Health & Wellness Library

 

The health and wellness library is designed to give you information to stay educated about your health. Whether you’re looking for articles, tools, podcasts or simple health care term definitions, the library is your source for accurate information you can trust to help you stay fit and enhance your quality of life.

 

 

 

 

  • Monthly Topics/Articles

    Every month we will post information focused on a single health & wellness topic for you to read.
  • Health & Wellness Bulletin

    August 2014: Dental Health - Click here to read about:

    How To Protect Your Health with Good Dental Health!
     


    Additional Health Information in the bulletin this month:
     
    OFFICE GERMS

    DID YOU KNOW?? The typical employee’s desk has more bacteria per square inch than an office toilet seat! If that's not disturbing enough…  desks, phones and other private surfaces are also prime habitats for the viruses and bacteria that cause colds, the flu, strep throat, pneumonia and other illnesses.

    GERMS are bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Not all will cause disease, but many are bad news in the workplace, as some can live from two to 72 hours or more on hard surfaces, and can be spread in a few ways:

    • Infectious droplets from coughs or sneezes move through the air and land on nearby surfaces or are inhaled by others.
    • Physical contact is made with infected droplets on a hard surface (e.g., a desk) and is transferred by touching the mouth, eyes or nose prior to hand washing.

    Germ Hot Spots

    • Telephones
    • Keyboard and mouse
    • Desktops
    • Doorknobs, elevator buttons and light switches
    • Vending machine buttons
    • Fax, printer and copy machines
    • Water fountain handles and water cooler spigots
    • Microwave door handles
    • Bathroom door handles and faucets
    • Chair armrests
    • Pens and other shared office items
    • Escalator and elevator handrails

    Tidy vs. Clean

    Even if you keep your desk tidy, it may not be “clean.” Unlike toilets, which tend to be cleaned regularly; keyboards, phone receivers and desks rarely receive a wipe-down.

    Consider this: crumbs and coffee spills are capable of supporting mini eco-systems. Without a cleaning, even a small area on your desk or phone can sustain millions of bacteria that could potentially cause illness. Keep disinfectant wipes or spray at your desk and clean it regularly, especially during flu season.

    Getting Rid of Germs

    The good news: heightened awareness and hygiene efforts can go a long way in helping keep your office safer. Keep the following points in mind and share them with your co-workers:

    • Germ-busting at the office is a team effort! It only takes one person to infect healthy co-workers.

    • Regular cleaning of personal workspaces (desk, phone, keyboard, etc.) kills bacteria, stopping the spread of germs.

    • Frequent cleaning of shared workspaces (door handles, coffee pots, light switches, faucets, office equipment, etc.) is essential in maintaining sanitary safety. Disinfection is the goal, so be sure to use a true disinfectant, not simply an antibacterial product. Daily disinfection reduces bacteria levels by 99 percent, drastically lowering the risk of illness.

    • Be considerate of others and cough or sneeze into tissues, your sleeve or the crook of your arm. Wash your hands often and sanitize using alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel. Consider having these items on-hand at your desk and in any common areas, including kitchens and restrooms.





    JULY 2014: Getting Fit Month - Click here to read about:

    Tips on How to Work Fitness into Your Life!
     


    Additional Health Information in the bulletin this month:
     

    Many Americans report getting little to no leisure time due to long work hours and household responsibilities. As a result, obesity is becoming more of a trigger for health problems and increased health spending than smoking or drinking.


    WHAT A COMPLETE PROGRAM LOOKS LIKE:


    STRENGTH TRAINING

    AEROBIC TRAINING



    FLEXIBILITY TRAINING

    FITNESS FIRST: EXERCISE PROGRAMS

    Research shows that those who are physically active are likely to live longer, healthier lives.

    The benefits of physical activity include:
    • Weight maintenance
    • Reduced blood pressure
    • Improved glucose regulation
    • Stronger bone density

    Also, a person who has hypertension, diabetes or a history of smoking can greatly benefit from including regular physical activity into their daily routine.

    The First Step
    If you are over 40 years of age, inactive or have health issues, consult a physician before you begin an exercise program.

