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May 2016 - Capitahealth

Archives for May 2016

Health and Safety at Workplace in Nigeria

Health and Safety at Workplace in Nigeria

ERGONOMICS AND WORK STRESS ISSUES IN BANKING ENVIRONMENT

Stress at workplace is an increasingly common feature of modern life. Work stress can be defined as the non-specific response of the body to any demands made upon it. It is considered to be an internal state or reaction to anything we consciously or unconsciously perceive as a threat, either real or ergonomicsimagined.Robbins defines stress as a dynamic condition in which the individual is confronted with an opportunity, constraint, or demand related to what he or she desires and for which the outcome is perceived to be both uncertain and important.
The workplace environment plays a very important role in determining the stress.That is why while designing the workplace, various ergonomic factors should be considered like humidity system, lighting, work area design, acoustic system and many more.The failure to implement ergonomic principles at workplace leads to physical, emotional and mental health problems and decreased work productivity and efficiency.

The financial services sector is traversing a period of major change resulting from globalization
and market deregulation, which has resulted in substantial restructuring, especially through merger and acquisition activity both in industrialized and developing countries (ILO, 2001).

EMPLOYEES AT FINANCIAL SECTOR ARE UNDER STRESS BECAUSE OF:

• Increased competition, both domestically and internationally, has resulted in organizations
introducing cost-cutting and productivity improving strategies, which have resulted in increasing demands on employees
• Working with cash puts a great stress on handlers as there is no space for any mistake.
• Systems such as closed circuit television (CCTV), Call centre technologies enable employers to constantly keep employees under surveillance.The feeling of being constantly under surveillance puts great stress on the employees. However, this is required for the security of the environment because of the underworld.
• Employees who are in regular contact with members of the public are known to be at more risk of violence than those who work in seclusion.
• Computer-based jobs are less demanding in terms of physical effort, but require more cognitive processing and mental attention.
• Prolonged sitting, static posture, poor ergonomic environment and inadequate break intervals make the employees exhausted at workplace.

SOLUTIONS TO THESE ERGONOMIC PROBLEMS

As time pressure is the major risk factor related to overall Musculoskeletal symptoms among all office employees. Employees should be given awareness about office ergonomics so that they are able to cope with this major contributor to their health issues.computer-1185569_960_720
While designing the workplace, workplace environment should be given due importance.
1. Lightening
2. work area design
3. Scientific assessments of seats and different items
4. Portable computing can also add comfort to the worker as the faulty placing of the system can give discomfort to neck, shoulder and eyes.
5. There are three steps called as an ergonomic equation. These three steps are Neutral Posture, Voluntary Motion and Restorative Time. In one research it was quoted that it is not the human who have to mold themselves to machine but machine must adapt the human.
6. The Berge and Neumann’s (2010) narrate as how ergonomists can be engaged in making enhanced “organizational work”. It was explored that ergonomist can make a difference in the working culture and positive vibes in the organization.
7. Psychosocial effects that poor ergonomics impact cannot be neglected.It is the mind that feels pain first and then the body recognizes it.Workplace environment should be friendly.
8. Nirjhar Dutta, Gabriel A. Koepp (April, 2012) and team of government official and scholars from Ergotron Inc strongly suggest sit-stand desk which appears promising for longer fitness of body.
9. Susan Tingley (2005), in her study suggested the training programmes which benefitted the office workers.
10. Chairs with adjustable height have shown to reduce the physical complaints to the employees.
Thus the factors of Ergonomics must be recognized in workplace and needful steps must be taken to avoid loss of employee asset

References:

[1] Cooper, C., 1998. The 1998 Crystal Lecture: The Future of Work – A Strategy for Managing the Pressures. Journal of Applied Management Studies, 7(2): 275-281.

[2] Selye, H., 1956. The Stress of Life. New York: McGraw-Hill Co.

[3] Robbins, S.P., 2001. Organizational Behavior. 9th Edition. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc.

