The Thanksgiving festivities are just days away. Whether, your holiday is spent doing your favorite traditions or creating new ones, I am sure it will involve food. Who am I kidding? There will be a massive amount of food. In fact, if your family is anything like mine, you will be greeted with savory dishes decorating the dining room table and mind-blowing aromas singing happy tunes up your nose. While I am sure, the words diets and carbs are outlawed during the festive holiday, what about behavior? Here at MMC, our goal is to change behavior, not to get people through a holiday but for a lifetime. What if people everywhere incorporated portion control and healthy eating into their lifestyle, all year long? What if we were programmed to automatically make the healthy choice when it comes to food? Every day, we are given the opportunity to make behavior changes that can stay with us forever. It may not be easy and we will probably have to take it one step at a time. But we can do it! Let’s make the decision to change our eating behaviors today. So when Thanksgiving greets us next year, we can treat it like all the other days on the calendar, healthy!(Read full post)
I recently had the opportunity to attend a workshop on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Weight Loss at the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy.
Not only was the experience extremely valuable and incredibly interesting, but I also got to meet some celebrities! I’m not ashamed to say I was starstruck(Read full post)
It is the day after Halloween. All Saints Day. Dia de Los Muertos.
However, the thing that most kids (and parents) around the country are recognizing today is the aftermath of last night.
To address these tummy problems, and more broadly, the rising rates of obesity in America, the National Confectioners Association has come out with their Treat Right campaign. As part of this effort, the group has developed a few guidelines on moderating candy consumption. And there’s nothing like a chart with words like ‘moderate’ and ‘consumption’ in the title to get kids to listen up, right? I don’t know a single kid who limited themselves to even 2-4 Twizzlers last night. (Heck, I don’t know a single MicroMass employee who can make it through the day on one Fun Size candy bar!)
As a public health professional, I know I must preach “Everything in moderation”. I just know that there’s at least one time of year when that rule is meant to be broken.(Read full post)
Smartwatches are the new cool wearable device hitting the marketplace these days. Not only are they good looking, they may become another, better platform for achieving improved health. The fact that they are wearable and can capture biometric and location data could turn them into patient smartwatches. Like mobile devices, patient smartwatches can provide alerts and notifications ranging from SMS, call alerts, emails, appointment reminders and other third-party notification apps that pertain to health information. In addition, they can capture sensory data such as heart rate, calorie output, oxygen levels, blood pressure and other meaningful health data, plus they can be used as a stopwatch during exercise. Once that data is collected, they can forward it to healthcare providers. Not bad for a watch, but the best part is that they will look good on your wrist. Is this the new fashion of health?(Read full post)
It’s October! The weather is changing, football has kicked off and there seems to be an increase of everything pink all over nation. It is indeed Breast Cancer Awareness month, and organizations from all over the nation are doing their share in getting the word out about early detection and prevention. While, I am always excited to see such a heightened awareness of health issues on display, I realize that there are only 31 days in October. There are only 31 days to tell everyone you know about the importance of knowing their family history of breast cancer. There are only 31 days to encourage everyone you know to get screened regularly. There are 31 days to tell everyone about a disease that impacts people lives forever. The pink campaign will last only 31 days, but there are things we can do to make sure the spirit of breast cancer awareness lasts throughout the year.
Breast cancer impacts lives all year long, let’s do our part to prevent it all year long.
Candy cigarettes. Jump suits with crazy patterns. Huge out of control eye glasses.
And using my mom’s camera with actual film. Growing up a kid from the 70′s meant waiting FOREVER for your photos to come back from the mail. I remember the chemical smell of opening up the package of photos when they came in. What a rush.
Now I shoot photos with my phone about 90% of the time. The apps are amazing and you can really have a professional looking shot. (AND honestly I think I use my phone more for photos than talking on it or texting on it or writing emails.)
Which leads me to the real reason I’m writing the blog. I find it so great that NOKIA made a camera with the technology to be a phone. The camera takes photos and video like no other smartphone. AND you can actually zoom. I love my iPhone don’t get me wrong. But I also love the idea that this product started as a camera first. LINK: http://www.nokia.com/us-en/phones/phone/lumia1020/
If you are a friend of mine on Facebook, I’m sorry. I share WAY TOO MANY PHOTOS. I think I’m just making up for the times when I actually had to WAIT to share them. (I wish this NOKIA was available when I was a kid.)
Senior Art Director at MicroMass Communications
(Read full post)
My husband loves football. He’s that guy who participates in multiple fantasy leagues and needs to be around at least 7 TVs on Sunday. He even has a collection of mini helmets for each NFL team. I, on the other hand, am a more casual fan. After my time in Pittsburgh, I would say that I support the Steelers… If their 0 and 3 record weren’t so bad for my health.
