Almost No Americans Have a Healthy Lifestyle

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Researchers say 97 percent of Americans are failing to meet ideal ‘healthy lifestyle’ criteria that can protect their hearts.

The United States is far from the healthiest nation in the world.

That award, according to Bloomberg, goes to Singapore, followed by Italy, and Australia.

The United States is in 33rd place between the Czech Republic and Bosnia and Herzegovina. It’s in 5th place in the Americas.

According to a new study, few Americans have a lifestyle that is considered healthy.

In fact, less than 3 percent of Americans meet the measurable characteristics that reduce a person’s risks for heart disease, according to new research published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Heart disease remains the number one cause of death in the United States. It contributes to one in four deaths and kills about 610,000 Americans every year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The American Heart Association’s Strategic Impact Goal Through 2020 and Beyond focuses on four key ways to reduce heart disease in America: not smoking, reducing body mass index (BMI), getting adequate exercise, and eating a balanced diet.

According to the new Mayo Clinic report getting there is going to take some work.

Read More: Get the Facts on Heart Disease »

Researchers from the University of Mississippi, Oregon State University, and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga used three years’ worth of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, an ongoing series of studies the CDC conducts to test the health of the nation.

Participants in the study were subjected to objective standards to test the levels of their health, such as blood tests for smoking and X-rays to measure BMI.

Researchers found that only 2.7 percent of the 4,745 participants ages 20 to 85 met all four criteria to be considered for living a healthy lifestyle. Those included:

  • not smoking
  • eating a diet that aligns with nutritional guidelines
  • exercising at least 150 minutes a week, or 30 minutes five times a week.
  • keeping a BMI below 20 percent for men and 30 percent for women

Researchers also looked for the presence of biomarkers associated with an unhealthy lifestyle. These included blood pressure, cholesterol — both good and bad— fasting glucose, insulin resistance, and homocysteine levels.

Nearly 72 percent of those studied were nonsmokers, a big improvement over rates two decades ago. Also, about 47 percent were sufficiently active.

However, less than 38 percent consumed a healthy diet, and less than 10 percent had an acceptable BMI.

All combined, less than 3 percent met all four goals and 11 percent met none.

“We also show that having more healthy lifestyle characteristics is associated with more favorable biomarker levels that are related to various chronic diseases,” the study states. “Although multiple healthy lifestyle characteristics are important, specific healthy lifestyle characteristics may explain much of the variation for several of the biomarkers.”

Read More: How Smoking Increases Risk of Heart Disease »

The most common combination was participants who didn’t smoke, had a healthy diet, and an active lifestyle.

Women were more likely than men to not smoke and eat healthy. They were, however, less likely to be active.

Compared with their younger counterparts, older adults were less likely to smoke and more likely to eat well, but they were also less active and had higher BMIs. People 20 to 39 years old had the highest rates of healthy lifestyles.

Mexican-Americans were more likely to consume a healthy diet. African-Americans had the fewest healthy lifestyle characteristics compared with non-Hispanic whites.

Overall, though, researchers found, there was little variation by age, sex, or ethnicity.

The study’s authors recommend more research into how to initiate strategies to improve the heart health of the nation.

“Although having multiple healthy lifestyle characteristics is important, specific health characteristics may be more important for particular cardiovascular disease risk factors,” the study concluded.

Read More: Exercise and Weight Loss »

Методическая разработка урока английского языка по теме “Здоровый образ жизни”

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Филиал

ОБЛАСТНОго ГОСУДАРСТВЕННОго бюджетного ПРОФЕССИОНАЛЬНОГО ОБРАЗОВАТЕЛЬНОго УЧРЕЖДЕНИя

«РЯЗАНСКИЙ ПЕДАГОГИЧЕСКИЙ КОЛЛЕДЖ» (огБПоу «рпк»)

в г.Касимове

Методическая разработка урока английского языка по теме:

«Здоровый образ жизни»

HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

Разработана

преподавателем английского языка

Щербакова И.А.

г.Касимов

2019

Специальность: 44.02.01-Дошкольное образование, 1 курс.

Учебная дисциплина: Английский язык

Тип занятия: изучение и первичное закрепление новых знаний.

Цель учебного занятия: активизировать знания, умения и навыки по теме «Здоровый образ жизни»

Задачи занятия:

Образовательные:

– формировать и активизировать лексический материал по теме «Healthy lifestyle»,

– совершенствовать навыки ознакомительного чтения,

– совершенствовать навыки чтения, говорения по теме.

Развивающие:

  • развивать коммуникативную компетенцию,

  • развивать социальную компетенцию (умение взаимодействовать с партнёрами по общению),

  • развивать навыки монологической речи,

  • развивать навыки индивидуальной и парной работы,

  • развивать познавательный интерес и расширить кругозор обучающихся,

  • развивать память, мышление и воображение студентов, путём включения их в совместную продуктивную творческую деятельность, направленную на решение коммуникативных задач,

  • развитие личностной активности студентов.

Воспитательные:

сформировать у студентов представление о здоровом образе жизни,

учить учащихся бережно относиться к своему здоровью, правильно питаться, отказаться от вредных привычек.

Формы работы обучающихся: фронтальная, групповая, индивидуальная.

Оборудование:

– дидактический материал,

– раздаточный материал,

– англо – русский словарь.

Хронометраж занятия

№ пп

Наименование этапа

Время

Организационная часть занятия

5 мин.

Знакомство с новым материалом

25 мин.

Закрепление материала

15 мин.

Домашнее задание

5 мин.

Подведение итогов занятия

5 мин.

В результате занятия студент должен знать:

Лексический минимум по теме «Здоровый образ жизни», и использовать его в решении коммуникативных задач с различной степенью сложности.

В результате занятия студент должен уметь:

Подобрать лексический материал, необходимый для высказывания по теме «Основные компоненты здорового образа жизни».

Ход занятия.

1. Организационная часть занятия.

Good morning, students! Nice to see you. Take your places. Tell me please, what day is it today? What date is it today? Write down it in your copybook the date and the theme of the lesson.

Our theme is «Healthy lifestyle».

  • Проверка соответствие формы требованиям;

  • Подготовка рабочих мест;

  • Сообщение темы и целей занятия. Мотивация.

Today our lesson is devoted to a very important problem. As you know some people are healthy, some people are unhealthy. Health is the most precious thing in people’s life. We can’t buy health, but we can do a lot to keep it. In order to be healthy we should follow some special rules.

(Сегодня наш урок посвящен очень важной проблеме. Как Вы знаете, некоторые люди здоровы, но у некоторых людей проблемы со здоровьем. Здоровье – самая драгоценная вещь в жизни людей. Мы не можем купить здоровье, но мы если хотим, то можем быть полными сил и позитива. Чтобы быть здоровыми, мы должны соблюдать некоторые правила).

Remember some rules to be healthy:

  • Do sports

  • Take regular exercises

  • Take a cold shower every day

  • Eat healthy food

  • Never smoke

  • Wash hands before eating

  • Clean teeth twice a day

  • Eat fruits and vegetables

  • Don’t eat chips

  • Don’t eat too much or too little

  • Healthy diet

  • Don’t watch TV too long

  • Don’t work on the computer too long

  • Take vitamins.

2. Знакомство с новым лексическим материалом.

Vocabulary

healthy lifestyle – здоровый образ жизни

wealth is health – богатство – это здоровье

to feel – чувствовать

an essential part – важная часть

due to medical research – согласно медицинским исследованиям

to lead to – приводить, вести к

obesity – ожирение

heart and blood vessels diseases – заболевания сердца и кровеносных сосудов

diabetes – диабет

gastric problems – проблемы с желудком

other serious ailments – другие серьёзные недуги

to prevent all problems – предотвратить все проблемы

well-balanced home-made meals – сбалансированная домашняя пища

organic fruits – органические фрукты

vegetables – овощи

dairy products – молочные продуты

grains and seafood – злаки и морепродукты

to keep fit – сохранять форму

to visit fitness club – посещать фитнес – клуб

jog – бегать трусцой

regular moderate physical activity – регулярная умеренная физическая активность

to protect us from strokes and heart diseases, flue and obesity – защищать нас от сердечных заболеваний и приступов, гриппа и ожирения

the harm of bad habits – вред вредных привычек

to mean – означать, значить

serious illnesses – серьезные заболевания

lung cancer – рак легких

liver diseases – заболевания печени

for instance – например

to kill – убивать

enough sleep – достаточный сон

daily – ежедневно

the food for our brain and the rest for our muscles – пища для нашего мозга и отдых для наших мышц

to avoid избегать

to follow simple rules – следовать простым правилам

3. Закрепление материала.

Healthy lifestyle

Today healthy lifestyle is becoming more and more popular both with the old and the young. People have become more health-conscious. They say that the greatest wealth is health. And it’s so true. The healthier we are, the better we feel. The better we feel, the longer we live.

A healthy diet is an essential part of staying healthy. We know that we should not stuff ourselves with fast food, sweets, sausages, pastry and fat food. Due to medical research, this type of food shortens our life, it leads to obesity, heart and blood vessels diseases, diabetes, gastric problems and lots of other serious ailments. To prevent all these problems we should enjoy well-balanced home-made meals with a lot of organic fruits, vegetables, dairy products, grains and seafood. We are what we eat.

Keeping fit and going in for sports is also important for our health. Lack of exercise in our life is a serious problem. In big cities people spend hours sitting in front of computers, TV-sets and other gadgets. We walk less because we mainly use cars and public transport. We certainly don’t have to be professional sportsmen, but we should visit fitness clubs, go jogging, walk much, swim, go cycling or roller-skating or just dance. Doctors say that regular moderate physical activity is necessary for our body because it protects us from strokes and heart diseases, flue and obesity.

We must understand the harm of bad habits for our health. Smoking, drinking or taking drugs mean serious illnesses and even death from lung cancer or liver diseases, for instance. Cigarettes kill about 3 million heavy-smokers every year. Drug addicts die very young. So I think there is no place for bad habits in a healthy way of life.

Taking a proper rest and getting enough sleep, from 8 to 10 hours daily, are also great healthy habits. Sleep is the food for our brain and the rest for our muscles. Moreover we should avoid getting nervous or worried for no reason.

Healthy way of life concerns our body, mind and soul. Healthy people live longer, they are more successful and they enjoy their life. I believe that it’s not difficult at all to follow these simple rules, and they are worth it.

Перевод

Сегодня здоровый образ жизни становится все более популярным среди молодых и пожилых. Люди стали более внимательными к своему здоровью. Говорят, что здоровье – это самое большое богатство. И это чистая правда. Чем здоровее наш организм, тем лучше мы себя чувствуем. Чем лучше мы себя чувствуем, тем дольше мы живем.

Здоровая диета – важная часть здоровой жизни. Мы знаем, что мы не должны заполнять свой организм едой фаст-фуд, сладостями, колбасными и мучными изделиями, жирными продуктами. Согласно медицинским исследованиям, такая еда сокращает жизнь, ведет к ожирению, заболеваниям сердца и кровеносных сосудов, диабету, желудочным проблемам и многим другим серьезным недугам. Для того, чтобы предотвратить эти проблемы, нам следует наслаждаться сбалансированной домашней едой, богатой органическими фруктами, овощами, молочными продуктами, злаками и морепродуктами. Мы есть то, что мы едим.

Оставаться подтянутым и заниматься спортом – это тоже важный момент для нашего здоровья. Недостаток движения в нашей жизни является серьезной проблемой. В больших городах люди часами сидят перед компьютером, телевизором и другими гаджетами. Мы меньше ходим пешком, поскольку пользуемся, главным образом, автомобилями и общественным транспортом. Разумеется, мы не обязаны становиться профессиональными спортсменами, но нам нужно посещать фитнесс-клубы, заниматься бегом, много ходить, плавать, кататься на велосипеде или роликах или просто танцевать. Врачи утверждают, что регулярная умеренная физическая активность необходима для нашего тела, так как она защищает нас от сердечных заболеваний и приступов, гриппа и ожирения.

Мы обязаны понимать пагубное влияние вредных привычек на наше здоровье. Курение, алкоголизм и наркомания означают серьезные заболевания и даже смерть от рака легких или заболеваний печени, к примеру. Сигареты убивают около 3 миллионов курильщиков ежегодно. Наркоманы умирают очень молодыми. Поэтому, я считаю, что в здоровом образе жизни нет места для вредных привычек.

К здоровым привычкам также относятся хороший отдых и достаточный сон, от 8 до 10 часов ежедневно. Сон – это пища для нашего мозга и отдых для наших мышц. Более того, нам следует избегать нервничать или беспокоиться без особого повода.

Здоровый образ жизни затрагивает наше тело, ум и душу. Здоровые люди живут дольше, они более успешны и получают удовольствие от жизни. Думаю, что следовать этим простым правилам совсем несложно, и они стоят того.

