Is Technology causing poor posture in Children? More than just a hunch!

College of DuPage Nursing Student Bennett Rubenacker shared with Healthy Lombard that with many children still spending some or all of their time learning at home, the use of the internet and technology for schooling has become essential. The time that would normally be spent in the classroom sitting behind a desk is now relegated to video calls on computers, tablets, and phones. Naturally, the extended time on screens should raise concern for parents, even if it is for their children’s benefit. Having access to the internet during school can lead children to wander away from their lessons, and can even lead to addiction (Petersen, 2020). But on a physical level, how is an extended time in front of screens affecting children in the age of e-learning?

A number of studies have found that periods of smartphone use longer than two hours per day lead to an increase in pain in the lower back and shoulders for children (Domoff et. al, 2019). Additionally, children who utilized tablets exhibited excessive muscle use and torso and shoulder asymmetry (Domoff et. al, 2019). Looking down at a screen leads to poor posture, often causing a “forward-thrusting” of the head that increases strain in the muscle and ligaments of the neck (“Technology may be,” 2020). According to Dr. Georgia Lowe (2018), the spines of children are not strong enough to manage the prolonged stress of poor posture that can occur when using screens. Eventually, the increased weight on one part of the spine can cause permanent changes in response to poor posture. This leads to other health risks, including postural kyphosis (hunched back), poor balance, fatigue, body pains, and decreased self-esteem (“Technology may be,” 2020). So, what can be done? Read more

Did You Forget To Sign Up for Flat Apple Fitness 2021?

Flat Apple logo 2021No worries.  You can still register.

WHO WE ARE:

The Mission of Healthy Lombard is to address the epidemic of Pediatric Obesity through Awareness, Activities, and Achievement. WE DO THIS BY:

  • Providing free-of-charge activities for youth
  • Promoting a healthier lifestyle for everyone through the information shared on our website
  • Providing a platform for community networking and collaboration through our quarterly partner meetings

 

WHY FLAT APPLE:

With that mission in mind, Healthy Lombard developed the Flat Apple Fitness Program to motivate kids to stay active and positive during the summer months outside of school.  The 2021 program runs June 13- July 31, 2021.  The program allows participants to earn tickets for eligibility to win a variety of prizes at the end of the summer.  Prize winners are typically contacted in September. (BTW, the program is called “Flat Apple” because that is what our logo looks like!)

 

WHAT’S NEW:
This year, we have added some new features like “Mindfulness Mondays” to promote Social-Emotional Learning (SEL). In addition to earning tickets for healthy selfies and healthy videos, kids can complete a BINGO Sheet and/or try a recipe to earn extra participation tickets each week. We have also added, “Wellness Wednesdays” to encourage physical activity and “Foodie Fridays” to promote healthy eating and cooking! All three components will be highlighted in a weekly newsletter.

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Run for the Coffee

 Sleepy young girl yawning and holding cup of coffeeA College of DuPage Nursing Student shared with Healthy Lombard that when people think of coffee they usually think about the morning and how much coffee they need to survive the day. However, according to recent research, coffee provides several health benefits, such as burning fat, improving energy levels, making individuals smarter, and fighting depression (Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC, 2019]). Coffee can also decrease the risk for type 2 diabetes, (CDC, 2019) which is a serious health problem. There are currently at least 34 million Americans who have diabetes or one in ten individuals, and approximately 90-95% who have type 2 diabetes (CDC, 2019). Drinking coffee reduces type 2 diabetes risk because three compounds in coffee block a protein linked to an increased risk for diabetes (CDC, 2019).

Coffee also improves energy and prevents sluggish feelings because it contains caffeine, the most common psychoactive substance in the world (Harvard Medical School, 2021).  After drinking coffee, it is absorbed into the bloodstream and then travels to the brain, blocking the inhibitory neurotransmitter adenosine. Therefore, the body releases norepinephrine and dopamine increasing the firing of neurons which leads to a feeling of increased energy (Harvard Medical School, 2012). Read more

7 Proven Eye Exercises to Get Rid of Blurry Vision

Aaron Barriga, the online marketing manager for Insight Vision Center, shared with Healthy Lombard that blurry vision is a common symptom and side effect of several eye health issues. Only an ophthalmologist can tell that your blurry vision is due to glaucoma, myopia, wrong eyewear, aging, or any other problem. But till the time you get to the expert, we are here to guide you on how to improve blurry vision through eye exercises.

