can transform this scary and negative time into a positive opportunity to make your family more close knit and unified for years to come.

For more informative articles on healthcare, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog.

To take an online healthcare course, visit Avidity Medical Design Academy.

10 Easy Exercises You Can Do if You Are 65 or Older

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Exercise is important at all stages of life, but it is especially important if you are a senior.  Seniors need exercise to maintain muscle mass, strengthen aging bones, increase circulation for blood flow to both the heart and the brain, and to help maintain balance to prevent falls.  You should try to exercise thirty minutes each day.  Here are 10 easy exercises you can do if you are 65 or older:

1.  Push the Wall.

Wall pushes strengthen your arms and chest.  To do a wall push, stand about three feet away from the wall, place your hands flat on the wall, then lean in and push back from the wall.  Complete this movement 10 times.

2.  Stand on One Foot.

This exercise is often called “The stork” and is used to improve balance.  Stand straight, and then lift one foot by bending the knee.  Hold the position for 30 seconds, then switch feet.  If you have trouble maintaining your balance, use a chair or the wall for support.

3.  Do Dumbbell Curls.

Dumbbell curls will strengthen your biceps.  Start with a light weight, such as 2 or 5 lbs., and then lift the weight toward your shoulder by bending your elbow.  Repeat 10 times with each arm.

4.  Lift Your Heels.

Heel lifts will stretch and strengthen your calves.  From a sitting position, keep your toes on the floor and lift your heels.  Repeat 20 times.

5.  Sit…Then Stand.

The sit/stand exercise is great for balance, but it will also strengthen leg muscles and the buttocks.  Start in a sitting position, then without using your hands, rise to a standing position.  Hold for 5 seconds, sit, and repeat 10 times.

6.  Do Toe Laps.

Toe taps will strengthen your lower legs and also increase blood flow.  Sit with your feet on the floor, and then with your heels still on the floor, slowly lift your toes until you can feel a comfortable stretch in your leg muscles.  Repeat 20 times.

7.  Stretch Your Neck.

Stretching your neck will release tension in your neck and shoulder area and increase strength.  Start by tipping your head forward until your chin touches your chest to stretch the back of your neck.  Next, tip your head to each side, leading with the ear to the shoulder.  Hold each stretch for 3 seconds.  Repeat 10 times.

8.  Lift Your Knees.

Knee lifts will strengthen your thighs.  From a sitting position, raise your knee so that the back of your thigh is 2-3 inches off the chair.  Hold it for 3-5 seconds, then place it back down.  Repeat 10 times, then switch to the other leg.

9. Raises Your Arms.

Arm raises will stretch your arms, shoulders, and back.  Place your arms at your sides from a sitting or standing position, then slowly bring them up, pausing for 3 seconds when they are extended out, then continue to lift them straight above your head, pausing for another 3 seconds when they are straight up.  Slowly return them to your sides and repeat 10 times.

10. Squat at Your Chair.

Stand with your feet apart, in front of a chair. Raise your arms, then squat down slowly in front of your chair. As you slowly move down to your chair, slowly return to a standing position. Chair squats help strengthen your hamstring muscles, as well as other key muscle groups.

In addition to these easy exercises, you can take daily walks, swim laps at the pool, or participate in senior group exercise classes like yoga or low impact aerobics at a local gym.  Staying active will lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, dementia, stroke, and other debilitating diseases and improve your overall quality of life.  For more information on other areas of healthcare, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog.

10 Easy Things You Can Do To Sleep Well Every Night

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Sleeping is one of the most important things we do. Sleepiness decreases work and school productivity and can be dangerous when working with heavy machinery or while driving. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), about 35% of adults in the US average less than 7 hours of sleep per night, and almost 70% of high school students average less than 8 hours of sleep every night. This is concerning since poor sleep raises your chance of alcohol and tobacco usage, obesity, heart problems, respiratory issues such as asthma, depression, arthritis, diabetes, and even cancer. Clearly, sleep is important, but it’s also pretty easy to change your habits to get better sleep–here are 10 easy things you can do to help you sleep well every night.

Tip #1: Set a Strict Schedule.

If you’ve ever slept in all weekend and then struggled to get up on Monday morning, you know just how hard it is to fight your wake/sleep schedule, or circadian rhythm. Your body quickly gets used to a set schedule of waking and sleeping that is tied to your activity patterns and the transitions between day and night. One of the most important tips for helping you sleep well is to set a regular schedule so your body will know when you’ll be sleeping.

