Research Mounts: Mediterranean Diet Slashes Health Risks

Research Mounts: Mediterranean Diet Slashes Health Risks

Imagine a non-drug way to lower the risk of heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes, depression and possibly some forms of cancer and dementia. To top it off, this preventive “therapy” involves eating foods that most people find delicious. If you think this sounds like a too-good-to-be-true bit of unproven quackery, think again. It’s not a health fad but the way of eating long popular in Mediterranean countries. While the typical American diet is loaded with processed foods, lots of meat and dairy products, Mediterranean meals are built around a variety of plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals, nuts and legumes. The Mediterranean diet also includes lots of olive oil, a moderate intake of fish and alcohol, and a low intake of dairy, meats and sweets. Evidence in multiple studies has shown this style of eating offers a wide range of health benefits. In fact, the latest …

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Making Flex-Work Work for Everyone

Making Flex-Work Work for Everyone

Flex-work is a growing trend, with many companies worldwide offering employees a level of choice about when and where they work. Touted benefits include improved health and employee loyalty and lower office costs. However, successful flex-work programs don’t just happen. Making flex-work work requires strong, clear management and communication, a transition to output-based management and full team member engagement. Clear Management and Communication Employers must be able to articulate the why and the how of their flex-work policies. All flex-work arrangements should provide a clear benefit to the organization. Options, parameters and degrees of formality or duration should be communicated clearly, and a consistent process for requesting, implementing and assessing flex-work options should be developed to ensure clarity and fairness. Output-Based Management In a flex-work environment, management by presenteeism is neither relevant nor appropriate. By allowing employees to customize their work structure, you are necessarily refocusing on results. For a …

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Trends in Skill and Education Requirements Changing

Trends in Skill and Education Requirements Changing

According to Jennifer Schramm, GPHR, manager of workplace trends and forecasting for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), today’s tough job market has resulted in many individuals working in positions for which they have educational qualifications beyond those required for their jobs. “However this may not be the case down the line,” Schramm said. “Education requirements are climbing for jobs across the board.” That’s the conclusion of research conducted by SHRM in partnership with Achieve (a bipartisan, non-profit organization that helps states raise academic standards), involving a national survey of nearly 4,700 HR professionals. The goal? To find out where HR professionals believe skill and education requirements for various positions are headed in the near future. An Analysis of the Responses Reveals these Important Trends: Almost half of the HR survey participants said that a higher education level is required for most jobs now than ten years ago. Compared …

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What You Don’t Know About Adult Vaccinations Could Make You Sick

What You Don’t Know About Adult Vaccinations Could Make You Sick

It isn’t only your pet or your child who needs to be current on certain vaccinations – so do you. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends specific vaccinations throughout life to protect against a host of preventable diseases. However, far too many U.S. adults are failing to get even the most routinely recommended immunizations. According to figures recently released by federal health officials in a CDC report, some vaccination rates for adult Americans have increased slightly over the past few years. But huge numbers of other people aren’t taking full advantage of widely available vaccines, including those for pneumonia and hepatitis. Overall, the report revealed that vaccination rates for diseases other than flu are well below target levels. “These data indicate little progress was made in improving adult coverage in the past year and highlight the need for continuing efforts to increase adult vaccination coverage,” said the CDC. Unfortunately, …

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Do Your Policies Make It Too Hard for Employees to Use Their Benefits?

Do Your Policies Make It Too Hard for Employees to Use Their Benefits?

The employee benefits your company provides aren’t worth much if your employees can’t figure out how to use them or find the process you’ve established too onerous to bother with. Employees who don’t understand their benefits will express less satisfaction with them, and policies that make employees jump through a bunch of hoops to use those benefits will often discourage them from trying. Problematic policies may include requiring a doctor’s note to take a sick day, not communicating clearly about benefit enrollment deadlines, or requiring real-time monitoring or reporting requirements for employees to take advantage of flexible work arrangements. Here’s what you need to do to make it easier for employees to access their benefits. Shift Your Mindset Keep in mind that the benefits you offer are meant to attract and retain the top talent you need to build your business. Federal law doesn’t mandate paid time off for vacations, …

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