No Excuses Allowed: Make Winter Workouts Work for You

It can be tempting to forgo your fitness routine when the weather outside is frightful. But Kara Smith, personal trainer and group fitness coordinator at the Loyola Center for Fitness, stresses that the cold winter months are no time to abandon your workout schedule. “It’s hard to stay motivated in the winter,” Smith acknowledges. “When temperatures plummet, the last thing we want to do is leave the comfort and warmth of our homes. But winter is not a good excuse to give up our fitness routines.” Smith suggests taking advantage of winter outdoor activities, such as ice skating, hockey, skiing or snowshoeing, during the cold weather. You also don’t need […]

Don’t Sweat It: New NIOSH Test Manikin May Help Combat Heat Stress

Researchers at NIOSH’s National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) hope to use the new “sweating thermal manikin” to create less burdensome materials and designs for protective clothing used by workers who face the risk of heat stress from prolonged duty in hot and physically stressful work environments. “We are continually investigating strategies for improving workplace safety and health,” said Dr. Maryann D’Alessandro, Director of NPPTL. “The implementation of the Sweating Thermal Manikin in the NPPTL research portfolio enables us to keep pace with technological advancements.” Protective clothing manufacturers use a standard testing process to measure the amount of heat transferred through fabric. Based on this kind of test, a number […]

8 Tips to Navigate Slippery Winter Conditions Safely

About a million people experience falls every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and approximately 20,000 people die annually due to fall-related injuries. Now that winter weather has arrived in full force and many parts of the country are experiencing snowy and icy conditions, play it safe when stepping outside to avoid painful and dangerous falls. Mike Ross, author of The Balance Manual and exercise physiologist at Gottlieb Center for Fitness, part of Loyola University Health System, explained that some of the unavoidable bodily changes that occur as we age may affect personal safety. As we grow older, our balance deteriorates due to the weakening […]

Firework Safety: Don’t Let Your New Year Start with a Bang

It should go without saying that driving sober or securing a designated driver is a key way to stay safe this New Year’s Eve. But another danger lurks on this holiday, too: fires or injuries caused by careless or unsafe use of fireworks. Setting off some consumer fireworks on New Years is a tradition that can be safe as long as a few commonsense safety rules are followed, according to Ralph Apel, spokesperson for the National Council on Fireworks Safety. He offers the following firework safety tips to follow this New Year’s and beyond: Know your fireworks. Read the warning labels and performance descriptions before igniting. Have a designated shooter […]

How Holiday Overeating Affects Your Body’s Food Clock

It’s the day after Christmas and I’m sitting in an almost-empty office, waiting for the blizzard that has been forecast to hit Cleveland even though there’s still not a flake in sight. I’m also gazing at the banana I brought for breakfast and wishing I could eat more Christmas cookies instead. According to experts, the holiday may have messed up my body’s “food clock.” I believe it. When we overeat at the holidays, we apparently share something in common with people who work the graveyard shift, people who are jetlagged and late-night snackers: the internal clocks in our bodies are thrown out of whack. According to researchers at the University […]

Health Care Workers Face Ergonomic Challenges

The widespread adoption of electronic medical records and other digital technologies in the health care sector might lower costs and reduce errors, but it also may come with a hidden risk: increased musculoskeletal injuries among doctors and nurses. In two new researcher papers, a Cornell University ergonomics professor argues that poor office layouts and improper use of computer devices may result in repetitive strain injuries among doctors and nurses. “Many hospitals are investing heavily in new technology with almost no consideration for principles of ergonomics design for computer workplaces,” said Alan Hedge, professor of human factors and ergonomics in Cornell’s College of Human Ecology’s Department of Design and Environmental Analysis. […]

Tips for Battling Seasonal Affective Disorder

The short, dark days of winter can be a big downer for many people who experience seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, during the coldest part of the year. SAD affects up to 20 percent of Americans and prompts symptoms including moodiness, loss of energy, overeating, social withdrawal, difficult concentrating and not getting enough sleep. SAD is caused by a combination of decreased serotonin and increased amounts of melatonin. Sunlight enters the brain through the eyes, stimulating the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin that supports nerve cell functioning, including mood. Less light results in lower serotonin levels, while darkness stimulates the production of melatonin, which promotes sleep. This combination causes SAD. […]

Christmas trees and holiday lighting present post-holiday fire hazards

Christmas trees and holiday lighting present post-holiday fire hazards NFPA reminds the public to properly store and dispose of seasonal decorations December 20, 2012 – While the winter months are the leading time of year for home fires, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says the post-holiday season presents its own set of fire hazards. Dried out Christmas trees and holiday lighting are among the leading culprits. “As time goes by, Christmas trees continue to dry out and become increasingly flammable,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Communications for NFPA. “For trees decorated with holiday lights, the risk increases because they’re in direct contact with an electrical source.” Although […]

Learn Not To Burn Again

Learn Not To Burn Again NFPA has revised and updated its award-winning preschool program, Learn Not to Burn, to continue keeping young children safe from fire December 13, 2012 – National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recently updated its award-winning Learn Not to Burn (LNTB) preschool program, which teaches young children about fire safety Updates to LNTB feature revised teacher lesson plans and parent/caregiver home link activities. Also, the program’s songs, which were originally recorded by Jim Post, now include singer and musician, Dante Ware, who’s joined Jim in singing and performing many of the songs. “The music is still as fun and engaging as it has always been, but […]

Sharpen your fire safety smarts this season

Sharpen your fire safety smarts this season NFPA and Sparky the Fire Dog offer information to help reduce holiday fire risks December 12, 2012 – How many strands of mini string lights can you safely connect? How many inches should you cut from the base of a fresh-cut Christmas tree before placing it in water? Not really sure? Then it’s time to sharpen your holiday fire safety smarts with information and resources from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). “Many people simply don’t know which activities and practices present hazards,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of communications. “‘Project Holiday’ points out where holiday fire risks lurk, along with a […]