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The number of workers on zero-hours contracts continues to rise in the UK. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that between October and December 2018 there were between 777,000 and 911,000 people working on zero-hours contracts. But the impact of such contracts seems to be underestimated by the government.

In June 2019, much of Europe was struck by early heatwave, with temperatures reaching nearly 46 Centigrade (115 Fahrenheit) in France, an all-time record. A heat wave is characterised by extremely high temperatures over the course of several days and nights. They have significant impact on our daily lives – we feel overheated and tired. When a heat wave strikes, many governments activate a “heat action plan”, advising those affected to drink water, avoid strenuous exercise, and stay cool. If not, one risks having a heat stroke, which can be potentially life-threatening.

People in China have used salt to prepare and preserve food for thousands of years. But consuming lots of salt raises blood pressure, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease, which includes heart attack and stroke, now accounts for 40% of deaths in China.

Why should employers look to create a positive workplace culture? We sat down with Dr Leena Johns, Head of Health & Wellness at MAXIS Global Benefits Network, to discuss the, often unseen, impact of workplace culture on the productivity and health of employees.

Australia is in the bottom third of OECD countries when it comes to working long hours, with 13% of us clocking up 50 hours or more a week in paid work. These long hours are bad for our health. A new study from France has found that regularly working long days of ten hours or more increases our risk of having a stroke.

In our previous article* we saw how the growth and geographical expansion of multinationals is leading to increasing international mobility, and new challenges for the HR function. Now we’ll look at the issues surrounding a specific area of benefit provision – group life and disability cover – and discuss the range of solutions available.

Every year in April the two most important surveys for the Group Risk industry come out: Swiss Re’s ‘Group Watch’ shows how the Group Risk market is performing which informs insurers; while the GRID claims statistics survey shows how the Group Risk industry is performing from an adviser, employer and employee perspective.

Leena Johns on Workplace Culture – Protecting Employees on The Move – The UK Group Risk Market in 2018 – Long Hours Increase Chances of A Stroke – Salt, China’s Deadly Food Habit – Body Organs Most at Risk During A Heatwave – The Toll of Zero-Hour Contracts

Medical robots are helping doctors and other professionals save time, lower costs and shorten patient recovery times, but patients may not be ready. Our research into human perceptions of automated health care finds that people are wary of getting their health care from an automated system, but that they can adjust to the idea – especially if it saves them money.

There are people who show incredible resistance to extremes of temperature. Think of Buddhist monks who can calmly withstand being draped in freezing towels or the so-called “Iceman” Wim Hof, who can remain submerged in ice water for long periods of time without trouble. These people tend to be viewed as superhuman or special in some way. If they truly are, then their feats are simply entertaining but irrelevant vaudevillian acts. What if they’re not freaks, though, but have trained their brains and bodies with selfmodification techniques that give them cold resistance? Could anyone do the same?

Companies offer all sorts of benefits and extras to attract the most favored workers, from health care and stock options to free food. But all those perks come at a price: your freedom. There’s a reason labor historians call these perks “welfare capitalism,” a term that originated to describe company towns and their subsidized housing, free classes and recreational activities. Like government welfare, offering any benefits that people come to rely on is also a convenient vehicle to mold their behavior.

Taking a walk on a wooded path, spending an afternoon in a public park, harvesting your backyard garden and even looking at beautiful pictures of Hawaii can all make us feel good. Certainly, for many of us, it’s beneficial to have time outside in natural environments. Being cooped up inside can feel unnatural and increase our desire to get outside. The renowned biologist E.O. Wilson created a theory called the biophilia hypothesis, where he stated that people have an innate relationship to nature.

We know we should eat less junk food, such as crisps, industrially made pizzas and sugar-sweetened drinks, because of their high calorie content. These “ultraprocessed” foods, as they are now called by nutritionists, are high in sugar and fat, but is that the only reason they cause weight gain? An important new trial from the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) shows there’s a lot more at work here than calories alone.