You can perform the 7 proven eye exercises below for blurry vision at home or your workplace also:

  1. 10-10-10 Eye Exercise

When your eyes keep focus for an extended time, they suffer from blurry vision. Whenever you are reading or working on a screen, follow a simple exercise. Look away for 10 seconds towards an object which is 10 feet away. Do this every 10 minutes to relax your eye muscles.

  1. Consciously Blinking

Whenever we are focusing on a screen, we blink less. But blinking is essential to circulate moisture in the eyes. This moisture lubricates and keeps your eyes refreshed. Therefore, you should consciously blink and hold it for 2 seconds while working on the screen. In this way, you can avoid blurry vision.

  1. Covering With Palm

To prevent eye fatigue, you should rest your eyes at regular intervals. Palming the eyes is one of the most straightforward eye exercises which you can do anywhere. Rub your palms with each other to generate some heat. Then cover your eyes with your palms for 10 minutes. Use this time for relaxing and deep breathing.

  1. Move Eyes Around

Move your eyes in all directions, i.e., right, left, up, and down without moving your head. When you move your eyes in a direction, you might notice a slightly blurry vision. But it will settle in a few seconds. This is one of the best eye exercises for blurry vision and healthy eye muscles.

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How Much Protein Should I Eat?

beefphto of lamb steak plated mealMichael Perry, Editor at Fitnessfixedgear.com, shared that if there’s one thing the fitness community will never stop talking about, it’s how vital protein is to build muscle.

After all, that stereotype of the super-jacked gym rat inhaling a protein shake right after his workout (before he’s even left the gym floor) is everywhere.

The other thing the fitness community won’t stop talking about (and may never agree on) is precisely how much protein you need to build muscle, lose weight, or maintain a cut phase.

Not anymore.

His company wrote an in-depth guide to finally answer how much protein you need to meet all three of those goals.
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Aromatherapy: Not just the scents

oilsCollege of DuPage Nursing Student Angela A. Coffie shared with Healthy Lombard that Aromatherapy is slowly becoming quite popular around the world. Aromatherapy originally stemmed from Ancient Egypt since it had different roles from its roles of today. The term “Aromatherapy” was originally identified by a French chemist and perfumer, Rene Maurice Gattefosse in 1937 (FGB Natural Products, 2016)) who accidentally burned his hand from pouring pure lavender oil on it and was then amazed that his scars were no longer visible, and how the pain diminished nearly immediately. This oil was then used during the Second World War and became a huge success (FGB Natural Products,2016).

Essential oils were initially extracted from flowers and used to embalm the dead (IFA, n.d). In Ancient India, these oils were used as an Ayurvedic, that is, to preserve health and wellness by maintaining a body, mind, and soul balance rather than as a cure for the disease (AIA, n.d). In ancient China, oils were used as part of “Traditional Chinese Medicine,” such as acupuncture (IFA, n.d.). In Egypt, India, and China the oils were used for medicinal properties.

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Insufficient Sleep: A Public Health Problem

woman-sleepingPrime Clean shared that insufficient sleep has been defined as a “public health epidemic” in the United States, and researchers agree.

A survey published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that only 65% of adults reported “a healthy sleep duration.” This implies that the other 35% of the respondents are not getting sufficient sleep.

A study published by the US National Library of Medicine’s National Institutes of Health concludes that “globally, insufficient sleep is prevalent across various age groups, considered to be a public health epidemic that is often unrecognized, under-reported, and that has rather high economic costs.”

The good news is that even though insufficient sleep may be a challenge in the US and across the world, there are some lifestyle changes we can embrace to get sufficient sleep.

For those with underlying conditions, solutions like continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), sleep environment improvement, and stimulus control therapy have proven useful.

In this article, we define sleep deprivation and identify its various types. We also look at some causes of insufficient sleep, sleep apnea, sleep-related unhealthy behavior, and the effects of sleep deprivation. Finally, we give examples of how sleep deprivation can be treated. Read more

Does Screen Time Affect Sleep?

College of DuPage Nursing Student Nicole Caulfield wrote for Healthy Lombard that digital screens affect us physically. Since the COVID-19 pandemic has begun Nicole’s screen time has increased significantly, as for many others. Although remote work or school can’t be avoided, it is important to consider how screen time affects health, specifically, sleep.