    A Complete Program
    There are three main components to a well-balanced program of physical activity: aerobic exercise, strength training and flexibility training.
    Commitment to a regular physical activity program is more important than the intensity of your workouts. Choose exercises you are likely to pursue and enjoy such as:
    • Walking or Running
    • Stair climbing
    • Biking
    • Rowing
    • Cross-country skiing
    • Swimming

    Healthy aerobic training should be performed three to five days per week with a minimum of 20 minutes per day. Remember, if your schedule is tight, it is better to exercise for a shorter period of time than not at all.
    Strength training is another option.

    Strength training should be done two to three times per week, and is performed with free weights or weight machines. For the purposes of general training, two to three upper body and lower body exercises should be done. Abdominal exercises are an important part of strength training as well.

    Flexibility training is important too, but is frequently neglected, resulting in increased tightness as you age and become less active. Stretching is most safely done with sustained gradual movements lasting a minimum of 15 seconds per stretch. At a minimum, strive to stretch every day.




    JUNE 2014: Migraine & Headache Month - Click to read about:

    What Makes Your Head Hurt??


     

    Additional Health Information in the bulletin this month:

    FEELING UNBALANCED? INDULGE IN LISTS

    Lists are one of the quickest roads back to order and sanity when life seems to spin out of control.

    One of the beautiful things lists do is give us a peaceful illusion of finiteness in an infinite world. The illusion, of course, may be short-lived, but the momentary pause it gives us to get our feet back solidly on the ground may be well worth it.

    Lists also feed our belief that we can get organized.  This belief is vital at times and will keep us stepping up to the plate.
    Probably the greatest thing about lists is the sheer joy of checking items off as we do them!

    ANTIBIOTIC MYTHS AND FACTS

    This scenario is common and happens in many a doctor’s office. A
    patient with cold or flu like symptoms goes to the doctor expecting
    an antibiotic. The doctor explains that symptoms are likely a viral
    infection and sends the patient home. In some instances the patient
    may push the doctor for a prescription. This patient doesn’t
    understand that antibiotics can cure bacterial infections, but not
    viral infections (such as a cold and the flu).       

    So what’s the harm in taking an antibiotic anyway?

    • Treating a cold or flu (viral infection) with antibiotics doesn’t work. In fact it increases the likelihood that the person will become ill with an antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection.
    • According to the CDC, reactions to antibiotics are the most common cause of child emergency department visits for adverse drug events.
    • Antibiotic overuse increases the development of drug resistant germs.


    What Can You Do?

    • Only take antibiotics prescribed for you.
    • Take the entire prescription even if you’re feeling better. This way the infection won’t come right back.
    • Practice self-care by drinking plenty of fluids and eating healthy foods, including good old-fashioned chicken soup.


    From www.WebMD


     
  • Preventing the Flu:  The CDC states: “The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu.” Other than vaccination, CDC recommendations for preventing the flu include:
    • Avoid close contact. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
    • Cover your mouth and your nose. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
    • Clean your hands. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. There are hand sanitizer stations across the University.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.  Clean frequently touched surfaces in your work area with wipes or another antibacterial cleaner, especially when someone is ill.
       
  • CIGNA's Wellness and Medical Topics A-Z
    Find information on a wide range of health and medical topics in CIGNA's extensive library.
     
  • Medication Information Index A-Z
    If you need information on medications and supplements, you can find it in CIGNA's comprehensive library.
     
  • Medical Tests
    Get information on many medical tests in CIGNA's itemized library.
     
  • Health and Well-being Tools
    Access the tools you need to manage and improve your health, from quitting smoking to reducing stress.
     
  • CIGNA's Podcasts:  Audio Information for Your Health
    From caring for children's oral health, to saving money on health care costs, to getting through economic hardships, Cigna's podcasts cover hundreds of topics—all to help you learn more and feel better. Be sure to check back regularly for new topics!
     
  • Behavioral Awareness Series
    Sign up for free seminars on Autism, Eating Disorders, or Drug and Alcohol Abuse. There are dozens of topics to choose from and you’ll get tips, tools and advice you’ll find truly helpful. Each hour-long seminar is led by an expert. You can listen from the comfort and privacy of your own home. It’s your chance to get information that can be helpful for you or someone you love.