Finish proverbs about health

1. Health is … a) but not live to eat.

2. Wealth is … b) what you eat.

3. You are … c) early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

4. Early to bed and … d) the best wealth.

5. Eat to live … e) be happy.

6. An a apple a day … f) nothing without health.

7. Don’t worry … g) keeps the doctor away.

8. The best wealth … h) is health.

T: Look at the blackboard and read some words and expressions. Which of these words belong to good habits and  which to bad habits?

To go in for sports, to drink alcohol, depression, to eat fruit and vegetables, to smile, an active life, to take drugs, to be a pessimist, to be polite, to eat a lot of vitamins, to feel inspired

“Friendly numbers” (“Веселые цифры”)

T: There is a chain of numbers; your task is to decode the words using the alphabet and translate them.

22, 9, 20, 1, 13, 9, 14, 19. (vitamins)

23, 5, 12, 12, 14, 5, 19, 19 . (wellness)

7, 15, 15, 4 19, 20, 21, 4, 5, 14, 20. (good student)

4. Домашнее задание.

1) Выучить лексический минимум по теме «Здоровый образ жизни»;

2) Подготовить высказывание по теме: «Основные компоненты здорового образа жизни».

5. Подведение итогов занятия

Well, it’s time to complete the lesson. I’d like to say that I’m quite satisfied with your work at the lesson today. I’m pleased with the answers and activities of some students.
I hope the lesson was interesting for you.

Thank you for the lesson once again and I want to know do you like our lesson.

(в банку крепят пилюли)

Red – like

Blue – don`t like

T: Now you may be free. See you later.Well, the lesson is over. Good-bye.

Оценивание работы студентов на занятии. Рефлексия. 

ПРИЛОЖЕНИЕ

Remember some rules to be healthy:

  • Do sports

  • Take regular exercises

  • Take a cold shower every day

  • Eat healthy food

  • Never smoke

  • Wash hands before eating

  • Clean teeth twice a day

  • Eat fruits and vegetables

  • Don’t eat chips

  • Don’t eat too much or too little

  • Healthy diet

  • Don’t watch TV too long

  • Don’t work on the computer too long

  • Take vitamins.

Finish proverbs about health

1. Health is … a) but not live to eat.

2. Wealth is … b) what you eat.

3. You are … c) early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

4. Early to bed and … d) the best wealth.

5. Eat to live … e) be happy.

6. An a apple a day … f) nothing without health.

7. Don’t worry … g) keeps the doctor away.

8. The best wealth … h) is health.

Vocabulary

healthy lifestyle – здоровый образ жизни

wealth is health – богатство – это здоровье

to feel – чувствовать

an essential part – важная часть

due to medical research – согласно медицинским исследованиям

to lead to – приводить, вести к

obesity – ожирение

heart and blood vessels diseases – заболевания сердца и кровеносных сосудов

diabetes – диабет

gastric problems – проблемы с желудком

other serious ailments – другие серьёзные недуги

to prevent all problems – предотвратить все проблемы

well-balanced home-made meals – сбалансированная домашняя пища

organic fruits – органические фрукты

vegetables – овощи

dairy products – молочные продуты

grains and seafood – злаки и морепродукты

to keep fit – сохранять форму

to visit fitness club – посещать фитнес – клуб

jog – бегать трусцой

regular moderate physical activity – регулярная умеренная физическая активность

to protect us from strokes and heart diseases, flue and obesity – защищать нас от сердечных заболеваний и приступов, гриппа и ожирения

the harm of bad habits – вред вредных привычек

to mean – означать, значить

serious illnesses – серьезные заболевания

lung cancer – рак легких

liver diseases – заболевания печени

for instance – например

to kill – убивать

enough sleep – достаточный сон

daily – ежедневно

the food for our brain and the rest for our muscles – пища для нашего мозга и отдых для наших мышц

to avoid избегать

to follow simple rules – следовать простым правилам

Healthy lifestyle

Today healthy lifestyle is becoming more and more popular both with the old and the young. People have become more health-conscious. They say that the greatest wealth is health. And it’s so true. The healthier we are, the better we feel. The better we feel, the longer we live.

A healthy diet is an essential part of staying healthy. We know that we should not stuff ourselves with fast food, sweets, sausages, pastry and fat food. Due to medical research, this type of food shortens our life, it leads to obesity, heart and blood vessels diseases, diabetes, gastric problems and lots of other serious ailments. To prevent all these problems we should enjoy well-balanced home-made meals with a lot of organic fruits, vegetables, dairy products, grains and seafood. We are what we eat.

Keeping fit and going in for sports is also important for our health. Lack of exercise in our life is a serious problem. In big cities people spend hours sitting in front of computers, TV-sets and other gadgets. We walk less because we mainly use cars and public transport. We certainly don’t have to be professional sportsmen, but we should visit fitness clubs, go jogging, walk much, swim, go cycling or roller-skating or just dance. Doctors say that regular moderate physical activity is necessary for our body because it protects us from strokes and heart diseases, flue and obesity.

We must understand the harm of bad habits for our health. Smoking, drinking or taking drugs mean serious illnesses and even death from lung cancer or liver diseases, for instance. Cigarettes kill about 3 million heavy-smokers every year. Drug addicts die very young. So I think there is no place for bad habits in a healthy way of life.

Taking a proper rest and getting enough sleep, from 8 to 10 hours daily, are also great healthy habits. Sleep is the food for our brain and the rest for our muscles. Moreover we should avoid getting nervous or worried for no reason.

Healthy way of life concerns our body, mind and soul. Healthy people live longer, they are more successful and they enjoy their life. I believe that it’s not difficult at all to follow these simple rules, and they are worth it.

Health lesson plan 6 grade

admin
Posted in Healthy lifestyle

Unit of a long term
plan:

Unit 5
Our Health.

School: 2
Kainazar

Date: 09.01

Teacher’s name: Kudaibergenova
AD.

CLASS: 6
a

Number present:

absent:

Lesson title

Activities in and out of
school

Learning objectives(s)

6.C9 use
imagination to express thoughts, ideas, experiences and
feelings

6.L1 understand a sequence of supported classroom
instructions

6.S6 communicate meaning clearly at sentence level
during, pair, group and whole class
exchanges

Lesson objectives

All learners will be able
to:

  • Identify the theme,
    new words and use them as the basis for
    discussion.

  • Demonstrate knowledge for usage
    of
    the Present Simple
    describing activities in and out of
    school.

  • Transfer information from
    the given
    information
    into a graphic
    organizer.

Most learners will be able
to:

  • Select, compile, and synthesize information for
    an oral presentation

  • Provide a point of view in conversations and
    discussions; describe people using active
    vocabulary.

Some learners will be able
to:

  • Respond to and
    discuss
    the reading
    passage
    using interpretive, evaluative
    and creative thinking skills.

  • Make a presentation about routine and
    activities.

Level of
thinking

Higher order thinking skills
(according to the revised Bloom’s
taxonomy).

Assessment
criteria

  • Listen to the given
    text of description of activities and identify the general
    information.

  • Demonstrate skills
    of organizing and expressing ideas
    accurately.

  • Illustrate a viewpoint in a
    discussion.

Target
language

School timetable, school subject, PE, ICT,
classes, swimming practice, test, to be good for.

Values links

Responsibility, Global
Citizenship, Respect and Love to people and school, Care to modern
technology.

Cross-curricular links

Social Science, Psychology,
Information Technology, Sport and Health
Care.

Previous learning

Vocabulary relating to
people’s activity, usage of the internet, drama and
comedy.

Plan

Planned timings

Planned activities (replace the notes below
with your planned activities)

Resources

Start

3 min

5 min

Class organisation

Warm-up and lesson objectives
presentation

Warm-up (W, I)

Good afternoon,
dear students and guests! Welcome to our English lesson! I give you
these sheets of paper. Here you see types of smiles, your task is
to give yourselves marks putting ticks under the smiles. If you
manage to do the work well put a tick opposite the happy smile. If
not – opposite the sad one. If you are not sure put a tick under
the neutral smile. On your desks you see folders with some files of
different colours. You will need them during the
lesson.

Task1.Look at the pictures and
say what the theme of our lesson will be?

Skills:
speaking

Cl: whole
class

Activities:
pictures

Action: ss should look at tht
pictures and find what about the theme.

Task2. Answer the
questions

Skills: speaking,
writing

Cl: individual
work

Activities:
worksheet

Action: ss should answer the
questions and write it in the worksheet

What do you usually
do
at the
weekend?

What do you usually
do
at
school?

Weekend

At
school

play
games

write a
test

Do you know the subjects at
school?

Slide (useful
phrases)

Pictures

PPT

Whiteboard

Writing

Worksheet

Main part

15 min

Task3.Match 8 of the words in the box with
photos 1 – 8 p.57. skills: writing

Cl: whole class

Activities: book

Action: The teacher asks if Sts. know the full
names of: P.E. – Physical Education, ICT – Information and
Communication Technology.
Sts
are divided into 3 groups and guess the subjects and the right
answers. The winner gets 10 scores.

Subject

Answer

P.E.

football

ICT

60
minutes

Math

two

chess

sixteen

Art

green

Science

oxygenandhydrogen

кислород и водород

Geography

Italy,
Spain

Drama

A play by W.
Shakespeare

PRE – LISTENING
TASK:

Task 4. Ex.3 p.56( Check the
meaning of phrases and add your word – combinations from
ex.1):

Skills:
speaking

Cl: whole
class

Activities:
ex1

Action:
Dance
practice

Dance/ basketball/ Music/
chess/ football practice;

Maths/ Science/ History/
Geography/ French/ Music/ ICT test;

While – listening
task:
listen to Alan and Jessica
talk about activities and complete the sentences. What is
their
favourite day? In pairs ask questions to
get more details: How often does Alan have
Science?

Write as many questions as you
can to get more information.

What is
their
favourite day? –
Saturday. And yours?
Why?

Ask each other questions about routine
activities at school.
What are your favourite subjects and
why?

Ex. 5 – 6 p.56

Open your record – books and name the subjects
you are studying. Compare them with the timetable in
England.

3Groups give short presentations of school
subjects.

Writing

Worksheet

Student Book
p.56

Student Book
p.56

CD
1.48

Pictures” Test your
knowledge”

CD
1.49

Writing

Worksheet

Student Book
p.56

Venn
Diagram

End

3
min.

Home
task.

WB p.40

Students express their
attitude to the lesson and give self-assessment using
the
method:
Six thinking
hats
”:

  • Green: How can you use today’s
    learning in different subjects?

  • Red: How do you feel about
    your work today?

  • White: What have you leant
    today?

  • Black: What were the
    weaknesses of your work?

  • Blue: How much progress have
    you made in this lesson? (Now I can, I still need to work on, I’ve
    improved in, Today I learnt… )

  • Yellow: What did you like
    about today’s lesson?

Slide
(Homework)

Slide “Six thinking
hats”

Additional information

Differentiation – how do you plan to give more
support? How do you plan to challenge the more able
learners?

Assessment – how are you planning to check
learners’ learning?

Health and safety check

Differentiation
can
be achieved
through
content (Based on the theory
of
Multiple
Intelligences
different tasks are used with
the same text).

By
support
:

Less able
learners
will be supported through
step-be-step instructions, glossaries, thinking
time.

By
task:

For
more able
learners
additional leveled tasks are
offered.

Assessment
criteria
:

  • Read the given passage and
    identify the general information.

  • Demonstrate skills of
    organizing and expressing ideas
    accurately.

  • Illustrate a viewpoint in a
    discussion.

Descriptors:

A
learner

  • reads the text
    for
    global
    understanding
    ;

  • selects meaningful
    information, constructs the answer;

  • presents
    i
    nformation in the group
    discussion.

  • evaluates the peers’
    answers.

Teacher’s observation using
observation checklist (Appendix 2 – reference to the resource
Literature Circle Role Sheets”
by Christine Boardman Moen. p.28
) and
monitoring.

Self-assessment.

Health saving
technologies.

Make sure power cords are not a tripping
hazard

Everyday classroom precautions

Healthy Eating – How to Eat Clean, Dealing With Barriers to a Healthy Diet

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Posted in Healthy lifestyle

Most health experts recommend that you eat a balanced, healthy diet to maintain or to lose weight. But exactly what is a healthy diet?

It should include:

  • Protein (found in fish, meat, poultry, dairy products, eggs, nuts, and beans)
  • Fat (found in animal and dairy products, nuts, and oils)
  • Carbohydrates (found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans and other legumes)
  • Vitamins (such as vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K)
  • Minerals (such as calcium, potassium, and iron)
  • Water (both in what you drink, and what’s naturally in foods)

Dieting or not, everyone needs a mix of those nutrients, ideally from foods. A good general rule is to use MyPlate, which makes it easy to envision just how much of each food type to include in your meal.

Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. Split the other half between whole grains and lean protein. Stick to your calorie “budget,” because when you’re working on losing weight, you need to burn more calories than you eat or drink.

Continued

Exactly how many calories you should get per day depends on your goal, your age, your sex, and how active you are. A dietitian can help you figure that out. Don’t cut your calories too much, or your diet is going to be hard to stick with and may not give you the nutrients your body needs.

More tips:

  • Choose nonfat or 1% milk instead of 2% or whole milk.
  • Pick lean meat instead of fatty meat.
  • Select breads and cereals that are made with whole grains and are not prepared with a lot of fat.
  • You don’t have to completely avoid all foods that have fat, cholesterol, or sodium. It’s your average over a few days, not in a single food or even a single meal, that’s important.
  • If you eat a high-calorie food or meal, balance your intake by choosing low-calorie foods the rest of the day or the next day.
  • Check the food labels on packaged foods to help you budget fat, cholesterol, and sodium over several days.

That’s just the start of what you might want to know about nutrition for weight loss. Keep learning as much as you can, including the following terms.

Calories

Calories are a measurement, like an inch or a tablespoon. They note how much energy is released when your body breaks down food. The more calories a food has, the more energy it can provide to the body.

When you eat more calories than you need, your body stores the extra calories as fat. Even low-carb and fat-free foods can have a lot of calories that can be stored as fat.

Protein

Proteins help repair and maintain your body, including muscle. You can get protein in all types of food. Good sources include fish, meat, poultry, eggs, cheese, nuts, beans, and other legumes.

Fats

Your body needs some fat. But most Americans get too much of it, which makes high cholesterol and heart disease more likely.

There are several types of fats:

  • Saturated fats: found in cheese, meat, whole-fat dairy products, butter, and palm and coconut oils. You should limit these. Depending on whether you have high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, or other conditions, a dietitian or your doctor can let you know your limit.
  • Polyunsaturated fats: These include omega-3 fatty acids (found in soybean oil, canola oil, walnuts, flaxseed, and fish including trout, herring, and salmon) and omega-6 fatty acids (soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil).
  • Monounsaturated fats: These come from plant sources. They’re found in nuts, vegetable oil, canola oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, and avocado.
  • Cholesterol: Another type of fat found in foods that come from animals.
  • Trans fat: Some trans fat is naturally in fatty meat and dairy products. Artificial trans fats  have been widely used in packaged baked goods and microwave popcorn. They’re bad for heart health, so avoid them as much as possible. Look on the nutrition facts label to see how much trans fat is in an item. Know that something that says “0 g trans fat” may actually have up to half a gram of trans fat in it. So also check the ingredients list: If it mentions “partially hydrogenated” oils, those are trans fats.

 

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates give your body fuel in the form of glucose, which is a type of sugar. Adults should get about 40% to 55% of their calories from carbohydrates. Most Americans eat too many carbohydrates, especially processed carbs, leading to obesity, prediabetes, and diabetes.

Some carbs are rich in nutrients. Those include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.

Other carbs are sugary and starchy, and not high in nutrients. You should limit those, which include candy, pastries, cookies, chips, soft drinks, and fruit drinks.

Vitamins

Vitamins help with chemical reactions in the body. In general, vitamins must come from the diet; the body doesn’t make them.

There are 13 essential vitamins. Your body can store vitamins A, D, E, and K, and it can be a problem if you get too much of them. Vitamin C and the B vitamins don’t build up in your body, so you need to keep getting them regularly in your diet.

Minerals

Minerals, like vitamins, must come from the diet. Your body needs them, but it can’t make them.

You need more of some minerals (such as calcium, potassium, and iron) than others. For instance, you need only small amounts of the minerals zinc, selenium, and copper.

What About Water?

Water has no calories or nutrients, but it keeps you hydrated. It also makes up 55%-65% of body weight. You can drink water or get it from foods that naturally have water in them, like fruits and vegetables.

Visual Rhetoric/Mediums and Manifestations of Visual Rhetoric

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Posted in Healthy lifestyle

This page will host information on the mediums and manifestations of visual rhetoric, as seen in printed art, film, television, etc…

For any movie to be effective, the director must establish a connection between the characters and the audience. This connection can be created through any number of ways. For example, any junior athlete can feel a connection with the Mighty Ducks because they share common ambitions. Likewise, any audience member can feel a connection to Hannibal Lecter in Silence Of The Lambs, because either they admire his cunning or they detest his lifestyle, or a combination of the two. However, for a movie to truly captivate an audience, it must go beyond the acting and the writing. Each scene must put the audience in a very specific mindset, and this is where the combination of auditory and visual rhetoric comes into play.

It is important to remember that for the most part films are narratives. They depict the story of a character or a set of characters and use our cultural and social norms in order to make us feel a certain way about these characters. These narratives may become arguments such as the case in Oliver Stone’s JFK where the filmmaker argues that the assassination was a conspiracy. However, some film may simply “persuade” the audience to become involved with the characters and be entertained by the film (112). It is important to keep in mind that in most films the objective is to make money, there may not always be a defined argument, but the persuasion to spend money on the film is usually there.

When breaking down the rhetoric of a film or scene is it important to consider the “visual elements – camera movement, placement in the frame, color, spatial relationships among characters and between the viewer and the visual material, special visual effects, visual editing, and so on.” All of these elements make up the composition of the shot (115). This composition is then used by the viewer to make connections between themselves and the character.

In David Blakeseley’s essay “Defining Film Rhetoric”, he discusses visual rhetoric in film as “…the study of symbolic inducement,” and using all available methods of sending messages to the audience (113). This is to say that it examines the connection that is (hopefully) created between the film and the audience. The connection is commonly referred to as audience identification.

So how does this all relate to identification with the characters and the movie? One theory is that identification occurs in the subconscious. This identification is prompted by various stimuli (visual or auditory) that occur in the conscious (117). This is to say that as we watch a movie we are consciously aware of dialogue between characters, their physical settings, and the music or sounds that accompany the scene. But then our subconscious takes these stimuli one step further, adding subconscious, emotional reactions to the stimuli. When we see a red rose, we consciously perceive it as just that, but subconsciously we add to it the connotation of love and romance, to give it deeper meaning. If romantic music is added to the visual then our emotional reaction to the scene becomes that much stronger.

In his directing, Alfred Hitchcock wanted to create identification between characters in addition to identification between the film and the audience. The musical elements of a film contribute to this identification as well, as the music sets an overall tone for not just a specific character, but for anyone in the scene. In Lost In Translation, a strong connection is developed between the two main characters, Bob Harris (Bill Murray) and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) develop a very romantic, but non-sexual relationship during their stay at the same hotel in Tokyo, Japan. The music that is played during their scenes together is not inherently romantic. There is no Marvin Gaye or Frank Sinatra on the soundtrack. Instead, the music is of a genre created just within the past few years. This music, labeled “Trip-Hop”, uses vocals and lyrics more as a supplement to the music, rather than a foregrounded message. The music production is deeply layered and mixes many different sounds in a non-intrusive manner.

The use of music as a supplemental rhetorical device to cinematic visual rhetoric is often times under-recognized, but is clearly an integral in late 20th and 21st century cinematography. Without it, scenes would not be as meaningful to our subconscious, which would decrease our ability to establish a connection with the film and its characters.

Works Cited –
Blakesley, David. “Defining Film Rhetoric: The Case of Hitchcock’s Vertigo.” Defining
Visual Rhetorics. Ed. Charles A. Hill and Marguerite Helmers. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum
Associates, 2004. 112-117.

Lost In Translation. Dir. Sofia Coppola. Universal Studios, 2003.

Professional, The. Dir. Luc Besson. Columbia Pictures, 1994.

Advertising[edit]

Advertisements are more than celebrity endorsements, showing off products, interruptions in television programs, and pages in magazines. Advertisements surround us, whether or not we are aware of it and constantly attempt to persuade a target audience. Advertising is the most common manifestation of visual rhetoric and perhaps the most recognizable. Ever since the first advertisement in 1704, brands and companies have attempted to sell their ideas, products, and services to the public through various rhetorical strategies.

In order for an advertisement to be effective it is important for advertisers to know the needs, motivations, and lifestyles of the target audience prior to the creation of an ad. The purpose of an advertisement is to persuade consumers to buy a particular product or service offered by a brand. When advertisements are well-planned and developed, they are not thought of as advertisements, but yet a form of communication. “At its best, it’s memorable, fresh, entertaining, and epitomizes some of the best visual communication anywhere,” (Ryan and Conover 424).

The society we live in is very visually-inclined, meaning that individuals are drawn to images more than they are drawn to text. A visual message is more memorable than a verbal message because of its power of impact on an audience. Advertisers are aware of this and use it to their advantage by making the graphic element of advertisements the most predominant.

Advertisers use various appeals to convey certain messages, create an image that the target audience can identify with, and build a relationship with the desired consumers. One of the more dominant rhetorical devices in advertising is the appeal to gender roles. (See: Gender and Visual Rhetoric) The first example of gender-directed advertising occurred in 1911 with a Woodbury Soap advertisement in the Ladies’ Home Journal. Advertising can also appeal to historical context, as was the case in 1942 when the War Advertising Agency was created to help gain public support for America’s involvement in World War II.

In 1958, the National Association of Broadcasters banned the use of subliminal ads, messages which contain hidden messages that the audience would not consciously perceive, but would subconsciously absorb.
A concept is central to an advertisement’s success. The advertised brand requests to the hired agency that a certain message and concept be portrayed through the advertisement to an audience. The advertisers manipulate various components to illustrate the underlying concept. Advertisers create and reinforce a brand’s concept through the theme of a brand, the message, the product, the color choices, layout design, and the graphic elements.

All advertisements contain the same elements: artwork, a headline, copy, and a logotype. The advertisers work hard to make sure all the components flow together and speak the same voice. Each element should reinforce and complement the others in order to create an effective advertisement that makes sense. The graphic component is often the dominant part of an advertisement because of its ability to persuade, inform, and entertain an audience. Advertisers use photographs to connect the advertisements to reality and to the audience; they also use graphics, artwork, and illustrations. In addition to the obvious visual components, advertisers also manipulate the headlines, logotypes, and copy to be visually appealing. Advertisers use specific typography, styles, and formats so that they are visually attractive and catch the audiences’ attention. Due to the limited time that advertisers have to capture and captivate the audiences’ attention, they make sure that every element is attractive and distinguishable.

Advertising has become a major part of our culture as we see it in various mediums. Advertisements can be seen on TV and before movies, in magazines and newspapers, outdoors on billboards, posters, and buses, on the internet, and more recently in product placements. A product placement does not follow the standard guidelines for ads because they do not overtly sell a product, however, they promote a product indirectly through making an appearance in media. A product placement can be something as simple as the mentioning of a particular brand or using the actual product and showing the brand’s logo.

Advertisements exemplify visual rhetoric because they encompass the components that make a text both visual and rhetorical through the design process and the purpose of the final product, to make someone think or act.

http://adage.com/century/timeline/index.html

Ryan, William, and Theodore Conover. Graphic Communications Today. 4th ed. USA: Thomson Delmar Learning, 2004.

Internet[edit]

“To be deeply literate in the digital world means being skilled at deciphering complex images and sounds as well as the syntactical subtleties of words. Above all, it means being at home in a shifting mix of words, images and sounds.”

-Richard Lanham1

The Internet as a medium of visual rhetoric has some unique characteristics. On one hand, some rhetoricians believe it is a powerful tool of creation and publication but on the other hand, some rhetoricians are weary of its use and contend that the Internet and technology in general are not unbiased.

The line between verbal text and image seems to blur sometimes, such as in typography. Type faces, and graphics can easily manipulate the mood of an audience and ultimately have persuasive effects. The existence of visual rhetoric on the Internet is more complex than matters of aesthetics.

Theories of visual rhetoric can be seen as ways to filter information and determine credibility on the Internet. Alignment, position, spatial orientation and size are also elements of visual rhetoric.

Visual Literacy[edit]

The first graphical web browser, Mosaic, was introduced in 1992. Since then, the Internet has become one of the largest sources of multimodal texts in existence. Multimodal “texts,” or documents, are those that incorporate any combination of graphics, verbal text, animation and sound. This medium naturally lends itself to multimodal communication because, unlike printed material, “white space” is free. Text and image can easily be viewed on a single page.

Most visual rhetoric scholars have come to the conclusion that visual literacy is a matter of being able to read multimodal texts. These texts combine image and verbal text into a coherent whole, such as a news report on TV or a web page.2

The Internet also links thoughts and ideas through hypertext and hypermedia. Not only does this affect the way that an article might look, it has changed the way that people read. The idea behind hypertext, is that things that have already been written in one place need no be repeated. So a link leading to further information is created. 9

Impact on Academia[edit]

“Electronic technology has prompted so hostile a response from the humanities establishment because it creates a different literacy from our customary print-based one. As we have seen, electronic ‘text’ mixes word, sound and image in new ways. It thus draws on different areas of the brain, and lays down different neural pathways within it. In so doing, it affects ‘the organization of humanistic knowledge’ at the most fundamental organic level.”

