Thursday, December 18, 2008

Healthy Living...

KSFY reports that obesity rates in South Dakota have nearly tripled over the past 18 years, rising from 10.7 percent to 27 percent today. Rising obesity rates are alarming, as they say a great deal about the general health of a population.

Many of the leading causes of death and leading diseases treated by prescription drugs are diseases directly related to lifestyle choices, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer (lung cancer from smoking, for example). Shifting our focus away from treatment and more toward prevention is crucial for lowering our health care costs and creating a happier and healthier population.

A Virginia Tech researcher is working on a study on workplace workouts, where employees are given the opportunity to walk, run, or jog during work breaks. Regular workouts at work would help both employers and employees, as working out both relieves job stress and gives employees a higher-level of self-esteem and accomplishment; as a result they become happier, more productive workers.

Currently, much our view of workplace breaks seems a little off-base…as Mike Huckabee put it, we have 15 minute smoke breaks at work, but heaven forbid we have a 20 minute exercise break! Encouraging bad habits and discouraging the good ones doesn’t help our health care system out one bit.

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