House Calls

FAL 2018

House Calls Magazine is a quarterly publication that focuses on health and wellness. It includes a wide assortment of articles with topics on the latest health and wellness information, nutrition, safety, lifestyles, and more.

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Page 10 of 54

Try this! TO REDUCE STRESS. Keep an uplifting journal. A recent study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology found that writing about positive emotions and happy moments for 20 minutes each day significantly reduced stress and anxiety levels. So grab a pencil and paper, jot down your warmhearted thoughts on anything from a great book to falling in love, and erase your tension. the buzz The Long Haul Studies reveal that chronic job connectivity is taking a mental and physical toll F or many employees, the days of clocking in at a set time seem to have permanently punched out. With smart devices linking us to the office no matter the time or place, Americans are logging more work hours than anyone else around the globe. (A recent Gallup poll showed the average U.S. workweek stretched 47 hours; annually, that's 394 hours more than in Germany and 499 more than France.) According to researchers from Virginia Tech, Lehigh University, and Colorado State University, the expectation to monitor work email after-hours leads to elevated anxiety levels and stress- associated health problems in not only employees but also their significant others. When employees are presumed available beyond regular hours, they can't adequately recover from the workday and become even more stressed the following morning, confirms a 2015 Journal of Occupational Health Psychology article. Another 2012 study published online by the American Public Library of Science showed that folks working 11-plus hours a day became more than two and a half times more prone to symptoms of severe depression than those who limit the day to eight hours. If you have trouble shifting attention away from the office when your shift ends, consider using the "Do Not Disturb" feature available on many of today's email accounts. Natural Remedy Scientists agree that fresh air and sunshine offer myriad benefits for mental and emotional states. University of Pennsylvania researchers recently took that knowledge further out on a limb, examining the effects of cleaning and greening abandoned urban spaces on the mental health of city dwellers. The research entailed fixing up several rundown lots in Philadelphia—clearing trash, planting grass and trees, and performing monthly maintenance— then looking at the impact of the transformations on nearby residents. They reported a 62.8 percent reduction in poor mental health, including a 41.5 percent drop in feelings of depression, results that were published in the open access general medical journal JAMA Network Open. Even more dramatic was the reported 68.7 percent decline in feelings of depression among those residents living below the poverty line. However, little difference was found in the mental health of residents in proximity to lots that were either only cleared of trash or left as is. The upshot: cleaning and greening are more than beautification; they can perk up moods and well-being as well. 6 { fall 2018 } h o u s e c a l l s

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