NPR’s Hidden Brain recently reported on a study that compared dietary patterns on Sundays before and Mondays after NFL games: They discovered that fans of teams that lost on Sunday ate, on average, 16 percent more saturated fat, while fans of winning teams ate 9 percent less saturated fat. The pattern was consistent for overall calorie consumption as well, with vicarious losers eating 10 percent more calories, and vicarious winners eating 5 percent less calories.
The idea that we eat badly when we’re sad or disappointed is nothing new. Otherwise, why does every movie break-up result in one or both characters eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s? Why, though, should we eat better after our team wins? The answer, researchers say, may lie in the reasons we put off instant gratification. A win may make us more future-oriented—excited about next week, the playoffs, and beyond. Future-orientation also makes us more likely to endure the pain of a workout, or choose a salad over a burger. We are making sacrifices in the present for future rewards.
And how do we get fans of losing teams to focus on the future? One way involves using cognitive behavioral techniques proven to interrupt automatic negative thoughts. We all have experienced that vicious cycle of negative thinking, emotions and behavior—those extreme thoughts that lead us to be self-defeating. By employing strategies such as self-affirmation, or reminding ourselves of everything good in our lives after our team loses, we can interrupt those negative thought patterns that lead us to want some immediate gratification.
So the next time you think about drowning your sorrows in 2 dozen wings remember—there’s always next Sunday.(Read full post)
Wellness in itself is a reward to you and then a reward to the company/organization that provides your healthcare coverage. Is your company on a “Wellness” kick? We are and have been for this summer in an effort to modify behaviors and eventually influence long term change. This has been prompted by the ever changing landscape of healthcare reform and additional incentives provided by insurance carriers that reward proactive health behaviors.
MicroMass challenged all employees to participate in an online program where points are awarded for achieving certain preventative healthcare measures, examinations and by participating in group sponsored events. Is this easy? Yep, it actually is and it is something that can be maintained throughout the year. We’ve learned it doesn’t need to be a BIG change to make a difference; it is little changes such as:
- Parking your car in the back so you need to walk a little more
- Take the stairs
- Bring healthy snacks to work (although we have those provided to us as well as chocolate)
- Plan your meals ahead of time to avoid stress eating and over eating (re. avoid drive-thru’ s)
- Get 7 -8 hours of sleep a night
- Drink plenty of water and try to cut out soda and sugary drinks (you don’t need to go cold turkey, make small modifications)
- See your doctor when you KNOW you should, preventative screenings are covered by insurance
These may seem like small things but they add up and pretty soon these slight modifications will become habits. Our points will be tallied by next month and we will let you know if MicroMass achieved the company goal. I can tell you now that many employees have not only reached their personal goal but have also set new goals for themselves.(Read full post)
I am always looking for a better pair of glasses, and with my prescription I am limited with my selections. However, when I ran across the idea of 3D printed frames, I thought that maybe someday I can have the frames I want and the prescription I need without compromise. Protos Eyewear is a startup (currently looking for funding) that has recognized that everyone’s face is unique and is offering glasses that are tailored to the individual – very nice.
It works by sending two photographs of yourself – one head-on and one side profile – that help the Protos team to tweak each design to fit your face. Their advanced software lets you select and alter the design of each pair of glasses to fit your unique features and accentuate your facial structure. Right now they offer only black, but more colors will be offered as they ramp up.
3D printing is being researched for use in many healthcare applications. In a recent article, Forbes provides three great examples of healthcare applications. One is scaffolding to provide custom joint replacements. Another is in medical device manufacture such as custom hearing aids and dental implants. The third deals with printing functional human tissue for transplants.
Protos’ approach is simple and pragmatic and provides a service I see myself using. And another great thing about this on-demand custom process is that it brings manufacturing back to the U.S.
Check out their video below:(Read full post)
There was a recent article in the New York Times that talked about the use of placebo treatments in the clinical setting. It placed emphasis on research studies affirming that patients have experienced some degree of symptom relief when given a placebo. Understandably, one may find it difficult to comprehend such a dynamic. How can a patient feel better when they aren’t given real medicine? It’s all in the behavioral science. Behavioral science over the years has pointed to the fact that treating a patient isn’t just about the medication. In fact, the provider’s tone, empathy, eye contact, touch, mutual respect and attention play a major role in successfully treating a patient. Patients have a dire need to be more than an algorithm, more than a chart…they want to be an individual human being. And when a provider treats them as such, sometimes it’s all the medicine they need.(Read full post)