Tip #2: Create Your Own Personal Bedtime Routine.

One of the most crucial parts of your day is the last hour before you sleep. You should try to do the same things every evening, such as taking a warm shower, brushing your teeth, and getting into pajamas, which will cue your body that you’re about to go to sleep.

Tip #3: Turn off the TV, Phone or Computer.

As you get ready for bed, try to avoid spending time looking into lights like your TV, phone, or computer. Though it may be tempting to watch videos as you relax in bed, this kind of light keeps your brain alert, so opt for entertainment like podcasts or audio meditations that don’t require a lit screen.

Tip #4: Go Somewhere Else If You Can’t Sleep.

If you really can’t go to sleep just yet, or if you wake up during the night and can’t get back to sleep, go ahead and move to another room for work or entertainment. This will help remind your brain that bedrooms are for sleep, not for alert activities.

Tip #5: Make Your Bedroom as Dark as Possible.

At night in your bedroom, use blackout curtains and cover lights on electronics in the room to keep it as dark as possible for the best sleep. Conversely, during the daytime, stay in brightly lit rooms and get lots of sunlight to help align your circadian rhythm with the passage of time in nature.

Tip #6: Watch What You Eat.

Eating large meals, drinking alcohol or caffeine, and smoking cigarettes hurts your sleep quality. Whether you’re awake with jitters or indigestion, you won’t sleep as well as you would if you just drank water and ate a small snack in the evening.

Tip #7: Exercise Regularly.

By regularly exercising, you burn off excess energy and keep your mind and body active without the use of stimulants. 

Tip #8: Adjust Your Thermostat (Or Set a Thermostat Schedule).

Most people sleep well when the temperature of the room is in the mid 60s. Who hasn’t woken up in the middle of the night too hot or too cold? If you have a thermostat with a scheduling device built in, set the schedule to lower or raise the temperature at different time intervals during the night while you are sleeping.

Tip #9: Block Out All Noise or Use White Noise.

Whether it’s a dog barking or a partner snoring, noises tend to distract from a good night’s sleep. Use white noise from an app or fan to dull exterior noise, and wear earplugs if necessary. Also, if you have your phone at your bedside, make sure to silence it so you aren’t up all night with Twitter notifications.

Tip #10: Make Your Mattress and Pillow Comfortable.

Try to change your mattress out at least once every 10 years, and if you can’t afford a new one, you can make a firm mattress softer with a pillow-top insert or soft mattress firmer with boards under the bed. Find a comfortable pillow that fits your size, and spend a little extra on soft and breathable sheets and blankets. 

To learn more about different healthcare subjects, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog.

To enroll in a healthcare course, visit Avidity Medical Design Academy.

10 Easy Exercises That You Can Do At Work

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Working at your desk all day can put extra stress on your body.  Because of this, it’s important to stay fit while you’re working at your desk all day.  There are plenty of easy, beneficial exercises that you can do while you’re sitting at your desk, or working in the office. Here are 10 easy exercises you could do when you are at work.

1.  Do Some Head Lollers 

When you’re working behind a computer all day, your head and neck could become stiff.  Loosen them by letting your head loll over so that the left ear nearly touches your shoulder.  Use your hand to press your head a little lower for 10 seconds.  Repeat the same exercise using your right ear.

2.   Try Some Victory Stretches

This easy exercise is great for relieving stress and keeping your muscles from clenching up.  You could stay seated or stand up for this exercise.  Raise your hands up overhead in a V-shape and stretch high up.  Hold for 10 seconds.

3.   Do Wall Sits

This exercise is great for building strength and endurance while taking a phone call.  It’s also great for your back.  You will stand with your back against the wall, bend your knees and slide your back down the wall until thighs are parallel to the floor.  Sit and hold this position for 15 seconds.

4.   Clench Your Muscles

A muscle strengthening exercise that you can do while sitting or standing.  All you have to do is tighten your buttocks for five seconds, relax and repeat 15 times.  If you do this exercise regularly, it could help tone your muscles.