[4] Shikdar, A.A. and N.M. Sawaqed, 2003. Worker Productivity, and Occupational Health and Safety Issues in Selected Industries. Computers and Industrial Engineering, 45(4): 563-572.

[5] Bammer, K. and B.H. Newberry, 1982. Stress and Cancer. Toronto: Hogrefe.

[6] Budd, T. (2001) Violence at Work: New Findings from the 2000 British Crime Survey, Home Office Occasional Paper, London

[7] Mocci, F., Serra, A. and Corrias, G. A. (2001).Psychological Factors and Visual Fatigue in Working with Video Display Terminals, Occupational and Environmental Medicine 58: 267-271.

[8] N Mahmud, D T Kenny, R Heard,(2011) Office Ergonomics Awareness and Prevalence of Musculoskeletal

Symptoms among OfficeWorkers in the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia: A Cross-Sectional Study. Malaysian Journal of Medicine and Health Sciences.

 Health and Safety at Workplace in Nigeria 

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Exercise is Medicine

I found this video “Exercise and Cancer” produced by ABCTV Catalyst and  thought it’s worthy of sharing. It shows that “Exercise is Medicine!” and that we can boost our immunity system with exercise. Exercise is free! No side-effect. On the other hand, it transforms human body and fortifies it against diseases.

For numerous years, exercise has been used as part of rehabilitation programmes (protocols) for patients in intensive care units, medical and surgical wards and helps them to effect physiological changes and regain functional independence. It’s intriguing to see that scientific studies are now providing evidence that “targeted” exercise can help to fight cancer. These studies also show that when exercise is used simultaneously with either chemotherapy or radiotherapy in the treatment of cancer, they jointly produce fantastic health outcomes. If this is happening in a diseased system, imagine the benefits it will offer in the prevention of non-communicable diseases. We don’t have to wait for disease to invade our body systems before we engage in exercise.

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People with existing medical conditions (such as cardiac and respiratory problems etc.) still benefit from exercise. It is advisable that this group of individuals, especially if they are new to physical training/exercise, should consult qualified healthcare professionals, before starting out in training. Do yourself a favour. Be proactive; take active steps to healthy living.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

cancer treatment Nigeria

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Why do we sleep?

Introduction

Sleep is a recurrent physiologic and fundamental process that every human being experiences, and it provides reparative and restorative bodily functions. The consensus is that sleep is needed to allow us to rest and recover from the stresses of everyday life. Additionally, researchers have shown that a good sleep is essential to maintaining mood, memory, cognitive performance and boosting body immune systems. During the waking hours, a chemical called adenosine builds up in the bloodstream eventually binds with brain cells (specifically in the basal forebrain) and inhibits their activities, which causes drowsiness. When we sleep the level of adenosine reduces, the brain cells are rejuvenated and are active again. Also, a recent study states that some tiny cavities are open up after about 6 hours of sleep, and they facilitates the drainage of some waste products from the brain.

Sleep has different phases; a deep slumber and one that is close to being awake. These phases are associated with changes in human body and health.

Sleep has two categories

  1. NREM
  2. REM

NREM or nor-rapid eye movement sleep has features like

  • Slow breathing and heart rate
  • Reduced physiological activity
  • Slower brain waves
  • Reduced blood pressure

It consists of four stages.

  1. In stage 1, transition from being awake to falling asleep takes place. Nervous system begins to slow down; muscle jerks and falling sensation are common.
  2. In stage 2, the brain waves further slow down with few rapid brain waves called sleep spindles. The heart rate and body temperature decrease. Eye movement stop and light sleep begins.
  3. In stage 3 and 4, the body goes into complete relaxation with a deeper sleep, reduced heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature. Slow brain waves (i.e. Delta waves) are present at these stages, which together refer to ‘slow wave sleep’. If a person wakes up in this phase, he feels disoriented for a while.

