Companies are in a good position to offer financial wellness programs, partly because there is no profit goal involved so employees trust the services, writes Schwark Satyavolu of Trinity Ventures. Companies can absorb the cost of financial wellness programs and have access to employee payroll and other data that can make implementation easier.
Employee caregiver benefits continue to be an important issue, driven by the aging US population. Many companies have flexibility in scheduling but others are offering or expanding paid time-off benefits to include not only new parents but also adults who care for family members.
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Arkansas Children's Hospital researchers are studying how exercise and nutrition affect children and pregnant women. The study is being done at the hospital's new Laboratory for Active Kids and Families, where researchers are tracking measures such as balance, ability to produce energy, strength and endurance as children use fitness machines.
CDC researchers have reported that almost 95% of kindergartners received vaccinations for measles, mumps and rubella, DTaP and varicella during the 2016-17 school year, and the 2% median exemption rate was similar to that seen in the 2015-16 school year. The findings in the agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report also showed that coverage for all reported vaccines rose by at least 1.5 percentage points in California, North Dakota, New York and Tennessee.
All-cause mortality rates were higher among Native Americans with low serum lipid levels, while cardiovascular mortality rates were higher with higher levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol, according to a study in the Journal of Diabetes and Its Complications. While low cholesterol and low triglycerides are generally believed to be associated with better health and lower mortality, researchers said that is not universally the case, and evidence suggests there are risks at low and high levels.
Coronary artery disease patients who will not participate in cardiac rehabilitation programs may benefit from regular tai chi sessions, according to a study in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Patients who did tai chi three times per week reported higher levels of physical activity, quality of life and weight loss compared with those who attended twice per week.
Preschoolers whose families were more positive at mealtimes ate nearly one serving more of soy-protein products, fruits or vegetables, on average, compared with those with negative family mealtimes, researchers reported in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology. The findings, based on survey data involving parents of children ages 3 to 5, showed that increased child involvement in grocery shopping as well as meal planning and preparation was tied to more positive mealtimes.
A farm-to-school program at a South Carolina high school that launched this year includes a mobile aeroponic farm system, also called a container farm. The farm system produces about 4,450 heads of lettuce a week, which are used in school meals.
The National Recreation and Park Association, Trust for Public Land and mayors from 134 cities have created the "10-minute walk" effort, seeking to help all people living within a half-mile of green space. "Data shows that when people have close access to parks, they exercise more, and as we know, even small amounts of exercise have positive effects on health and well-being," write Michael Hancock and Betsy Price, mayors of Denver and Fort Worth, Texas, respectively.
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