-Richard Lanham

Richard Lanham, Barbara Stafford and others believe that this criticism of Internet content stems from an ancient source—authority of the printed word over other means of communication. “Computers are forcing the recognition that texts are not ‘higher,’ durable monuments to civilization compared to ‘lower,’ fleeting images,” says Stafford.3

Impact on Academia There has been a huge impact of academia due to the Internet. Students often times do all their research on-line. While the Internet can be a very helpful tool, the credibility of a site must be taken into account. For instance, if a student were to use a wiki site such as this on as a source the data may be changed later, and his source would be flawed. There is also no way to make sure these sites are completely correct.

Visual Conventions[edit]

The reality is that we are presently interacting with more information in our daily lives than ever before. “Information overload” can predictably be observed when college pages. In a short amount of time, the page must develop the ethos necessary to obtain more than just surface credibility. Authors must aim for earned credibility, but in order to do so, one must first obtain surface credibility.’4

Studies like the Stanford Web Credibility Studies, are much more far reaching than just developing aesthetically pleasing sites. It’s about making sites understandable and reducing the frustration of non-veteran surfers who just want to get some research done. Making the Internet more professional, useable, and universal can benefit more than just the corporate world. Right now, non-technical Internet use is blocked by issues such as browser compatibility, ridiculous numbers of plug-ins used to view certain file types, confusing navigation and error messages, just to name a few. Users who have been thwarted by these problems have a legitimate argument against Internet use—in many cases, little technological effort has been made to accommodate different audiences. In addition to these barriers, every time a hoax site5 is made or a misleading graphic is used to direct a person to an unwanted sales pitch, Internet credibility as a whole sustains damage in the public view. These are issues that can be addressed rhetorically, since they greatly effect the audience’s reception.

Simply identifying characteristics of information design is interesting, but not ultimately practical to the study of rhetoric, since this method separates the text from context, and the meaning from the making.6 These connections are crucial to a deep understanding of the intentionally persuasive aspects of images.

Visual conventions seem to be a viable solution to increasing the usability of the Internet. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia is an example of a healthy, thriving visual rhetoric community. Every entry in the Wikipedia is made by users by inserting information into a template. The template makes it easy for users and contributors to navigate, with tabs at the top for “Discussion,” “Edit this page” and “History” of the changes made to a particular article. It also aids navigation by making the search box and home page easily accessible from every article.

The site offers a full tutorial on the conventions of the Wikipedia for new contributors. This tutorial and other pages about how to edit the encyclopedia establish important rules which contribute to the credibility and usability of the site. Some examples of their established conventions include the wording of headings within the article, how to cite and link to sources, order of sections within the article, making an index (or the system can automatically make one) and how to include credentials, through use of the “Discussion,” “Edit this page” and “History” tabs. When a site looks professional, audiences are more likely to be receptive.

Every page of the Wikipedia is set up in the same way, making it extremely easy to use. The audience only has to learn one set of visual conventions to navigate any Media Wiki site.7 This kind of template has not hindered content diversity at all, since images, text, hypertext, sound clips and film clips can all be accommodated by the Media Wiki code. These sites also adhere to visual conventions that are already widely accepted such as placing legal and copyright information at the very bottom of the page, login links in the upper right corner, and a vertical bar containing frequently used links on the left side of the page.

One example of how visual conventions can be broken is selling ad space where the navigation bar at the left is expected to be. Sometimes this integration is done intentionally so that surfers will accidentally leave the site they’re trying to view. This creates frustration in the audience and causes the site’s credibility to decrease in the minds of these users. Since ads are the main source of revenue for many sites, leaving them off websites is not an option. Accepted visual conventions provide an easy solution to this problem. It is widely accepted for sites to have ads in a vertical column down the right side of the page, making it easy for audiences to anticipate where certain content should be. This is just one way to maintain the integrity and credibility of Internet content.

Conclusion[edit]

Some textual elements of a web page can be considered visual rhetoric. For example, just seeing contact information at the bottom of a page can increase surface credibility, without considering what the text actually says. Just its presence is a rhetorical element. According to Chaim Perelman, theories of visual rhetoric and the Internet are reflective of the “turn in rhetoric,” the modern approach encompassing all persuasive texts, not just arguments. He says, “New rhetoric, or dialectic, covers the whole range of discourse that aims at persuasion and conviction, whatever the audience addressed and whatever the subject matter.”8

Works Consulted and Footnotes[edit]

1 Lanham, Richard, from “Digital Literacy,” found in Visual Rhetoric in a Digital World, ed. Carolyn Handa (New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2004), 1.

2 Kress and Van Leeuwen, Reading Images: the Grammar of Visual Design, (New York: Routledge, 2003), 181.

3 Stafford, Barbara, “Visual Pragmatism for a Virtual World,” in Visual Rhetoric in a Digital World: A Critical Sourcebook, ed. Carolyn Handa (New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2004), 210.

4 Fogg, B.J., Persuasive Technology (New York: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 2003), 163-177.

5 A hoax site is an illegal, illegitimate clone of a popular website used to direct surfer traffic to specific commercial sites. One example is the hoax site for the popular search engine, Google, that appeared in 2003. The user enters the URL www.google.com, but they are unknowingly re-directed to the hoax site.

6 Kostelnick, Charles, Shaping Information: the Rhetoric of Visual Conventions (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2003), 2.

7 Media Wiki code is available through the GNU General Public License and is used in many sites such as www.sourcewatch.org, www.wikiquote.org and www.infoanarchy.org

8 Perelman, Chaim, The Realm of Rhetoric, (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1982), 5.

9 Stroupe, Craig, Visualizing English: Recognizing the Hybrid Literacy of Visual and Verbal Authorship on the Web found in Visual Rhetoric in a Digital World, ed. Carolyn Handa (New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2004), 1.

Television[edit]

See: 3D and 2D Visual Persuasion

Architecture/Interior Design[edit]

At the beginning of the Industrial Age, skyscrapers were bold statements of engineering achievement and power. In the mid-20th century, Frank Lloyd Wright’s residential architecture design was a statement of harmony between man and nature. Just like works of traditional art can be rhetorical statements, so too can architecture.

For the purpose of this introduction, I will focus on the rhetoric used in the design of a casino. When designing the floor plan of a casino, it is necessary to examine the location of every room, its purpose, and its connection (physical and otherwise) with other rooms or areas. The location of the gaming rooms, restaurants, restrooms, and other high-traffic areas can serve as a rhetorical device. For example, a much different outcome will be achieved by having bathrooms near every entrance than by having them located near gaming floors. This strategic placement of items can itself serve as a rhetorical device.

Surprisingly, the manipulation of natural light can also serve as a very strong rhetorical device. In casinos, natural light is purposefully blocked from coming into the building. This serves to allow gamblers to lose their sense of time, which will keep them inside the casino for longer periods of time.

Similar practices in rhetoric are used in exterior and interior design, not only in commercial properties, but also in residential and public buildings as well. Frank Lloyd Wright is recognized as the greatest American architect, and used rhetorical devices in designing his revolutionary buildings.

To read more on Frank Lloyd Wright, visit http://www.franklloydwright.org/index.cfm?section=research&action=theman


Lentis/Thinking Small: Appropriate Technology for Developing Countries

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Posted in Healthy lifestyle

World Bank income groups; Low-income shown in red

An appropriate technology is a small-scale, sustainable, and decentralized application of technical innovation. Dr. Ernst Friedrich Schumaker popularized this ideology with his influential book, Small is Beautiful. Appropriate technologies are particularly suited for low-income countries because they are environmentally friendly, energy-efficient, and people-centered instead of machine-centered. Low-income countries are countries with a per-capita national income of less than $1,026, as defined by the World Bank. This term often refers to countries previously known as “developing” or “third world”, two terms no longer frequently used due to their negative insinuation and lack of basis in fact. These countries face higher rates of death and illness, frequently due to lack of clean water and sanitation. The significance of this issue is highlighted by the United Nations in Goal 6 of their Sustainable Development Goals for 2030: “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”

Appropriate technologies came as a reaction to the US foreign aid projects of the 1950-70s, such as the Point Four Program. As The Ugly American, published in 1958 by William J. Lederer, illustrates, US foreign aid during this time was ill-informed, insensitive, elite-favoring, and often simply for show [1]. These projects focused on introducing large and infrastructural systems, with a manifest function of providing economic and technical aid to low-income countries and latent functions of winning favor over the USSR, promoting markets for US exports, and pushing US-style economic systems over communism [2]. Appropriate technologies were a response to such impersonal and ineffective strategies.

One particularly pertinent application for appropriate technologies is supplying plentiful, clean drinking water to low-income countries. Clean water in high-income countries is typically supplied by large-scale utility companies, whereas water in low-income countries is primarily collected by the end user. [3] Thus, water purification and distribution technology tends to be small and employed at the point of use. Appropriate technologies for water purification are easily maintainable, low-cost, durable, sustainable, environmentally friendly, and intuitive.

Although safe, clean, and plentiful drinking water is a necessity for a healthy life, roughly one in ten people worldwide, or about 663 million people, lack access. Every 90 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease, such as schistosomiasis or cholera. In low and middle income countries, one third of all healthcare facilities lack a safe water source. [4]

The lack of clean drinking water in low-income countries is a self-compounding problem that taxes local economies significantly. Due to water-related diseases, the sick and their care-givers are unable to contribute to their community. Healthy citizens waste valuable time hauling clean water over long distances that could instead be spent working to earn income; a vicious cycle results [5].

While there are many viable water purification solutions, choosing a technology that is appropriate for the capabilities of a given community can be complex. Where one technology might be suitable from a technical standpoint, it might be an inappropriate fit for the social, cultural, institutional, or economic environment of a community. A study of how appropriate water distribution technologies have been deployed in communities around the world can shed some light on the complexity.

Ceramic Filters[edit]

A ceramic filter used in low-income countries

Ceramic Filters purify water by separating out microorganisms via microscopic pores. While effective at removing bacteria, protozoa, and microbial cysts, they do not remove viruses and chemical pollutants. Silver-impregnated designs kill any lingering bacteria that make it through the filter. Ceramic filters can reduce fecal coliform counts by 99.9% [6] and the incidence of diarrheal diseases by up to 70%. [7]

Potters For Peace (PFP) created a design that is cheap to manufacture and provides up to 20 liters of water per day for 3 years. However, it is not without issues; the filters require regular scrubbing to clear clogged pores and prevent bacterial growth. Replacement parts are needed for breakdowns and the entire system has a lifespan of only a few years; thus, a constant supply of filters is needed to sustain a large community. To this end, PFP established local ceramic filter factories.

After the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami, the American Red Cross and the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society provided communities in Sri Lanka with ceramic water filters. Through continued re-visits, the Red Cross staff members explained proper use and care of the filter as well as the importance of general sanitary practices. Bacteria tests confirmed successful implementation of the filters. A few years after the tsunami, local pottery manufacturers began producing replacement ceramic filters, ensuring the system’s longevity. The Red Cross’s attention to the education and training of beneficiaries was crucial to the project’s success. [8]

Slow Sand Filtration[edit]

Gravity-driven slow sand filters (SSFs) pull water through sand and gravel to filter bacteria and microorganisms. SSFs typically remove 99.98% of protozoa, 90-99% of bacteria, and 80-98% of E. coli. [9].

[[w:Samaritan’s_Purse|Samaritan’s Purse], a Christian humanitarian organization, has installed SSFs in individual households in over 24 countries. Although seemingly beneficial, when outside NGOs provide free technologies to communities, beneficiaries lack a sense of ownership. To combat this, Samaritan’s Purse requires that those interested in receiving a filter must cover part of the initial cost, attend training sessions, and assist with the transportation and construction. Unfortunately, villagers found these requirements to be prohibitive and thus the SSF was not widely adopted. [10]

A research group from the University of Virginia studied a SSF system that had been installed by an outside NGO in a rural Nicaraguan community. Although the system functioned properly when first installed, it had since ceased to deliver its promised results. Through a series of interviews, the team learned that the community had never been taught how the SSF worked or how to properly maintain it. Additionally, the community did not understand the importance of a maintenance budget and making timely system repairs. Because the community lacked the organizational tools to sustain the SSF, the system fell into disrepair and they eventually opted to bypass the filter entirely. [11]

WASHTech has implemented many SSFs along the Volta River in Ghana, where groundwater is scarce and of poor quality. Because the communities in this region are more financially stable, they can afford the SSF’s high construction cost. WASHTech’s SSFs have been successfully sustained due to an emphasis on beneficiary training in use and maintenance. WASHTech recommends that system operators periodically receive refresher training and that regular water quality tests be carried out to ensure system functionality. [12]

Play Pump[edit]

The Roundabout PlayPump, primarily implemented in South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Mozambique, promised to harness the energy of playing children to pump clean groundwater. The award-winning system freed women from labor intensive pumping, offered children a new playground, and encouraged girls who were now relieved of their water-fetching duties to attend school. Additionally, the pumps were intended to be partially self-sustaining by displaying advertisements and billboards. The parts were produced locally in South Africa and a maintenance phone number was displayed on each pump.

