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5 Ways to Survive the Office this Summer

Despite how beautiful the weather has been lately, it can make an office environment sticky and uncomfortable. Preparation is key when it comes to keeping cool during the summer and we have prepared 5 easy and creative ways to survive hot office temperatures in the UK.

#1 Avoid a big lunch

Small meals are much easier to digest and will prevent your body from feeling sluggish and hot. So when lunch time arrives, pass on a sandwich and opt for a fresh salad, or choose a light wrap over a pasta bowl. Keep as hydrated as possible throughout the day too and drink a glass of cool water before your meal to ensure you don’t overeat due to dehydration.  

#2 Keep windows closed

Yes, this might seem counterintuitive but by opening windows on a hot day, you are allowing warm air to circulate through the office and increase the temperature. Instead of opening windows, consider a desk fan or a personal fan that you can use to cool yourself down throughout the day.

#3 Wear your hair up

For those with long hair, make sure to wear your hair up and away from your face. Having your hair down can increase your body temperature and make you feel comfortable and sticky while working, especially if you begin to sweat.

#4 Run cold water on your wrists

If you’re feeling really uncomfortable in the heat, try running cold water over your wrists. This will help to cool the main veins that move blood through the body and help you to instantly feel cooler and more refreshed while in work.

#5 Make your own cooling spray

Using a recycled spray bottle, add about 5 to 10 drops of essential oil or lemon juice to water and enjoy the refreshing and natural spritz throughout the day. Gently spray on your skin for instant relief from the heat while at work.

It might be considerably hot during the working week and uncomfortable while working in an office, but as soon as the weekend arrives, you can fully embrace the summer and enjoy plenty of cold treats and outdoor activities. Remember to always wear sunscreen and stay hydrated.

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The Sugar Tax- is it the answer to the obesity epidemic?

 

Unfortunately the UK is no stranger to cases of childhood obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease and in a bid to combat this healthcare epidemic, the Sugar Tax has come into force. Drinks that contain a high level of sugar will now be taxed accordingly in order to encourage businesses to alter their recipes as well as deter consumers from choosing sugary beverages.

What is the Sugar Tax?

The Sugar Tax was first announced by former Chancellor George Osborne in his 2016 budget, and came into force in the UK on Friday 6th April 2018. Designed to charge manufacturers who produce high-sugar drinks more, the new tax is estimated to raise around £520 million which will be put to good use and help to fund sports groups, physical activities and even healthy breakfast clubs in primary schools.

The tax will not necessarily financially affect consumers, but you may find that a number of your favourite soft drinks will introduce a new recipe in order to avoid the levy. The tax itself will involve two bands, drinks that contain 5 to 8 grams of added sugar per 100ml which will result in a levy of 18p per litre, and drinks that contain 8 grams or more of added sugar per 100ml will be charged 24p per litre.

Drinks that will be exempted from the new tax will be pure fruit juice with naturally occurring sugar and beverages with a high milk content, as the calcium content has nutritional value. Soft drinks that are sugar-free such as Diet Coke will also be exempt.

The Sugar Tax will home in on fizzy drinks and energy drinks that contain excessive amounts of added sugar and are often targeted towards children.

What will the Sugar Tax plan to achieve?

The Sugar Tax aims to encourage manufacturers of mainly drinks to re-evaluate their recipes to reduce the amount of added sugar they use to produce some of our favourite soft drinks. Supported by health campaigner and celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, the new tax is hoped to be a huge success and step forward to a healthier population.  However consumer feedback has been varied with a number of people arguing that the government shouldn’t interfere with personal choice.

 

A similar sugar tax is set to take place in France, Finland and Norway in relation to chocolate and confectionary. 

 

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5 Superfoods to Snack On at Your Desk in 2018

In 2018, switch your usual daily snacks for some more exotic flavours and ingredients and treat your body to five incredible superfoods. From the aromatic flavours of the Middle East, to fibre rich nuts and seeds, it’s time to transform your desk nibbles into something a little more exciting.

Maqui berries

Packed with antioxidants, Maqui berries are set to be a massive foodie trend for 2018. Not only are they delicious, they can help to regulate blood sugar levels, improve digestion and give your body a hit of antioxidants; perfect if you’re feeling a little worse for wear after a long weekend. Enjoy in a hearty bowl of low fat Greek yoghurt with a spoonful of honey.

 

Tiger nuts

 If you love to snack at your desk, Tiger nuts might just be the treat for you. A natural source of magnesium, they can help to relax muscles and aid stress. Rich in vitamin E and C, tiger nuts are thought to combat cholesterol and can be eaten whole. If you’re a vegan, tiger nuts are a fantastic natural substitute to dairy and can be soaked in water overnight and blended with vanilla to make tiger nut milk.

 

Moringa Smoothie

 If you jumped on the Matcha powder trend on 2017, you’re going to love the new superfood powder that’s about to transform our diets in 2018. Don’t be caught downing a Matcha latte at your desk when Moringa is the new superfood in town. Rich in Vitamin C, Moringa is a great powder to add to a morning smoothie as it is rich in antioxidants and may help to lower blood sugar levels, and cholesterol. 

 

Watermelon Seeds

 In 2018, watermelon seeds will be the hottest new topping for overnight oats, yoghurt and fruit bowls. You can eat them raw or roasted and you’ll be glad to know that they’re packed full of protein and vitamin B. Be careful though, as they are high in calories.