An Interview with IEBA’s New Chairman Norman Dreger – R&D: Ultra-Processed Food Causes Weight Gain – R&D: A Walk on The Beach for Good Health – R&D: Perks Are Used to Control Your Life – R&D: Brain Over Body: How Psychology Influences Physiology – R&D: Robotic Health Care Is Coming to A Hospital Near You –

Fulfilling the diversity of employee needs: are cafeteria-style benefits plans the future? The Legal Profession Has A Mental Health Problem The Opioid Crisis Is Not About Pain Using Painkillers for Emotional Relief Feel Like Time Is Flying? How to Slow It Down Out of Shape? How to Start Exercising Simple Steps to Keep You Safe from Malaria Parkinson’s: Four Unusual Signs You May Be at Risk

Opioid-related deaths have been rising over recent years in North America and globally. New data released by the Public Health Agency of Canada reveals that more than 10,300 Canadians died as a result of an apparent opioid-related overdose between January 2016 and September 2018.

Set in a fictional firm in New York, the TV series Suits glamorises the life of lawyers working in a modern corporate firm. One of the main characters, Harvey Specter, dresses impeccably in an expensive designer suit and expects others around him to do the same. The lawyers in the firm are hugely ambitious, work late into the night (we rarely see them away from the office) and demand excellence in everything they do. For these professionals, work is life. This is, we are led to believe, what a lawyer’s life could be like.

A cultural shift in the workplace towards satisfying individual employee needs means attracting and retaining talented staff now requires a deeper understanding of the personal resources employees need to flourish. Conceptualizing benefits as resources may help explain how many leading organizations are enjoying enhanced employee wellbeing, engagement and increased productivity through transitioning to cafeteria-style benefits plans.

Do you move around a lot during your sleep? Or have you lost your sense of smell? New insights into Parkinson’s disease suggest that these might be the early signs of changes in the brain that mean you are at greater risk of developing Parkinson’s.

Every death from malaria is a tragedy. But many infections can be prevented. This is particularly true for holidaymakers, travellers, or people visiting their families in malaria endemic areas. All they need to do is follow some very simple rules. Malaria is a complicated disease – I should know, after studying it for more than 30 years – but the solutions to avoiding and treating it can be as simple as “ABCD”. If the basics of prevention are followed, a great deal of unnecessary illness and mortality can be avoided.

Perhaps your GP has recommended you exercise more, or you’ve had a recent health scare. Maybe your family’s been nagging you to get off the couch or you’ve decided yourself that it’s time to lose some weight.How do you find the motivation, time and resources to get fit, particularly if you haven’t exercised in a while? How do you choose the best type of exercise? And do you need a health check before you start?

Sometimes it seems as if life is passing us by. When we are children, time ambles by, with endless car journeys and summer holidays which seem to last forever. But as adults, time seems to speed up at a frightening rate, with Christmas and birthdays arriving more quickly every year.

Australians are increasingly using prescription or over-the-counter painkillers to ease emotional, rather than physical, pain. Our cultural understanding of pain is changing, and as a result it’s becoming more difficult to distinguish intoxication from relief.

Diverse Approaches to International Employee Benefits – Productivity: a UK Challenge Which Insurers Can Help With – Light Physical Activity Has Health Benefits – Six Questions to Ask to Help Screen For Suicide Risk – How US Policy Is Shifting Toward Nutrition for Better Health – Pancreatic Cancer: Possible Insights into Treatment and Early Detection – Providing Equity Income to Mobile Employees

Equity income is an important part of the compensation and talent management strategy for many companies. The provision of equity income can assist in attracting new talent as well as in motivating and retaining current employees. It allows companies the ability to directly reward employees for business growth over specified periods of time.

When “Jeopardy!” episode 7059 aired on April 30, 2015, the category was “The Human Body,” the price was $2,000, and the clue was “This gland’s main duct, the duct of Wirsung, collects its juices & empties into the duodenum.” The question was “What is the pancreas?” Unbeknownst to Alex Trebek, the show’s beloved host, the cells that line the duct of his pancreas would develop into pancreatic cancer, or pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Trebek announced on March 6, 2019 that he has pancreatic cancer, but that he will fight the disease and keep hosting the show. And in fact, he was back at work March 12.

In 2018, Congress initiated a series of actions that represent a shift away from placing the full responsibility – and blame – on individual people to make their own healthier choices. These actions also show a growing recognition that many stakeholders – including the government – are accountable for a healthier, more equitable food system. This shift in thinking reflects an understanding that government can and should play a role in improving the diet of Americans.