Unfortunately, the PlayPump failed to meet expectations. The system cost $14,000 to install, which is sufficient to buy several conventional hand pumps, and up to 75% of PlayPumps did not carry the promised advertisements to offset this cost. Furthermore, in order to provide the recommended minimum of 15 liters of water per person, it was calculated that children would have to spend 27 hours every day playing on the pump. [13]. If the children were occupied, the village’s women would have to operate the PlayPump which was much more labor intensive than a simple hand pump. For communities outside South Africa, replacement parts would take months to arrive. Due to a diminished feeling of local ownership, community beneficiaries lost interest in the project and the company lost funding. Ultimately, PlayPumps International donated their remaining inventory to Water For People as they shifted focus to solely maintaining existing pumps. [14]

Solar Disinfection[edit]

Solar disinfection of drinking water

Solar disinfection uses the sun’s UV rays to kill microorganisms and sterilize drinking water. Six hours of sun exposure can remove up to 80% of diarrhea-causing pathogens from water in a clear bottle. Because it is a point-of-use technology, solar disinfection reduces the chance of secondary infection.

The Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG) [15] provides reusable solar disinfection plastic bottles to households in low-income countries. EAWAG admits that the most challenging aspects of implementing a solar disinfection system are not technical, but social in nature; their challenges include educating community members on how solar disinfection works and the importance of general sanitation. Since solar disinfection is an active form of water purification, it requires a lifestyle change, which can discourage end users.

Chlorine Disinfection[edit]

Chlorine in drinking water kills microorganisms, bacteria, and viruses, while protecting the water from recontamination. Chlorination, however, is ineffective against protozoa and in turbid waters. Chlorine also alters the taste of water, and excessive ingestion can lead to long term side effects.

Joseph Arvai and Kristianna Post studied the implementation of water boiling, solar disinfection, ceramic filters, and chlorine disinfection in two rural villages in Tanzania. The two forms of chlorine disinfection included WaterGuard, a sodium hypochlorite tablet, and PUR, a hypochlorite disinfectant that also removes sedimentation with flocculant particles. The team explained to the villagers the risks of untreated water and identified the villagers’ domestic water objectives. With the non-negotiable exception of water safety, the objectives were determined by the villagers after a demonstration of each of the point-of-use water treatment options.
In both villages, the end results matched: The preferred filtration method was WaterGuard. Boiling water was perceived as time-inefficient, and in some cases, villagers did not like the taste. Solar disinfection in both cases was eliminated because it failed to adequately purify the water and the ceramic filters did not arrive in Milola. In Naitolia, the villagers thought the ceramic filter gave the water poor taste, color, and odor. Although PUR filtered the water more effectively than WaterGuard, its ability to remove cloudiness and sedimentation was so efficacious that the villagers deemed it “supernatural” and would not use it. While WaterGuard was only semi-effective from a technical standpoint, this solution was chosen because the villagers trusted it and thus were unlikely to abandon it [16].

Another application for appropriate technologies is improving sanitation. As of 2019, 2 million people lacked access to basic sanitation (toilets or basic latrines) [17]. The result is contaminated water, water-borne illness (cholera, typhoid, infectious hepatitis, polio, rotavirus, etc.), and malnutrition (due to intestinal parasites in contaminated water). Poor sanitation kills ~1.7 million people annually, including 4,000 child-deaths a day. The cholera outbreak in Haiti illustrates the kind of devastating impact poor sanitation can have. After the Haiti earthquake in 2010, many Haitians had to live in tents and drink contaminated water, leading to a huge outbreak of cholera that lasted for years [18]. Less obviously, lack of sanitation can constitute a human rights issue, forcing women to expose themselves to the danger of sexual assault as they leave the safety of their homes at night in search of a private place to defecate. Lack of sanitation in schools can also deprive girls from a chance at education [19]. Improving sanitation would not only save millions of lives and contribute towards women’s safety and education, but would also yield $9 for every $1 spent as a result of saved time, reductions in medicine and health costs, improved quality and amount of education for girls, and protected water resources. The World Health Organization, the United Nations, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and The Borgen Project are some of the organizations leading the way to improved sanitation.

Nanomembrane Toilet[edit]

Inside the Nano Membrane Toilet with bowl in mid-rotation of “flushing” mechanism (no water used)

Nanomembrane toilets dispose of liquid and solid waste by purifying liquid waste and heating solid waste, creating ash and thermal energy. The nanomembrane toilet utilizes a unique rotating mechanism for flushing that uses no external energy or water. Liquid waste is purified by a transition to a gaseous form and then filtering, separating out pathogens and volatile odorous compounds. The purified liquid can then be used for washing and irrigation. The solid waste is dried and then burned to produce thermal energy that can then be used to power the liquid filtration. Any excess energy can be used for low voltage items [20].

The nanomembrane toilet was invented by Cranfield University and is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation via the Reinvent the Toilet Campaign. The Reinvent the Toilet Campaign focuses on improving the toilet in low-income countries at a low cost, without relying on a water supply or sewer systems [21]. The toilet is still in the development stages and should have a testable prototype soon [22]. If the nanomembrane toilet works as expected, many low-income countries will benefit, as their waste will be turned into energy and clean water.

Pit Latrines[edit]

A standard pit latrine or pit toilet consists of a slab with an opening for waste, a hole in the ground for waste collection, and a shelter for the slab and hole. These are commonly used in low-income countries due to their low production cost. The WHO recommends that pit latrines are placed 30 meters away from water sources at a minimum [23].

Pit latrines are used as a more sanitary alternative to open defecation. Open defecation plays a major role in unsanitary water due primarily to runoff and direct contamination of otherwise usable land and clean water sources. There are many factors that lead to open defecation, such as the lack of established defecation locations, the lack of awareness of potential health risks, and certain cultural beliefs. For example, there is a belief in Madagascar that using outhouses can cause a pregnant mother to lose her expecting child.

Many countries are working to decrease open defecation. The Indian government, for instance, started a campaign called Clean India Mission in 2014 to decrease open defecation in rural areas. They do this by educating citizens, giving them money to obtain a pit latrine, or by withholding basic electricity until a pit latrine is purchased or built. The campaign has seen mixed results in many rural areas. Those who live in areas with pit latrines will often continue practices of open defecation, using the pit latrine to wash their clothes or bathe. Defecating in the open is seen as a better option for many as it is natural and farther away from their homes. Pit latrines are generally placed closer to the home or town to provide quick access, leading many to worry about flies, smell, and sickness [24]. Thus, in order to promote greater use of pit latrines and lower levels of open defecation, pit latrines must be improved.

One example of a redesigned pit latrine is SanPlat. SanPlat is a plate that covers the hole of the latrine, and has been proven to be effective in reducing both the odor and the number of insects in the pit. Through restricting air flow in and out of the pit and light from the pit, the SanPlat upgrades an unimproved sanitation facility to an improved facility [25].

Clean Water[edit]

Notable advancements in drinking water coverage have been made since the end of the 20th century. Between 2000 and 2017, the WHO and UN have documented that 1.8 billion people gained access to basic drinking water services and the population drinking surface water decreased from 256 to 144 million [26]. The Millennium Development Goal set by the UN to halve the percentage of people without access to improved drinking water by 2015 was met and exceeded by three percentage points [27].

Appropriate technologies in improved drinking water are typically non-piped. Non-piped improved drinking water services are particularly effective in increasing drinking water coverage in rural areas. Between 1990 and 2015, non-piped improved services were responsible for 18% of the growth in improved drinking water coverage in rural areas of low-income countries, compared to 1% increase from piped services [28]. Over 2 million people use solar disinfection daily for their drinking water services across 28 low-income countries [29]. Another 200,000 use one implementation of slow sand filtration, BioSand filter, for their drinking water services [30].

Sanitation[edit]

Appropriate technologies have led to significant progress in sanitation over the past two decades. The United Nations’ and World Health Organizations’ documented efforts to increase improved sanitation facility coverage has shown 2.1 billion people gaining access to improved sanitation between the years 2000 and 2017 [31]. Nearly half the 1.3 billion practicing open defecation in 2000, 627 million people, now have access to a sanitation facility [32].

For low-income countries and rural communities, onsite sanitation is an effective means of increasing basic sanitation coverage. In the UN-defined Least Developed Countries, the proportion of the population using improved onsite sanitation facilities increased by 17%, compared to only 1% increase in use of sewer connections [33]. Among onsite sanitation solutions, pit latrines and other improved facilities are used by 67% of those in rural communities. Use of onsite sanitation also varies within countries with respect to wealth. In countries like Armenia and Mongolia, sewer connections are common among the richest quintile but onsite sanitation is more common among the poorest quintile [34]. As a result, appropriate technology improvements to onsite sanitation can have a greater impact on the economically disadvantaged communities within a country as well as low-income countries overall.

Of those using improved sanitation facilities, 1.6 billion used improved pit latrines. Appropriate technology improvements to simple pit latrines have led to an increased number of improved sanitation facilities. Between the years 2007 and 2015, usage of improved pit latrines in Sub-Saharan Africa increased by 49%, with 83% of the improved pit latrines incorporating appropriate technologies such as slabs or vertical vent pipes [35].

While technologies in low-income countries must be technically sound, it is even more crucial that they account for the unique needs and capabilities of the humans that they serve. Often, the best technical filtration solution can be rendered ineffective by a villages’ lack of understanding, organizational capacity, or even superstitious beliefs. When implementing a technology in low-income countries, endowing a sense of ownership and responsibility to the end user leads to greater success. While further examination is needed to extend this study of appropriate technologies beyond clean water and sanitation, the lessons learned here-in are widely applicable.

  1. https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Ugly-American
  2. https://www.britannica.com/event/Point-Four-Program
  3. http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/publications/innovationbriefs/no4.pdf
  4. http://water.org/water-crisis/water-sanitation-facts/
  5. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1539-6924.2011.01675.x
  6. http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/2/2/024003/meta;jsessionid=58675593F1834640A4FFA9C58C16171F.c3.iopscience.cld.iop.org
  7. http://www.cdc.gov/safewater/ceramic-filtration.html
  8. http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4340099_TsunamiRecoveryProgram.pdf
  9. http://www.cdc.gov/safewater/sand-filtration.html
  10. http://www.cdc.gov/safewater/sand-filtration.html
  11. http://www.virginia.edu/jpc/docs/Journal-2015.pdf
  12. http://www.washtechnologies.net/en/taf/case-studies/details/
  13. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/nov/24/africa-charity-water-pumps-roundabouts
  14. http://unitedexplanations.org/english/2012/03/22/the-story-of-playpumps-merry-go-rounds-water-and-failures-in-development-aid/
  15. http://www.sodis.ch/projekte/afrika/index
  16. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1539-6924.2011.01675.x
  17. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/sanitation
  18. http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/15/health/cnnheroes-soap-hygiene/index.html
  19. https://www.borgenmagazine.com/call-sanitation-developing-countries/
  20. https://www.cranfield.ac.uk/case-studies/research-case-studies/nano-membrane-toilet
  21. https://www.gatesfoundation.org/what-we-do/global-growth-and-opportunity/water-sanitation-and-hygiene/reinvent-the-toilet-challenge-and-expo
  22. http://www.nanomembranetoilet.org/about.php
  23. https://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/hygiene/emergencies/fs3_4.pdf
  24. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/08/toilet-defecate-outdoors-stunting-sanitation/
  25. https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-016-2772-z
  26. https://data.unicef.org/resources/progress-drinking-water-sanitation-hygiene-2019/
  27. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/177752/9789241509145_eng.pdf;jsessionid=1BCC38E683D81A1C80F1B7A8057FFFF6?sequence=1
  28. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/177752/9789241509145_eng.pdf;jsessionid=1BCC38E683D81A1C80F1B7A8057FFFF6?sequence=1
  29. https://www.cdc.gov/safewater/solardisinfection.html#:~:text=Over%202%20million%20people%20in,for%20daily%20drinking%20water%20treatment.&text=SODIS%20promotion%20in%20a%20new,that%20reaches%202000%2D4000%20families.
  30. https://www.cdc.gov/safewater/sand-filtration.html
  31. https://data.unicef.org/resources/progress-drinking-water-sanitation-hygiene-2019/
  32. https://data.unicef.org/resources/progress-drinking-water-sanitation-hygiene-2019/
  33. https://data.unicef.org/resources/progress-drinking-water-sanitation-hygiene-2019/
  34. https://data.unicef.org/resources/progress-drinking-water-sanitation-hygiene-2019/
  35. https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-016-2772-z

4 Ways to Plan a Healthy Lifestyle for Your Family

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Posted in Healthy lifestyle

Are your kids always running around? Now is the time to take advantage of their energy and talk with them about the benefits of lifelong fitness and good nutrition.

