Health Watch: Working from home? So are the germs

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Working from home may provide many benefits, but a break from germs may not be one of them. Why? A workplace study revealed that desktops in home offices harbor more bacteria than desktops in traditional offices.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2006 American Community Survey, nearly 5.5 million Americans worked at home, accounting for approximately 4 percent of the total work force.

In the workplace study conducted by University of Arizona and sponsored by The Clorox Company, researchers sought to compare bacteria levels on common office surfaces in home-office and traditional-office environments. Four times as many bacteria were found on home desktops compared to traditional-office desktops.

The high germ levels in home offices may be due to the fact that people think their homes are already clean, or that the germs in their home offices are just their own and therefore harmless. -- ARA content

Study: Adults easily fooled by children's denials

According to new research, adults are easily fooled when a child denies that an actual event took place, but do somewhat better at detecting when a child makes up information about something that never happened.

The research, conducted by the University of California, Davis, has important implications for forensic child sexual abuse evaluations. Because of the seriousness and frequency of abuse charges, children’s memory abilities are increasingly important. Even more so is an adult’s ability to evaluate these children’s reports.

After viewing interviews of 3- and 5-year-old children, the adults were relatively good at detecting accounts of events that never happened. But the adults were apt to mistakenly believe children's denials of actual events.

Health Tip

Everybody knows that exercise is good. However, exercise sounds like work, and many of us claim that we just don't have time to add more work to our daily lives.

Here are some tips for staying mentally focused and interested in your workout:

- To build motivation for exercise, outline the reasons why you want to participate in the activity. Some people exercise to improve their performance in a sport, while others exercise to tone muscles, or socialize with friends at a gym.

- Make changes in your environment. If your exercise equipment sits in the basement, consider moving it to a more convenient spot in your house. If you don't have the facilities at home, purchase a gym membership.

- Make your exercise fun. Consider adding music as a motivator during the session. Mix it up a bit by varying the content or sequence of the workout. Work on arms and legs one day, and legs and stomach the next. -- ARA content

Number to Know: $25

Beginning next year, state employees in Alabama who are considered obese or have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or high glucose will have to pay $25 a month more in health insurance if they don’t address their health issues.

Children’s Health

Do your kids ride their bikes to school? Talk to them about these safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

- Always wear a bicycle helmet, no matter how short or long the ride.

- Ride on the right, in the same direction as auto traffic.

- Use appropriate hand signals.

- Respect traffic lights and stop signs.

- Wear bright color clothing to increase visibility.

- Know the "rules of the road."

Senior Health

A new study concludes that nearly 13 percent of America's aged citizens suffer some form of abuse.

Specifically, 9 percent of adults reported they have suffered from verbal mistreatment, 3.5 percent suffer financial mistreatment, and 0.2 percent suffer physical mistreatment, according to researchers from the University of Chicago.

The National Social Life, Health and Aging Project, which conducted interviews with more than 3,000 community-dwelling residents aged 57 to 85, found older adults who are physically impaired are particularly susceptible to abuse.

GateHouse News Service