 

Increased Screen Time with Quarantine

While many are staying home working remotely, it is no surprise screen time has increased. According to a recent study by Sesetyan and Muschinske (2020), the use of electronic devices has greatly increased since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to include: the use of the phone and watching television, each by 59%, 55% use of the computer, 31% on tablets, and 25% more time playing video games. The use of technology is vital in day-to-day life but has become even more vital while staying at home during the pandemic. With its many benefits, technology may also be interfering with quality sleep by interrupting circadian rhythms (Sesetyan & Muschinske).

 

Circadian Rhythm, What Is That?

The circadian rhythm is an internal clock; a 24-hour cycle that aligns with the sun (Claustrat & Leston, 2015). Upon waking in the morning, the sun is up and once the sun sets in the evening, internally due to the circadian rhythm, the body knows it’s time to wind down. The circadian rhythm affects habits or patterns, such as metabolism, although it is primarily known for how it affects sleep by the release of hormones (Claustrat & Leston). The body naturally produces the hormone, melatonin which is produced in the pineal gland and stimulated by darkness (Claustrat & Leston, 2015). Melatonin promotes sleep and maintains it throughout the night (Claustrat & Leston, 2015). Read more

Rebooting Mental Health

College of DuPage Nursing Student Jill Kraus shared with Healthy Lombard that Covid-19 has forced people to update their tech skills this past year, it’s time for mental health to get the same upgrade. College of DuPage Nursing Student Jill Kraus shares five ways to reboot mental health.

 

Exercise

According to The Centers for Disease Control (CDC, 2021) physical activity boosts brain health, reduces short-term feelings of anxiety and depression, and promotes better sleep. Exercise enables healthy coping mechanisms, breaks the cycle of rumination, and enhances self-confidence. Working out does more than maintain a flawless physique and combat chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. A consistent workout routine releases endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones, that do wonders to clear the mental cache.

 

 Eat Whole Foods

Whole foods are foods that are in their natural form. Traditionally found around the perimeter of the grocery store, they are the most abundant source of nutrition. Researcher Joseph Firth and colleagues (2020) claim that high consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes, moderate consumption of poultry, eggs, and dairy products, and occasionally red meat in the diet is associated with a lower risk for depression. Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins and minerals; meat, eggs, and fish contribute omega-3 fatty acids and protein; kefir, yogurt, nuts, and dried legumes are great for your gut and brain health. Even amateur cooks can try their hand at mixing and matching whole foods to create delicious meals and desserts. Try to resist the temptation of sugar and sodium-filled, prepackaged food by avoiding the middle aisles of the store.   Read more

How to Get Your Kids Outside and Active this Summer

girl going for a wlkWriter Sierra Powell asks, “Have you ever wondered what to do with the kids after a long day in school?”   Some actives can either be fun, recreational, or educational to keep your children occupied. Some of these activities help your kids develop spatial, science, reading, Math, and writing skills every day. The advantage of some activities after school can be so much fun they won’t know they are learning.

DIY Creations

Since schools can be a whole day of sports and academia, students might come home tired and mentally exhausted. A little fun won’t be wrong to break the dullness. For you to make sure children stay proactive, it’s essential to keep them on a schedule of activities this Summer. It’s vital to find fun activities and chores to instill discipline through duties and activities.

It’s good you provide them with random recycled materials, scissors, glue and tell them to create a bridge or a different idea that you might have.

Chalk Drawing on the Sidewalk

After children have spent their day indoors in rigorous academic learning, there is nothing wrong with spending some time outdoors. A good game you can introduce to your children Is drawing objects on the sidewalk and let them guess.

After spending all day inside and focus, it is great to spend some time outside after school. We like to play one game to guess the picture with the sidewalk and let the others think about what the images stand for. Chalk Drawing boosts the children’s creativity to turn a word into a picture and be an “outside the box thinker.”

Chalk Drawing helps kids learn to think creatively to turn a word into a picture and think out of the box and think of ways to enable their team to attempt to know the word. If you happen to have enough kids, you can vary the game and play it in groups. You can even introduce spelling words and vocabulary in a fun way.

Make a Snack!

Children, in general, love treats. The evening hours can be a great time to instill kids with skills to create snack recipes and follow them keenly. You win as a caregiver if you label anything as a treat since it gets them exciting. Snack preparation serves as a double duty to teach your kids basic cooking skills and follow instructions and cook.

A good snack recipe I would suggest is peanut butter energy balls. Read more