Help your children develop positive attitudes toward healthy lifestyles now, and they’ll be more likely to carry healthy habits with them into adulthood.

Getting Started

Identify Different Types of Fun Physical Activities

According to the document 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, children and adults should engage in physical activities for 60 minutes each day. This is especially important for young children and adolescents–to ensure they continue to build strong bones and muscles.

Try activities such as jumping rope and dancing to keep your family excited about exercise. Every family is different so work with yours to create a list of physical activities everyone enjoys doing together, then brainstorm a list of new activities to try, such as bicycling, gardening, hiking, or kicking a soccer ball in the park. As your family thinks of new activities, keep adding them to the list.

Decide When to Play Together

Choose one or two activities to participate in each day. One simple activity you can do together is to take a walk after dinner. Walking is an excellent way to help digest a meal and strengthen muscles, and it provides an opportunity to share about each other’s day. List the activities on your calendar and mark off each day’s activities together so everyone can look forward to the next day’s activities.

Determine Your Fitness Goals and Keep Track of Them

As with any type of exercise you begin, it’s important to consider the ages and current fitness levels of all participants. Then you can work toward increasing the intensity and duration of different activities. For example, during the first week, your family might take 30-minute walks each night after dinner, followed by dancing to your child’s favorite CD in the living room. The next week, increase the time spent walking and pick up the dancing pace a bit.

One way to track your family’s fitness goals is to write them down and put them on the refrigerator or in some other highly visible location. Review your goals periodically. After a goal has been met, set a new goal to work toward. Remember: The most important goal is for all family members to participate in physical activities regularly, so it’s important that any goals you set are attainable and that everyone is motivated to work toward them.

Discuss the Importance of Good Nutrition and Healthy Eating Habits

Children need adults to teach them about foods that are healthy for their bodies as well as to model eating healthy foods. Talking about good nutrition with children can be as simple as explaining the need to eat foods from different food groups to ensure their bodies receive the different vitamins and minerals needed to stay healthy. Create menus with your kids that include foods that are healthy and that everyone enjoys. Then, take your kids shopping and let them locate different foods and teach them how to read food labels.

Maintaining Your Plan

  • Get active. Remember to participate in some type of physical activity or activities for a total of at least 60 minutes each day.
  • Have fun. Your kids are much more likely to participate in physical activities that are fun, so make sure everyone enjoys the time spent together.
  • Eat healthy. Eat fewer foods that are high in fat and calories, and more foods that benefit the body, such as fruits and vegetables. Involve the entire family in selecting and preparing meals so everyone understands how to make healthy food choices.

One of the best things you can do for your children today is to help them develop the knowledge and lifestyle habits that will help them live happy and healthy lives tomorrow.


To learn how KinderCare Learning Centers can deliver a true educational advantage for your child, call 1-877-KINDERCARE or visit www.kindercare.com.

Healthcare in Singapore – Wikipedia

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Posted in Healthy lifestyle

Healthcare in Singapore

Healthcare in Singapore or the Singapore healthcare system is supervised by the Ministry of Health of the Singapore Government. It largely consists of a government-run publicly funded universal healthcare system, delivered through schemes such as Medisave, Medishield Life and Medifund, while also including a significant private healthcare sector. In addition, financing of healthcare costs is done through a mixture of direct government subsidies, compulsory comprehensive savings, a national healthcare insurance, and cost sharing.

Singapore has an efficient and widespread system of healthcare by worldwide standards. In 2000, Singapore was ranked 6th in the World Health Organization’s ranking of the world’s health systems.[1]Bloomberg ranked Singapore’s healthcare system the most efficient in the world in 2014.[2]The Economist Intelligence Unit placed Singapore 1st out of 166 countries for health-care outcomes.[3] Bloomberg Global Health Index of 163 countries ranked Singapore the 4th healthiest country in the world and first in Asia.[4] Singapore is ranked 1st on the Global Food Security Index in 2019.[5]

As of 2019, Singaporeans have the world’s longest life expectancy, 84.8 years at birth. Females can expect to live an average of 87.6 years with 75.8 years in good health, and men with a life expectancy at 81.9 years with 72.5 years in good health.[6] In 2020, the Bloomberg Health-Efficiency Index, which tracks life expectancy and medical spending, ranked Singapore 1st in the world for the most efficient healthcare. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the results of that year also include the impact of COVID-19 on mortality and gross domestic product in 57 of the world’s largest economies.[7]

According to global consulting firm Towers Watson (now Willis Towers Watson), Singapore has “one of the most successful healthcare systems in the world, in terms of both efficiency in financing and the results achieved in community health outcomes”.[8] This has been attributed to a combination of a strong reliance on medical savings accounts, cost sharing, and government regulation.[9] The government regularly adjusts policies to actively regulate “the supply and prices of healthcare services in the country” in an attempt to keep costs in check. However, for the most part, the government does not directly regulate the costs of private medical care unless necessary. These costs are largely subject to market forces, and vary enormously within the private sector, depending on the medical specialty and service provided.[8]

Furthermore, Towers Watson states that the specific features of the Singapore healthcare system are unique, and have been described as a “very difficult system to replicate in many other countries.” Many Singaporeans also have supplemental private health insurance (often provided by employers) for services that may not be covered by the government’s programmes, such as cosmetic dentistry and some prescription drugs.[8]

Since the 1990s, all public hospitals, polyclinics (i.e. outpatient clinics), and specialty centres have been restructured as government-owned corporations, and operate under three healthcare groups or “clusters” ranked from the largest to smallest: the Singapore Health Services (SHS), which operates the largest hospital in the country the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and its various specialty centres, the National University Health System (NUHS), which flagship hospital the National University Hospital (NUH) also serves as a clinical training centre and research centre for the medical and dental faculties of the National University of Singapore (NUS), and the National Healthcare Group (NHG), which operates polyclinics and the Institute of Mental Health (Singapore) (IMH), or as it is more colloquially known as “Woodbridge” by Singaporeans,[note 1] the flagship psychiatric hospital in the country.[10]

History[edit]

The Bowyer Block at the Singapore General Hospital now houses the SGH Museum which was officially opened in May 2005.

Early colonial years[edit]

When British statesman Stamford Raffles arrived in Singapore in January 1819, he was with a single accompanying doctor, a sub-assistant surgeon named Thomas Prendergast, then the medical officer in Penang’s General Hospital.[11]:12 After a treaty was signed allowing the British East India Company to set up a trading post in Singapore, Prendergast oversaw the newly established post’s medical needs until William Montgomerie arrived and served as Singapore’s first surgeon.[12] Prendergast, as a military doctor, was put in charge of the first General Hospital on the island — a small shed erected near the junction of Bras Basah Road and Stamford Road in 1821.[11]:12

Singapore in the early colonial years was a poorly funded trading post with severe budget constraints due to Raffles’ commitment to keep it as a free port, which meant that the administration was not able to raise funds through customs duties.[13] This made health care substantially more difficult to provide for in this new but bustling port. Diseases such as cholera, smallpox, enteric fevers, typhoid and venereal diseases were common.[11]:12 Even the General Hospital building, which was supposed to be an “elite” healthcare institution in the early days, had to be replaced twice by 1830 because it was “dilapidated and full of holes”.[11]:14

Healthcare providers[edit]

The healthcare system in Singapore is divided into two sectors; statutory boards and institutions (which are then divided into public and private streams).[14] There are a variety of statutory boards in place, including the Medical Council, Dental Council, Nursing Board, Pharmacy Council, and Optometrists and Opticians Board.[14] Healthcare institutions can be divided into public and private hospitals and healthcare providers. All hospitals in Singapore have been structured as government corporations since the 1990s, constantly competing with one another to have the most advanced services, and technology available.[15] There are multiple spheres and levels to both the public and private streams.

Public health system[edit]

Since the 1990s, all public hospitals, polyclinics, and specialty centres have been restructured as government-owned corporations, and operate under three healthcare groups or “clusters”:

  1. National Healthcare Group
  2. National University Health System
  3. SingHealth

The 10 public hospitals comprise 8 general hospitals (AH, SGH, NUH, CGH, TTSH, KTPH, NTFGH & SKH), and 2 specialized hospitals (KKH & IMH).[16] In addition, there are 9 national specialty centres for cancer (NCCS & NCIS), cardiac (NHCS & NUHCS), eye (SNEC), skin (NSC), neuroscience (NNI) and dental care (NDCS & NUCOHS).[16]

As of 2012, Singapore had a total of 10,225 doctors in its healthcare system, giving a doctor-to-population ratio of 1:520. The nurse-to-population ratio (including midwives) was 1:150, with a total of 34,507 nurses. There were 1,645 dentists, giving a ratio of 1 dentist to 3,230 people.[17][18]

Approximately 70–80% of Singaporeans obtain their medical care within the public health system. Overall government spending on public healthcare amounts to 1.6% of annual GDP. This amounted to an average of $1,104 Government Health Expenditure per person as of March 2020.[17] Health-related spending is the third largest expenditure item, after defence and education expenses.[19] As the median age of the population increases, Singapore’s healthcare spending is expected to rise. Healthcare spending has risen from $4 billion in 2011 to $9.8 billion in 2016.[20][21]

Singapore has a strong reputation for health services and healthcare systems; in 2000, the country was ranked sixth in the world by the World Health Organization.[22] Public hospitals have autonomy over management decisions, and compete with one another for patients.[23] General hospitals have a variety of functions and services; they mainly represent multi-disciplinary acute inpatient and specialist outpatient services, have 24-hour emergency centers, and often specialize in a specific field of medicine (cancer research, neuroscience, dental care, cardiac care, etc.).[23] Singapore has an array of hospitals and health services available, as well as community hospitals that exist as an intermediate form of healthcare for people who do not require the services of a general hospital but cannot cope at home.[23] The funding behind Singapore’s public health sector can be broken down into the Ministry of Health of Singapore, MediSave, MediShield Life, and MediFund.

Emergency Medical Services[edit]

Emergency medical services (EMS) in Singapore are provided by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF). SCDF operates a fleet of ambulances, “fast response paramedics” on motorcycles as well as first response fire-bikers. SCDF is characterised as a nationally funded, multi-tiered, fire-based EMS system.[24][25]SCDF responded to 150,155 calls in 2013, of which 96.1% were classified as emergency calls.[25]

Financing[edit]

Singapore’s healthcare system uses a mixed financing system that includes nationalised life insurance schemes and deductions from the compulsory savings plan, or the Central Provident Fund (CPF), for working Singaporeans and permanent residents.[26] This mechanism is intended to reduce the overuse of healthcare services.

MediSave[edit]

MediSave is a medical savings account under an individual’s CPF account that is used for payment of future medical expenses as well as premiums of medical insurance policies. Funds can be pooled within and across an entire extended family.

The Central Provident Fund Board, a social security system, allows the citizens of Singapore to put aside funds for a variety of expenses including retirement, healthcare and mortgage. Citizens can make monthly contributions to three different accounts: 1) ordinary accounts for housing, insurance, investment, and education, 2) special accounts for retirement, and investment, and 3) MediSave accounts for hospitalisation expenses and medical insurance.[27] MediSave contributions are usually between 8-10.5% of an individual’s wage, and is capped at a $52,000 limit.[27] This form of a health savings account is required by all workers; those below the age of 55 are required to deposit 20% of their earnings.[27] This contribution is almost matched by the employer who contributes 17% of the workers earnings.[27]

Medishield[edit]

Launched in 1990, Medishield is a low cost basic insurance scheme intended for those whose savings are insufficient to meet their medical expenses.[28] Premiums can be paid out of MediSave accounts. A new scheme, Medishield Life, replaced the Medishield in November 2015. Co-insurance payment rates are to be reduced from 10 to 20% to 3–10% and the lifetime claim limit is to be removed.[29] The scheme helps to pay for hospital bills and selected outpatient treatments. The government provides premium subsidies to lower- to middle-income residents, the elderly and new policyholders transitioning from cheaper policies.

