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Health and Wellbeing News Roundup

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We thought we’d take a look at some of the latest health and wellbeing stories to hit the headlines during recent weeks…
Flu vaccinations:
Trials are underway for an injection-less flu vaccination, with a plaster sized patch being used which contains microneedles that help deliver the vaccine and then dissolve following the dose being administered.
Early indications from the testing results were that the patches provided as much protection as an injection would, however further testing is needed and it may still be a few years away from patches being used in regular practice.
With the best time for flu vaccinations being in the autumn before the arrival of the main flu season, now is the time to start thinking and planning ahead to organise your company’s flu vacs. Head to our website for more information on our flu vouchers and our flu vaccination services.

Alcohol Intake and Diabetes
A recent study from Denmark has indicated that a moderate level of alcohol intake reduces the risk of developing diabetes.  It was observed that consuming 14 drinks per week for men and 9 for women, in comparison to zero drinks, resulted in the lowest rates of diabetes.
The study also focused on drinking frequency, and found that drinking on 3-4 days of the week compared to <1 day resulted in lower levels of diabetes developing.
However, these findings were only observational and do not prove a causal effect of alcohol in preventing development of diabetes, so it would not be recommended to increase your alcohol consumption just to try and reduce your own risks, as we know alcohol consumption can increase risks of other conditions such as hypertension, cirrhosis, and can contribute to weight gain.
Lifestyle factors such as increasing physical activity levels, healthy nutrition and maintaining a healthy body composition should form the basis for reducing your Type 2 diabetes risk.  If you’d like to talk to us about diabetes checks for your organisation, contact us via our website.

Air pollution and decreased ‘good’ cholesterol levels
HDL cholesterol levels, often termed our ‘good’ cholesterol due to its role in reducing LDL (or ‘bad’ cholesterol) from the arteries, has been shown to be lowered during periods of exposure to high levels of air pollution, in particular black carbon which is primarily traffic-related pollution.
A lowered HDL cholesterol level is linked with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, which researchers hope sheds some light into how air pollution increases cardiovascular risk. Further studies have also linked air pollution with increases in blood glucose, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Along with this lowered HDL cholesterol, black carbon exposure can also cause decreased lung function, leading to potential for obstructive lung disorders.  If you’d like to talk to us about health checks for your workforce that include HDL cholesterol and lung function, contact us via our website.

Cycling to work and reduced stress levels
According to recent research, along with helping to reduce air pollution, as discussed above, cycling to work has been shown to reduce employees’ morning stress levels compared to those who drove or caught public transport. Morning stress levels have been shown to be strong predictors of feelings of stress later in the day too. With stress accounting for 37% of all work related ill health and 45% of all sick days taken, strategies such as cycling to work may help employees manage and cope with their stress more effectively.

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