Poor Mental Health Harming Productivity, Report Says


Mental Health Slows ProductivityOne in five workers suffer from a mental illness such as depression or anxiety and these conditions increasingly affect productivity in the workplace as many struggle to cope, a report by the OECD said on Monday.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development found people with mental illness are often off sick from work, and between 30 and 50 percent of all new disability benefit claims in OECD nations are now due to poor mental health.

Policymakers need to find new ways to tackle the social and economic problem of mental illness, the report said, as trigger factors, such as stress at work, are likely to increase.

“Increasing job insecurity and pressure in today’s workplaces could drive a rise in mental health problems in the years ahead,” it said.

“The share of workers exposed to work-related stress, or job strain, has increased in the past decade all across the OECD. And in the current economic climate, more and more people are worried about their job security.”

Full story at Fox News

Depressed moms linked to child disorders


Depressed MotherChildren whose mothers were depressed throughout their first year of life have a higher risk of mental disorders themselves by age 6, researchers in Israel say.

Ruth Feldman, a professor at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, found 60 percent of children born to mothers who were consistently depressed across the first year of the children’s lives exhibited mental disorders when they were older. The children, similar to their mothers, also showed disordered functioning of the Oxytocin system.

Oxytocin, a mammalian hormone, is involved with sexual reproduction, childbirth, breastfeeding and pair bonding.

Researchers studied the mental health status, Oxytocin levels, genetic variation in Oxytocin receptors and interactions in 155 mother-child pairs during at-home visits. The mothers were surveyed for mental health symptoms at the birth of their child, and at 6 and 9 months after the birth of their child.

Full story at UPI

Energy drinks cause problems for some

By Dinah Voyles Pulver

Kids Drinking Energy DrinksTempting promises lure buyers from the attractive cans of energy drinks on convenience store shelves: power, energy, endurance.

In a fast-paced lifestyle, where teens and adults alike often rush from one thing to another, those promises boosted energy drinks to wild popularity over the past decade, with sales rising more than 200 percent. However, a new report from the National Institutes of Health indicates emergency room visits related to the highly caffeinated drinks — often for rapid heartbeat and other side effects — also soared.

There’s no doubt the popularity of the drinks is rising, said Dr. Peter Springer, director of the emergency department at Halifax Health.

“Just talking to the younger adults, even high school kids, that’s their big deal,” Springer said. “They’re not eating lunch and they’re substituting these drinks.”

Full story at News Journal

Fight the Festive Flab: The 10 Commandments of Avoiding Christmas Weight Gain

By Laura Williams

Holiday Weight GainWe’re now well into the calorie finale of the year and although the next few weeks are traditionally about treating yourself like a willing foie gras goose, before you throw calorie caution to the wind, maybe consider a damage limitation plan. Before you let your hair down (and inevitably your belt out) once and for all, consider these Ten Commandments for Fighting the Festive Flab.

Thou Shalt Watch the Liquid Calories.
This is a terrible time of year for liquid calories – whether you’re slugging back shots of Baileys (that’s 45 mins of kissing under the mistletoe to burn off one serving) or indulging in a seasonal Starbucks (1.5 hrs of dancing to Wham to burn off a Starbucks Venti Eggnog Latte), liquid cals are this season’s hidden enemy.

Thou Shalt Have a Motivator Outfit.
Everyone needs an outfit goal. Whether that’s a strapless, backless number you want to rock à la Megan Fox, or a pair of salopettes that you want to pull off 007-style, it’s all about the outfit. Try it on regularly over the festive period and if it’s getting snug, slow down on the Stilton.

Full story at Huffington Post

Happy to live longer but mental illness and obesity still need to be dealt with

By Kate Hagan

Healthy Happy Life IF LIFE expectancy at birth is any measure, Australians are some of the healthiest people on Earth.

United Nations figures show Australian women have the third-highest life expectancy in the world, at 84 years, and our men come in fourth, at 79 years.

Australia’s high life expectancy, which is set to continue its slow rise, is a measure that adds to our wellbeing on the Herald/Lateral Economics Wellbeing Index.

But the index’s authors felt life expectancy alone was inadequate in assessing people’s health over the course of their life.

They also counted as a positive the fact fewer people were being hospitalised for preventable conditions, such as those averted by vaccines or managed through changes in lifestyle, such as heart disease, asthma and diabetes.

Full story at The Sydney Morning Herald