The Integrated Shield Plan (IP) includes both the MediShield Life component and an additional private insurance coverage component run by private insurers, to cover for optional benefits in public hospitals and private hospitals. Premiums for the IP can be paid by the MediSave funds.[28] As on 16 February 2021, 7 private insurers – AIA, Aviva, AXA, Great Eastern, NTUC Income, Prudential. and Raffles Health are authorized by Ministry of Health to offer Integrated Shield plans to the consumers.[30]

In September 2020 it was announced it was being considered that treatment for drug addiction, alcoholism and injuries from attempted suicide would be covered under MediShield Life.[31]

Eldershield[edit]

Eldershield is a severe disability insurance scheme which insures against the cost of private nursing homes and related expenses. Since 2002, members with a CPF MediSave account will automatically be enrolled in the scheme at the age of 40, unless they choose to opt out. Three private insurers, Aviva, Great Eastern and NTUC Income were chosen to manage ElderShield.[32] The Ministry of Health will run ElderShield from 2021 on a not-for-profit basis, taking over from the three private insurers. This arrangement will allow a smoother upgrade to CareShield Life.[33] It has 1.2 million policyholders as of 2015, with $2.6 billion collected in premiums, and around $100 million in payout claims and $130 million in premium rebates between 2002 and 2015.[34][35]

MediFund[edit]

MediFund is Singapore’s safety net programme, which covers only the lowest class of hospitalisation fees and services.[36] This form of coverage and insurance is only available to citizens of Singapore once they have depleted their MediSave and MediShield funds.[36] The amount of funding and coverage is dependent on the individuals’ income, health condition, and socioeconomic status.

It is a government endowment fund for those who are unable to meet their assessed contribution. Risks are not pooled, so an individual may be exposed to catastrophic expenses.[37] A total of $155.2 million was allocated to patients in 2015.[38]

Subsidies[edit]

Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents warded in public hospitals receive government subsidies for their medical fees, which scale according to their chosen category of ward as well as their income. Since 1 January 2009, patients warded in B2 and C class wards in public hospitals undergo means testing to determine the level of subsidy they are entitled to, based on the average monthly income received over the last available 12-month period including bonuses for salaried employees. However, patients receiving services such as Day Surgery, A&E services, Specialist Outpatient and polyclinic visits receive standardised subsidies regardless of income without requiring means testing.

People with no income, such as retirees or housewives, will have their subsidy rate pegged to the value of their homes, whereas all unemployed residents of HDB flats excluding those in executive condominiums (EC) will be entitled to the highest tier of subsidy.

The following table details the subsidies available:

Means testing in public hospitals as of 1 January 2009[39]
Average Monthly
Income of Patient (SGD)
Citizens Subsidy Permanent residents Subsidy
Class C Class B2 Class C Class B2
$3,200 and below1 80% 65% 70% 55%
$3,201 – $3,350 79% 64% 69% 54%
$3,351 – $3,500 78% 63% 68% 53%
$3,501 – $3,650 77% 62% 67% 52%
$3,651 – $3,800 76% 61% 66% 51%
$3,801 – $3,950 75% 60% 65% 50%
$3,951 – $4,100 74% 59% 64% 49%
$4,101 – $4,250 73% 58% 63% 48%
$4,251 – $4,400 72% 57% 62% 47%
$4,401 – $4,550 71% 56% 61% 46%
$4,551 – $4,700 70% 55% 60% 45%
$4,701 – $4,850 69% 54% 59% 44%
$4,851 – $5,000 68% 53% 58% 43%
$5,001 – $5,100 67% 52% 57% 42%
$5,101 – $5,200 66% 51% 56% 41%
$5,201 and above2 65% 50% 55% 40%

1. No income declare and property with AV below $11,000.
2. No income declare and property with AV exceeding $11,000.

3. Foreigners no longer receive any subsidies at public hospitals since 01-Jan-08.

In 2012 the Community Health Assist Scheme was introduced. This provides subsidies for Singapore Citizens from lower-to-middle income households, and the Pioneer generation, born before 1950, who need treatment for common illnesses, chronic health problems and specific dental issues. Beneficiaries get a blue or orange Health Assist card, depending on household income. From 2019 the scheme is to be extended. Orange cardholders who only got subsidies for chronic conditions will get subsidies for common illnesses. All Singaporeans will be covered for chronic conditions, and the subsidies for complex chronic conditions will be increased.[40]

Private sector[edit]

The increasingly large private sector provides care to those who are privately insured, foreign patients, or public patients who are able to afford what often amounts to very large out-of-pocket payments above the levels provided by government subsidies. The private sector consists of private healthcare, and private insurance. The private healthcare sector utilizes the network of General Practitioners (GPs) and Private Hospitals. And, the private health insurance sector utilizes Integrated Shield plans and private insurance.[41]

The government uses the capacity of the private sector to reduce waiting times in the public sector. In 2015 it planned to use the Raffles Medical Group to receive non-critical ambulance cases.[42]

Private healthcare[edit]

The private healthcare sector in Singapore has a large market, with a more exclusive clientele.[43] Private healthcare often attracts individuals in search of more advanced and complicated treatments such as stem cell therapy, or specialised cancer treatments. Private healthcare is more appealing and preferred by expatriate citizens as opposed to public for the short wait times, and greater availability of services.[44]

Two hospital groups operate the majority; Parkway Pantai and Raffles Medical Group.[45] These private hospitals are typically smaller, offer patients more privacy, and typically specialize in certain procedures or surgeries.

Parkway Pantai[edit]

Parkway Pantai is Southeast Asia’s largest private healthcare provider with hospitals in several countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of IHH Healthcare and owns four hospitals in Singapore: Gleneagles Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital and Parkway East Hospital.

Raffles Medical Group[edit]

Raffles Medical Group (RMG) is one of the largest private healthcare providers in Asia, with hospitals and clinics located in several cities, including Singapore.[46] RMG owns Raffles Hospital in Singapore, which specializes in obstetrics and gynecology, cardiology, oncology, and orthopedics.[46]

Private health insurance[edit]

There are a variety of choices for private health insurance in Singapore, known as Integrated Shield Plans which supplement Medishield Life coverage. Depending on an individual, or families level of income, lifestyle, location, and medical history, there are monthly insurance plans ranging from S$75 SGD to S$400.[14] Companies include but are not limited to AIA, Aviva, AXA, Great Eastern, NTUC Income, Prudential and Raffles Health.[47]

Government initiatives[edit]

Medical tourism[edit]

In October 2003, then acting Minister for Health Khaw Boon Wan launched “SingaporeMedicine” to promote Singapore as a regional medical hub. He said more than 200,000 foreigners visited Singapore for its medical services in 2002 and that the Economic Review Committee reaffirmed its ambition of serving 1 million foreign patients annually by 2012.[48] In his speech, Khaw said,

“SingaporeMedicine that we are launching today shall be the rallying point and a powerful symbol of our collective will and commitment towards this ambition…

In three specialties alone, heart, eye and cancer, I see tens of millions of middle-class patients within a 7-hour flying radius, waiting to be served. If they can be attracted here, they will keep us all very busy…

This is my dream for Singapore as the regional medical hub, where regional doctors and nurses compete to work here to learn, and where international patients seek us out for care and treatment.”[49]

National Electronic Record Programme[edit]

The National Electronic Record Programme was launched in 2011 and is used by more than 280 institutions to support telehealth and telemedicine.[50]

Pioneer Generation Package[edit]

The Pioneer Generation Package (PGP) is a S$9 billion package launched in 2014 aimed at helping approximately 450,000 Singaporeans born on or before 31 December 1949 and obtained citizenship before 31 December 1986 through a series of healthcare and social support schemes over an estimated 20-year period.[51][52]

Shortage of hospital beds[edit]

During the early 2010s, the healthcare system had faced shortages of hospital beds.[53][54] This has been attributed to an ageing population.[55] In certain situations, hospitals had to temporarily locate patients in other places or being transferred to community care facilities.[56]

Since 2010, the government has opened three general hospitals and three community hospitals to cater to the increasing demand for hospital beds, and new hospitals were being built at Changi East, Changi Business Park, Jurong East and Pasir Ris as a result in 2020.[57]

See also[edit]

  1. ^ Its former name from 1951 to 1993.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The World Health Report 2000 : Health Systems : Improving Performance. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization. 2000. p. 154. ISBN 978-92-4-156198-3.
  2. ^ “Most Efficient Health Care Around the World”. Bloomberg.com.
  3. ^ “Singapore ranked world’s No. 2 for health-care outcomes: EIU”. Bloomberg.com. 27 November 2014.
  4. ^ “Singapore healthiest Asian country; Italy tops global list despite economic crisis”. Bloomberg.com. 20 March 2017.
  5. ^ “The World’s Best Countries For Food Security”. worldatlas.
  6. ^ “Singaporeans have world’s longest life expectancy at 84.8 years”. Straits Times. 20 June 2019.
  7. ^ Lu, Wei; Miller, Lee J (18 December 2020). “Asia Trounces U.S. in Health-Efficiency Index Amid Pandemic”. bloomberg.com. Bloomberg. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  8. ^ a b c John Tucci, “The Singapore health system – achieving positive health outcomes with low expenditure”, Watson Wyatt Healthcare Market Review, October 2004. Archived 19 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Carroll, Aaron E.; Frakt, Austin (2 October 2017). “What Makes Singapore’s Health Care So Cheap?”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  10. ^ Caring for our People: 50 Years of Healthcare in Singapore (PDF). MOH Holdings Pte Ltd. 2015. p. 144. ISBN 978-981-09-6201-2.
  11. ^ a b c d Caring for our people: 50 years of healthcare in Singapore (PDF). Singapore: MOH Holdings Pte Ltd. 2015. ISBN 978-981-09-6201-2.
  12. ^ “William Montgomerie arrives in Singapore – May 1819”. HistorySG. November 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  13. ^ “Singapore – Founding and Early Years”. countrystudies.us. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  14. ^ a b c “Singapore : International Health Care System Profiles”. international.commonwealthfund.org. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  15. ^ “What Makes Singapore’s Health Care So Cheap?”. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  16. ^ a b “About Singapore public healthcare”. Healthcare Scholarships. MOH Holdings. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  17. ^ a b “Singapore Health Facts”. Ministry of Health, Singapore. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
  18. ^ “Find a Doctor in Singapore – DoctorPage”. 26 January 2013. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  19. ^ Ramchandani, Nisha (21 February 2017). “A smaller budget surplus of S$1.91b likely for FY17”. The Business Times. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  20. ^ Britnell, Mark (2015). In Search of the Perfect Health System. London: Palgrave. p. 43. ISBN 978-1-137-49661-4.
  21. ^ Basu, Radha (7 October 2017). “Long-term care: If this is so important, why aren’t we putting our money where our mouth is?”. The Straits Times. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  22. ^ World Health Organization (2000). “The World Health Report 2000: Health Systems: Improving Performance” (PDF). WHO Library Catalogue.
  23. ^ a b c “News Highlights”. www.moh.gov.sg. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  24. ^ Lim, S. H.; Anantharaman, V. (March 1999). “Emergency medicine in Singapore: past, present, and future”. Annals of Emergency Medicine. 33 (3): 338–343. doi:10.1016/S0196-0644(99)70371-9. ISSN 0196-0644. PMID 10036349.
  25. ^ a b Ho, Andrew Fu Wah; Chew, David; Wong, Ting Hway; Ng, Yih Yng; Pek, Pin Pin; Lim, Swee Han; Anantharaman, Venkataraman; Hock Ong, Marcus Eng (July 2015). “Prehospital Trauma Care in Singapore”. Prehospital Emergency Care. 19 (3): 409–415. doi:10.3109/10903127.2014.980477. ISSN 1545-0066. PMID 25494913.
  26. ^ “Costs and Financing”. Ministry of Health. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  27. ^ a b c d “CPF Overview”. www.cpf.gov.sg. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  28. ^ a b Huang, Claire (15 July 2017). “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Integrated Shield Plans”. The Business Times. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  29. ^ Khalik, Salma (31 October 2015). “MediShield Life coverage to kick in at midnight”. The Straits Times. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  30. ^ “CPFB | Private Medical Insurance Scheme”. null. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  31. ^ hermesauto (30 September 2020). “Experts welcome proposal to cover addictions, self-harm under MediShield”. The Straits Times. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  32. ^ Tan, Weizhen (7 July 2017). “Govt studying proposal to take over running of ElderShield”. TODAY. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  33. ^ “Government to take over administration of ElderShield from 2021”. CNA. 7 January 2019. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  34. ^ “S$90m paid out in ElderShield claims since its 2002 launch”. Channel NewsAsia. 4 April 2016. Archived from the original on 24 October 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  35. ^ “Parliamentary Debates Singapore – Official Report” (PDF). National Archives of Singapore.
  36. ^ a b “MediFund”. www.moh.gov.sg. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  37. ^ Britnell, Mark (2015). In Search of the Perfect Health System. London: Palgrave. p. 42. ISBN 978-1-137-49661-4.
  38. ^ “Medifund assistance dropped to S$155.2m last year”. TODAY. 24 November 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  39. ^ “Means Testing at Singapore public hospitals” (PDF). Moh.gov.sg. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 June 2016. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  40. ^ “What Chas expansion means for healthcare in Singapore”. Today online. 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  41. ^ “Healthcare in Singapore | Kloodo Singapore”. kloodo.com. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  42. ^ Britnell, Mark (2015). In Search of the Perfect Health System. London: Palgrave. p. 44. ISBN 978-1-137-49661-4.
  43. ^ Pocock, Nicola S; Phua, Kai Hong (2011). “Medical tourism and policy implications for health systems: a conceptual framework from a comparative study of Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia”. Globalization and Health. 7 (1): 12. doi:10.1186/1744-8603-7-12. ISSN 1744-8603. PMC 3114730. PMID 21539751.
  44. ^ “Healthcare in Singapore”. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  45. ^ Pacific Prime (6 October 2017). “Public and Private Healthcare in SINGAPORE”. Pacific Prime.
  46. ^ a b “Hospitals and Other Healthcare Organisations – medtech.sg”. medtech.sg. 3 May 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  47. ^ “Comparison of Integrated Shield Plans”. Ministry of Health, Singapore. Ministry of Health, Singapore. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  48. ^ “SG medical tourism started by Khaw asking Philip Yeo to implement – Khaw exhorts Yeo with ‘May the Force be with you’ – The Online Citizen”. Theonlinecitizen.com. 2 October 2018. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  49. ^ “Speech By Ag Minister Khaw Boon Wan, At The Launch Of Singaporemedicine, 20 October 2003, 4.00 Pm”. Nas.gov.sg. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  50. ^ Britnell, Mark (2015). In Search of the Perfect Health System. London: Palgrave. p. 15. ISBN 978-1-137-49661-4.
  51. ^ “Singapore Budget 2015 Annex B-1: Pioneer Generation Package” (PDF). Singaporebudget.gov.sg. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  52. ^ “PIONEER GENERATION PACKAGE”. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  53. ^ Lim, Jeremy (March 2010). “The Bed Crunch: A Systems Perspective” (PDF). SMA News. Singapore Medical Association. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  54. ^ Huang, Claire. “Hospital bed crunch a cumulative problem”. Businesstimes.com.sg. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  55. ^ Ng Jing Ying (21 January 2014). “Ageing society contributes to hospital bed crunch: Gan”. TODAYonline. MediaCorp Press. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  56. ^ Salma Khalik (8 January 2014). “Hospitals facing severe bed crunch take unusual steps”. The Straits Times. Singapore Press Holdings. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  57. ^ “New hospitals in the pipeline”. The Straits Times. 15 February 2014.