REM or rapid eye movement sleep is the sleep in which dreams occur. It has features like

  1. Intense brain activity
  2. Rapid and irregular breathing
  3. Continuous eye movements
  4. Temporary paralyzing of limb muscles
  5. Increased heart rate and blood pressure

A balance between NREM and REM sleep is necessary for a proper full-night sleep and promoting processes like memory, concentration and mood.

Sleep Architecture:

Research shows that REM and NREM sleep occur in alternate cycles of 90-110 minutes with 4-6 repetitions throughout the night.sleeping-child-812181_960_720

For infants, 50% of sleep time is in REM sleep. This figure is 20-25% for normal adults. With advancing age, stages 3 & 4 of NREM sleep decrease and REM dominates. The need of sleep is there, it’s only REM replacing NREM sleep stages in old age.

On an average, the adult sleep has 50% NREM stage 2 sleep, 20% REM sleep and the remaining in other stages; though this time is not constant over a night. At night, the first few cycles are short period REM sleep and longer periods of slow-wave sleep. As the night passes, REM increases and NREM stages decrease with REM sleep dominating by the time of dawn.

Adults need average 7 hours, a teenager about 9.5 hours and an infants 16 hours sleep per day. This pattern of sleep refers to ‘sleep architecture’.

Why sleep is important?

Everyone needs sleep for survival. According to experts, sleep triggers body’s repair process, production of proteins, biochemical and physiological processes.

Sleep loss directly affects functions like memory, reflex actions, complex thoughts and concentration. In addition to making us feel grumpy and groggy, sleep loss may harm endocrine and immune system; it may lead to chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes and hypertension.

Impact of sleep on performance and mood:

Studies show that less than seven hours of sleep a night for a week can seriously impair alertness. People, who are up for 19 hours, score badly in alertness tests. Thus, a sustained sleep deprivation is harmful to memory and motor performance.

Sleep loss adversely affects mood. A research of Pennsylvania University made people sleep for only 4.5 hours a night for a week. The result was a group of angry, sad, exhausted and mentally stressed people. Their mood scores declined as the test progressed. When they got proper sleep at night, there was a dramatic change in their mood scores, thus proving that sleep loss can influence mood.

Hormones and Metabolism

Sleep is immensely important for the body as it’s the time when hormones get secreted. For instance

  • Cortisol, a hormone promoting wakefulness
  • Growth hormone, contributing to childhood growth and muscle mass in adults
  • Follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone; both involved in reproduction
  • Hormones influencing appetite and weight

Obesity and Diabetes

Obesity is on a rise in America. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 65% of Americans now are overweight. In addition to calorie intake, sleep deprivation has been linked to obesity.

  • Sleep deprivation means reduced production of growth hormone. As growth hormone controls the fat and muscle proportions in human body, a reduction in it means obesity.
  • A study correlates inadequate sleep and lesser levels of hormone Leptin needed for regulating the carbohydrate metabolism in body. This in turn causes the body to crave for carbohydrates despite the presence of already consumed fat.

1999 study at University of Chicago links sleep deprivation to impairment of sugar metabolism and hormone levels. Eleven young adults had little sleep for several nights resulting in a decline in their body’s ability to process blood glucose, to a pre-diabetic state, demanding the body for more insulin production.

Immune System

Sleep facilitates the body’s healing process. That’s why we automatically retire to bed when we are having cold or sore throat. Sleep enables the body to conserve energy and resources to boost immune system and fight diseases. Chemicals of immune system, Cytokines, are also sleep-inducers. On the other hand, deprivation of sleep may affect the way the immune system respond to diseases in the human body.

Cardiovascular Diseases

One of the consequential effects of sleep deprivation is cardiovascular disease. Inadequate sleep over a longer period results in a raised blood pressure and heart rate. This can lead to an increased risk of stroke. People are vulnerable to coronary heart disease when they are not having adequate sleep.

Conclusion

Different researches and studies show that sleep is an essential part of human life. On the contrary, sleep deprivation results can lead to different illnesses such as diabetes and heart problem. On an average, a person should get 7-9 hours of sleep to stay healthy and mentally active.

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