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I’m not sure if there are studies looking at the long term effects of such advice on one’s health especially in this economy, but I can see where in the words of Arlo Guthrie, it could create a movement.

 

Health Experts Recommend Standing up at Desk, Leaving Office and Never Coming Back

ROCHESTER, MN—In an effort to help working individuals improve their fitness and well-being, experts at the Mayo Clinic issued a new set of health guidelines Thursday recommending that Americans stand up at their desk, leave their office, and never return. “Many Americans spend a minimum of eight hours per day sitting in an office, but we observed significant physical and mental health benefits in subjects after just one instance of standing up, walking out the door, and never coming back to their place of work again,” said researcher Claudine Sparks, who explained that those who implemented the practice in their lives reported an improvement in mood and reduced stress that lasted for the remainder of the day, and which appeared to persist even into subsequent weeks. “We encourage Americans to experiment with stretching their legs by strolling across their office and leaving all their responsibilities behind forever just one time to see how much better they feel. People tend to become more productive, motivated, and happy almost immediately. We found that you can also really get the blood flowing by pairing this activity with hurling your staff ID across the parking lot.” Sparks added that Americans could maximize positive effects by using their lunch break to walk until nothing looks familiar anymore and your old life is a distant memory.

The Onion February 6, 2015

Maybe the labor unions could follow-up on this advice and determine what the long term benefits might be?

There is also this report today:

New Study Finds Therapy, Antidepressants Equally Effective At Monetizing Depression

NORMAN, OK—Noting that similar outcomes were achieved under both approaches, a landmark decade-long study of mental health treatment options published Tuesday has found that talk therapy and antidepressant medications are equally effective at monetizing clinical depression. “Our data indicate that regular counseling sessions and prescription drugs have similarly high success rates in generating large sums of money from the clinically depressed,” said Katherine Hutton of the University of Oklahoma, the study’s lead author, noting that both methods demonstrated consistent positive earnings across chronic, episodic, and seasonal depression cases. “While some people make tremendous profits with drugs, others see substantial revenues from therapy. Together, these are two very powerful tools for improving the health care industry’s bottom line.” The study concluded that when both approaches are combined, financial results are likely to be reached far more quickly than with one method alone.

The Onion, February 17, 2015

 

I think this raises some ethical questions for the medical profession and possibly concerns for congress as to the incentives within the ACA.

Certainly, the expert advice combined with the study would create some discussion within congress regarding the policy related to just about anything…

 

 

 

 

 

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Health Care Thoughts – Public Policy Dilemma

Tom aka Rusty Rustbelt

HEALTH CARE
– PUBLIC POLICY DILEMMA

Fifty years ago much mental illness treatment was done in-patient in state run facilities, and many of them were hellholes (One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest was probably too positive compared to what I saw early in my career).

The de-institutional movement (starting in the late 60s) caused a build up of community based services, and in combination with better therapies has made a much better (although not perfect) system. In many areas the mental illness and substance abuse facilities are run through common governance, some areas not so.

But there are still people who need in-patient services, especially those who also have chronic physical health problems, and there are too few beds and too few payment paths to accommodate those patients.

So what to do?

Some are being dumped into geriatric nursing homes, and not surprisingly the results range from not very good to disastrous. Exact numbers are hard to come by, because the reporting mechanisms do not always separate those admissions. Generally we hear about these cases after something goes terribly wrong and hits the media.

Nursing homes are getting better equipped to deal with geri-psych issues, but younger and often agitated patients really do not fit. A few nursing homes have set up special units or dedicated the entire building to mental illness patients, but not many that I can find.

Nursing home regulatory protocols actually hinder aggressive psych treatments, as regulators and consumers are concerned about “chemical restraints,” the notion that nurses drug the residents into submission and then sit around doing their nails and reading magazines (no psych drugs can be administered without a physician’s order and a thorough care planning process).

So far no one has developed a really good response to this problem, either clicical or financial. The health care reform bill has not directly addressed this issue, although it creates an opening for the discussion.

(For anyone interested in some good reporting go to the Chicago Tribune website and put “nursing homes mental illness” in the search block. The Trib also does a lot of good work on nursing home problems in Illinois. A Google search will yield plenty of information. Also this MSNBC story http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29781318)

Tom aka Rusty Rustbelt

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