External links[edit]

Orthopaedic Surgery/Dorsal Compartments of Wrist

admin
Posted in Healthy lifestyle

There are 6 channels through which the extensor tendons glide as they cross the wrist. A given point on a wrist or finger extensor moves a distance of a few or several centimeters. With the wrist in neutral a given point on such a tendon moves in a straight line and with the wrist in full extension it would do the same (bowstringing), but for the presence of these channels which cause the movement through space of a point on the contracting muscle tendon unit to now be curved the channel roof called the extensor retinaculum acting as a pulley.
Several conditions interfere with this mechanism many resulting in changes within the lining of the tendon ( tenosynovium). When this structure thickens the work required for the tendon to move is increased. Friction is increased. There may be changes in the structural characteristics of the retinaculum which are either reactive changes or aging changes which render the pulley less compliant. There is no compelling evidence to definitively outline the pathophysiologic interaction of these changes in tenosynovium and retinaculum.
The currently extent hypothesis is that current work technologies, specifically manufacturing in an assembly line format which underpins most of our consumer culture presents a potentially deleterious exposure by virtue of the number of cycles the extreme of joint position, the level of force exerted involved in the proscribed work activity. The counter hypothesis has equally ardent subscribers.
The evidence which is presented in favor of this hypothesis falls into several categories one of which employs the statistical
paradigm of relative risk ratios. Populations are compared which are composed either of workers or non-workers. This paradigm of course depends
heavily on the nature of the physical demands of the non worker being distinctly different, generally less physically demanding but also more varied and self paced in distinction to the assembly line worker composing the study group.
When a given condition such as carpal tunnel syndrome, dequervains, or trigger finger is noted to occur in the study group with a greater incidence than in the control group then the implication is embraced which identifies the work as contributing to the de novo development of or exacerbation of the malady. Some extend the same analysis though with less compelling data to osteoarthritis which is highly prevalent in the adult population over 40 years of age.
In the case of osteoarthritis we find an added dimension of evidence from osteology available from deceased populations with a known work history.
In addition we have evidence from preindustrial populations who might be largely agrarian, and from hunter gatherer populations. This evidence generally finds a decreasing incidence of osteoarthitis allowing for the greater longevity of the modern postindustrial cohort. The salient point is then to provide the perspective that the control group which we select in our relative risk studies, if it is composed of executive or privileged home maker with abundant labor saving devices and a lifestyle of leisure accented perhaps with episodic recreational sporting activity, this may understate what might overwise be consequential negative health impacts of lifestyles which without industrial employment would be our necessary means of sustaining ourselves.
Ultimately we find a political cast to our outlook in this regard. On the left is a perspective that somehow affluent society has an obligation to provide the benign healthy qualities of a leisure existence, whereas on the right, we would judge the potential occupational condition against the comparable effects expected as a hunter gather or an agrarian, not to lose sight of the associated potential for violence, accident and uncertainly of diet associate with those lifestyles. So it is that a right leaning point of view would lead to a narrow definition of what constitutes work that is so hard it is damaging.


Sports and physical activity and our health

admin
Posted in Healthy lifestyle

Australians’ physical activity levels are low. Physical inactivity can also place a burden on the health system, and lead to premature death or disability from injuries such as falls. It is estimated to cost the Australian economy around $13 billion each year. 

Research suggests over a third of the total burden of disease experienced by Australians may be prevented by modifying lifestyle risk factors such as increasing your level of physical activity.

If we are active, not only are we likely to reduce body fat, but reduce our risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and some cancers. Our overall mental health and wellbeing is also likely to improve.  

The sedentary nature of our lifestyle can also lead to poorer health outcomes. Many of us are sitting or lying down for long periods such as spending time in front of a computer at work or driving to work or school. Also, a lot of our downtime is spent on electronic devices scrolling through social media, bingeing on our favourite programs or playing games. A recent survey found around 90% of Australian children have 10 hours or more screen time each week.

Recommended physical activity 

Australians of all ages are not doing enough physical activity for optimal health. Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines recommend being active on most, if not all, days. It is also important to include muscle strengthening and toning (such as resistance training) as part of your routine:

Age group  Physical activity  Muscle strengthening
 Adults (18-64 years) 150-300 minutes (2 ½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity
Or
75-150 minutes (1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity,
Or
an equivalent combination of both each week
 At least 2 days each week
 Adults (65 years and over) At least 30 minutes of physical activity on most, preferably all days. Choose from different physical activities that incorporate fitness, strength, balance and flexibility.
Children and young people (5-17 years) At least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity each day.
And
Several hours of light physical activity (such as going on a leisurely walk or standing up painting at an easel.)
 At least 3 days each week.

Physical activity patterns of Australians 

Although mostly preventable, over half of all Australian adults and a quarter of Australian children are overweight or obese. Many Australians have unhealthy eating habits, spend too much time sitting or lying down, use screen time as leisure and are not doing enough physical activity.

Research by AusPlay and the Australian Bureau of Statistic’s National Health Survey on the recommended guidelines for physical activity and sedentary behaviour show:

Adults:

  • Around one fifth of Australian adults (18-64 years) meet the recommended guidelines – moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity and muscle strengthening and toning.
  • More than two thirds of adults do no strength-based activities. 
  • Physical activity decreases with age – around a quarter of people over 65 years were physically active for 30 minutes, 5 days each week. 
  • People living in disadvantaged areas are less likely to exercise and to meet the recommended guidelines.

Teenagers:

  • Less than 1 in 50 (1.9%) 15–17-year-olds meet the recommended guidelines. 
  • 1 in 10 (10.3%) young people (15-17 years) exercised 60 minutes each day. 
  • Young males (15-17-year-olds) were nearly three times more likely than  young females to engage in 60 minutes of exercise every day and almost 2 ½ times more likely to do muscle strengthening activities 3 days or more.
  • Less than a quarter of teenagers (13-17 years) meet the recommended limit of 2 hours each day for sedentary screen-based behaviour. 

Children:

  • Just over a quarter of children (5-12 years) meet the recommended guidelines.
  • Only 35% of children meet the recommended sedentary screen time limit of 2 hours each day – boys are less likely to meet this guideline.
  • Only 1 in 4 preschoolers (2-5 years) meet the limit for screen-based behaviour of no more than 1 hour each day in a 24-hour period.

Popular adult sport and physical activity

Although we are not doing enough physical activity, the latest AusPlay survey shows 82.5% of Australian adults (over 15 years) did physical activity at least once a week. The most popular adult sports and activities are:

Popular children’s sport and physical activity 

According to the latest participation research, over 60% of Australian children (5-14 years) were involved in organised activities (such as those through an organisation or at a specific venue) at least once a week. Children in this age group are more likely to be involved in sport-related and organised activities than other age groups. 

Although rates of participation in physical activity are similar, girls are more likely to participate in non-sport types of activities than boys. Based on the latest AusPlay figures, popular activities for children (5-14 years) by gender include:

After the age of 14, young people are more likely to participate in non-organised physical activity. 

Barriers to physical activity 

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, over half of all Australian adults lead a sedentary lifestyle.  A lot of our time is spent sitting or lounging around due to the nature of our work and the amount of screen time we have. 

Although there are many reasons why people aren’t active, main barriers for adults include:

  • don’t have enough time
  • health condition or injury
  • no motivation
  • age 
  • dislike sport or physical activity.

Although 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity is recommended for children’s growth and development, only around 12% of children (5-12 years) and  2% of young people (13-17 years) meet the guidelines for physical activity and sedentary behaviour.

Main barriers for children include:

  • not having enough time
  • don’t enjoy physical activity
  • limited budget 
  • no access to transport.

Physical inactivity increases with age  – people over 65 are more unlikely to be physically active. 

Across all age groups (18-65+), women are less likely to be physically active than men.

Benefits of regular physical activity

Being active regularly, offers a range of health benefits:

  • Increases flexibility and movement and improves joint mobility. 
  • Improves co-ordination, movement and balance –  helps to reduce the risk of falls and injury. 
  • Strengthens bones, muscles and joints – lowers risk of developing osteoporosis or joint problems (such as arthritis). 
  • Helps to stabilise blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. 
  • Helps to maintain your weight – reduces body fat.
  • Reduces risk of various diseases – including cardiovascular disease (CVD) and some cancers.
  • Helps to prevent and manage mental health conditions (such as depression) and lowers stress and anxiety.
  • Lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (such as heart disease and stroke).
  • Improves our state of mind – boosts mood, energy levels, concentration and confidence.
  • Helps us relax and sleep better. 
  • Assists in managing some health conditions (such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes). 
  • Aids rehabilitation after surgery, injury or illness, especially when there have been long periods of bed rest. 
  • Can give you an opportunity to meet people and have fun.

Tips to get physically active

Here’s some ideas to build physical activity into your day:

  • Change your mindset – if you are busy, think of movement as an opportunity, not an inconvenience. For example, try to walk or cycle instead of using the car, or take the stairs instead of using the lift.
  • If you can’t choose a physical activity – do something you enjoyed as a child. 
  • Exercise with a friend or family members.
  • Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you currently do no physical activity, start by doing some, and gradually build up to the recommended amount.
  • Set goals to keep focused and motivated.
  • Be active on most, preferably all, days every week.
  • If you are finding it difficult to make time, look for ways to be active throughout the day – don’t make excuses for housework – vacuuming, gardening or washing the car can burn kilojoules!
  • Minimise the amount of time you spend sitting for long periods – break it up as much as you can.
  • Research your options – you may like to join a health or fitness centre or get help from a personal trainer
  • Get help to draw up an exercise program tailored to suit your needs and fitness level.
  • Try not to make excuses – you may feel flat before you start, but will have more energy when you finish.
  • Limit screen time  for entertainment  to no more than – children (2-5 years) = 1 hour each day in a 24-hour period. Children and teenagers (5-17 years) and adults = 2 hours each day.
  • Parents or carers – encourage children to have a positive experience when using screen-based devices. Screen time can be healthy if it is balanced throughout the day with physical activities, socialising and creative play.

Before starting a new exercise program

If you are over 45 (men) or over 55 (women), have a pre-existing medical condition or have not exercised for a long time, consult your doctor before you start a new exercise program.

Pre-exercise screening is used to identify people with medical conditions that may put them at a higher risk of experiencing a health problem during physical activity. It is a ‘safety net’ to help decide if the potential benefits of exercise outweigh the risks for you.

Where to get help

Content Partner

This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by:
Deakin University – School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

Last updated:
September 2020

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