Petting zoos give employees cuddle time with critters | Silicon Valley companies use wellness to recruit top talent | Mich. women find new challenges at boxing fitness gyms
December 4, 2017
AHIP Wellness SmartBrief
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Wellness Programs & Trends
Petting zoos give employees cuddle time with critters
Petting zoos may be a new trend in wellness, as companies such as Squeals on Wheels in Maryland bring a traveling menagerie to companies that want to help reduce employee stress. Honey Hill Farm brought camels to a shipping logistics company in Cincinnati for Hump Day and Tiny Tails to You based in Austin, Texas, has sent its petting zoo to Apple, Facebook, Dell and Whole Foods.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (12/1) 
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Silicon Valley companies use wellness to recruit top talent
Silicon Valley companies attract top talent using wellness perks, such as personal life coaches, organic meals and treadmills offered to Asana employees. Microsoft's corporate wellness center offers workers health screenings, acupuncture, diet counseling, and an on-campus sports field for Frisbee, basketball, soccer, football and other games.
MindBodyGreen (12/1) 
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Fitness
Mich. women find new challenges at boxing fitness gyms
Interest among women is driving an increase in boxing fitness gyms in Michigan that offer high-intensity workouts using boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts. Owners say about 70% of their members are women and industry experts note the gyms may appeal to women who like challenges, are bored with their regular gym routine, or have goals beyond weight loss or maintenance.
Detroit Free Press (12/1) 
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Health News & Research
Study ties smoking, drinking to worse survival in head, neck cancers
A study in JAMA Otolaryngology found smoking and drinking among individuals with head and neck cancers increased the risk of dying twofold and 68%, respectively, compared with nonsmokers and nondrinkers. The findings, based on patients diagnosed and treated during the period from 1997 to 2012, also showed an 87% greater mortality risk among patients who were unmarried, compared with married patients.
Reuters (12/1) 
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Preterm birth may be tied to respiratory problems in adulthood
Adults who were born preterm have smaller lung airways, which may lead to respiratory problems, compared with those who were born full term, according to a study in the journal Experimental Physiology. The findings, based on lung function test data, suggest respiratory treatments may not be as effective among those born prematurely, but more studies are needed, said researcher Joseph Duke.
HealthDay News (12/1) 
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Brain changes found in teens with smartphone, internet addiction
Adolescents with smartphone or internet addiction had significantly increased ratios of gamma aminobutyric acid, a neurotransmitter that inhibits brain signals, to glutamate-glutamine, a neurotransmitter that excites neurons, in their anterior cingulate cortex, as well as significantly higher scores in anxiety, depression, impulsivity and insomnia, compared with healthy controls, South Korean researchers reported at the Radiological Society of North America meeting. The findings also showed that GABA to GIx ratios significantly declined or normalized among those with smartphone or internet addiction who underwent cognitive behavioral therapy for nine weeks.
CTV.ca (Canada) (11/30),  HealthDay News (11/30) 
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Frequent night-waking may increase emotional, conduct problems in preschoolers
Researchers found that preschoolers with a common or persistent night-waking trajectory at ages 2 to 5 were significantly more likely to develop emotional symptoms, attention/hyperactivity problems and conduct problems at ages 5 to 6 before adjusting for baseline behavior, compared with those with the rare trajectory. However, the findings in Sleep Medicine, based on data involving 1,143 French children, showed only emotional symptoms were significantly linked to persistent night-waking after adjustment.
Medscape (free registration)/Reuters (12/1) 
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Other News
Schools & Community
Students receive free 2nd helpings of veggies
Abigail Kaplan, nutrition director for a New Hampshire school district, has implemented several changes this year. Changes include offering a free second helping of vegetables and giving students the option to purchase an entree for only $1.
SeacoastOnline (Portsmouth, N.H.) (tiered subscription model) (11/30) 
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Wellness Industry Developments
AHIP News
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