5.  Squat at Your Printer or Your Fax Machine

Try doing this exercise when you are standing at your printer and waiting for something to print, or standing at your fax machine and sending a fax or receiving a fax.  Squatting is great for strengthening the thighs and buttocks.  Stand with your feet together, bending the knees slightly until your thighs are parallel to the ground.  Hold this position for five seconds and then release it.  Repeat this exercise. Do 4-6 repetitions.

6.  Raise Your Legs While Sitting

This exercise is great for adding strength to your legs and abdomen.  Try doing this while sitting down on a conference call and nobody’s watching.  Straighten your leg while sitting upright in your seat.  Hold it in place for 10 seconds.  Repeat with the other leg and then do this 15 times for each leg.

7.  Do Some Chair Dips

These are easy exercises you can do to strengthen your core and arms.  Be sure you’re using a chair that doesn’t roll away.  Scoot up to the front edge of the chair, extend your legs out in front of you and place your hands on the edges of the chair behind you.  Use your core and arms to raise your body up and down.  Repeat this exercise 15 times.

8.  Raise Your Leg While Hovering

Similar to raising your legs while sitting, raising your legs while hovering helps strengthen your abdomen.  The only difference is that you will be raising both of your legs at the same time, instead of raising each leg one at a time.  Hold this position as long as you can and then release it.

9.  Do the “Leaning Plank Exercise”

This is another one of our favorite easy exercises you could do in the break room.  Just lean against a wall using your forearms for support.  Hold for as long as you can.

10.  Hug Your Knees

Lift your leg up with a bent knee and grab it with your arms.  Hold for 5-10 seconds.  Repeat on the other leg.  This exercise is great for strengthening your knees.

For more easy exercises you could at your desk, be sure to follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog

To take an online healthcare course, visit Avidity Medical Design Academy.    

Six-Part Health Series (Part 6): 10 Things You Can Do To Improve Your *Employment Health* in 2020

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Employment health, also called occupational health, pertains to a person’s well-being and safety in the workforce. This type of health directly impacts personal life because injuries and emotional stress are difficult or impossible to leave at work. That is why it is so important to focus on your employment health this year, and make sure your total health is in check. 

10 Things to Do for Your Employment Health in 2020

1. Take Your Breaks.

You don’t really improve your workplace or your employment health by working through your breaks. Not taking breaks may actually decrease your productivity and possibly lead to burnout. So take your 15 minutes. You’ll finish your work more effectively and efficiently. 

2. Adhere to Safety Standards.

Adhering to safety standards are proven, effective ways to get the job completed in the safest way possible. Don’t become apathetic about OSHA noncompliance, even if you have coworkers that don’t take compliance seriously. Lead by example, and go home unharmed. 

3. Take Advantage of Benefits.

Fringe benefits that are unused can make you feel unequally compensated. Instead of becoming frustrated, find ways to use the benefits. You’ll end up with greater job satisfaction. 

4. Avoid Distractions.

Put your phone away and don’t check Facebook at work. If you need your phone for emergencies, use it only for emergencies. Distractions make the day seem long but also like you don’t have enough time. 

5. Personalize Your Workplace.

Many people call their workplace a home-away-from-home, but it really isn’t unless you make it one. Add some pictures or a plant to personalize your workspace. If you don’t have a dedicated desk or workstation, personalize your locker. 

6. Meditate.

You actually do have time to meditate. A one-minute breathing exercise can center you enough to get through the toughest of days. Repeating this throughout the day can elevate the effect. 

7. Get Involved.

Part of employment health comes from feeling empowered and like you belong to your organization. This cannot happen if you only do the bare minimum. Get involved in your work, and you’ll have pride in it. 

8. Eat Right.

If you want to be energetic throughout the day, you have to put good nutrition into your body. Drink your coffee, but make sure you drink your water, too. Trade in your fast food for some homemade lunches with fresh veggies. You’ll feel better at work and at home. 

9. Communicate.

So much emotional drain at work comes from a lack of communication. A person may dwell on something all day only to find out that it was a misunderstanding. Clear the air, but don’t cause drama. 

10. Don’t Gossip.

Avoid he-said, she-said. If there’s a problem, go directly to the source unless it requires the attention of a supervisor or manager. Likewise, don’t offer opinions about how other people feel or what other people did. Keep it to yourself, and refer people who question you to the true source of the answer. 

It is up to you to take care of yourself in the workplace and enhance your employment health. We all need our jobs in order to keep our livelihood, and employment health is essential in order to make that the best livelihood possible.