 

Za'atar Flatbread and Olive Oil

Middle Eastern flavours will be huge in 2018 and in particular the Lebanese spice Za'atar. More commonly known is other European countries as oregano, this spice is native to Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Palestine and Jordan. In the Middle East, Za'atar is savoured in the morning, when it is sprinkled onto flat bread with a drizzle of olive oil.

Switching your regular snacks to healthier alternatives or superfood treats can give you a range of health benefits.

 

 

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New Healthcare Campaign to Prevent the Misuse of Antibiotics

700,000 people around the world die annually from drug resistant infections, the World Health Organisation has estimated. Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest global health challenges we are facing this century. The crisis can be slowed down, but it will take a major push from international healthcare organisations to delay the spread of antibiotic resistance. Countries such as Finland, Switzerland and Japan have launched creative public campaigns to raise awareness of the issue.

In Finland, an innovative game has been launched to educate the public on the misuse of antibiotics and vaccines. Switzerland have created a memory game which is promoted to healthcare professionals and patients in waiting rooms to help educate both parties on the emerging issue. 

 Here in the UK, a TV campaign has launched to urge patients to stop pressuring their GPs for antibiotics in order to prevent antibiotics from becoming in-effective. Keep Antibiotics Working, will warn people about the risks of taking antibiotics for minor illnesses and how this can cause serious medical complications if they develop more severe infections later in life. Approximately 5,000 people in England die each year due to antibiotic resistance and experts predict that this figure could exceed cancer fatalities within 30 years. 

 

 

Bacteria Developing a Resistance to Antibiotics

 Scientists from a Birmingham University have found, through a decade-long research project, that E.coli bacteria has developed a method to defend itself against two major antibiotics. Used to treat sepsis and local infections, the two forms of antibiotics are no longer an effective method to fight E.coli bacteria. E.coli, a major risk to hospital patients can causes sepsis if it is able to access the bloodstream but is also and more commonly associated with cases of food poisoning. The research comes as a stark reminder that excessive use of antibiotics can actually help bacteria to evolve and develop an antibacterial tolerance.

 

 

When Are Antibiotics Needed?

 Unfortunately for GPs and medical professionals, viral infections have very similar symptoms as a bacterial infection, so trying to determine whether to prescribe antibiotics or not, can be difficult. A lab test is the only way to have a definitive answer, but this can take up valuable resources.

 

 If you have a fever, chills or you’re shaking, you could have a bacterial infection, but these symptoms could also indicate that you have the flu. Your GP will need to assess your symptoms and whether it is likely that you have the flu or not, before prescribing antibiotics.

 

 Most viral infections tend to last a while and can develop into a more severe illness featuring bacteria. If you have been suffering for a couple of weeks, you will likely be prescribed a dose of antibiotics.

 

 The issue of antibiotic resistance is serious, but with public awareness and education we can also form a defence against this persistent health concern.  

 

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How Technology is Improving UK Healthcare

Technology is helping shape and mould the future of healthcare within the United Kingdom. Improving accessibility, communication and efficiency, new technological advances are helping to improve the quality of care that patients receive. Let’s explore some of the most recent developments in technology and artificial intelligence that are helping to improve the healthcare sector.

 

Instant Communication with Patients

Not a recent breakthrough in technology by any means, but GP surgeries and dental practices are finally using SMS messaging to directly contact patients. Considerable time and money could be saved each year if patients cancelled GP or dental appointments that were no longer needed, and now, thanks to the use of text messaging services, practices can contact their patients 24 hours before a scheduled appointment to give them the opportunity to cancel if required. The text message also acts as a solid reminder, for those who have booked an appointment in advance, and may have missed the appointment by simply forgetting to make a note of it.

 

Artificial Intelligence (AI)Diagnosis

Apps and artificial intelligence are leading the way in digital diagnosis, saving medical professionals precious time and money. There are new entrants to the market, founded with the aim of increasing accessibility of healthcare, providing a database of hand-picked medical experts who are able to be accessed by downloading an app. Rather than calling up your GP and booking an appointment,   access a medical professional or doctor from the comfort of your home can be provided enabling  a virtual consultation regarding your medical concerns by mobile device. The app can also arrange a prescription to be sent directly to your home address or to your local pharmacy. Combing AI and qualified medical professionals, patients can access instant help and support without the need to book and wait for a GP appointment. The app however has its flaws, and should not be used for emergency medical help or as a replacement to a physical examination and diagnosis.

Health trackers and fitness monitors are also being developed to improve patient health, and are set to save thousands of lives. . According to electronics consultancy Plextek, the use of such devices could cut NHS costs per patient by up to 60%.

 

Microsoft AI Software for the Health Industry

Tech giant, Microsoft are planning a new healthcare division at its research facility in Cambridge. Using artificial intelligence Microsoft plans include a monitoring system that has been specially designed to keep patients out of hospitals and provide alerts if problems occur. If the software is a success, it will dramatically reform the NHS, freeing up hospital beds for medical emergencies. With less strain on doctors, the quality of patient care will inevitably improve, as doctors will have more time to spend analysing a patient’s condition and discussing healthcare options.

 

Technology is clearly shaping the way to view and provide healthcare in the UK and, with further development, will hopefully save both the NHS and the private healthcare sector time and money. 

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