Friday, June 26, 2015

Keep Moving!

Thank you to Janet Huehls, a Certified Wellness Coach and Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist here at UMMS, for the following insightful advice. And to SHARE Treasurer Kathy Bateman for sending it in to be posted on the blog!

This weekly email, provided by the exercise program at UMass Memorial Weight Center, is also blog:
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Thank you!

The term “sitting is the new smoking” is not an exaggeration.

“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.” James Levine, MD, PhD. Researcher Mayo Clinic and founder of N.E.A.T.

The human body is amazingly designed to move.  Each system works better when we move and suffers when we are inactive.  Even if you exercise regularly, prolonged sitting still puts you at risk.

This is powerful knowledge because anyone can improve health in this way.  If you can move, even in a small way, you can improve health by moving often.

Our current environment provides us with many reasons to sit and has led us to the newer science of inactivity.  Like opposite sides of the same coin, exercise physiology studies what happens in the body when we move and inactivity physiology studies what happens when we are still.  It turns out both studies are critical for understanding health.

The physiology of inactivity has discovered that when we don’t move, things start to back up in the cells. The process to deal with sugar and fats in the blood slows down or halts.  Sugar and fats in the blood accumulate and are triggers for disease.

The good news is that it does not take much movement to get the system working again. Simply moving from sitting to standing, taking a short walk, stretching – all activate the muscles’ ability to manage these triggers for disease.

Standing desks are one attempt to fix this problem, but standing still is not much better.  Imagine stagnant water, things accumulate.  Inactivity or simply stillness is the root of the problem.  We need to move to get the system working.

If you exercise regularly no one would call you a couch potato. But…you can be an active couch potato. The chair does not care if you exercise regularly or not – stillness will cause these changes in the body despite your fitness level.

The term lifestyle activity is used to describe how much we move during the day. Getting 10,000 steps a day on a pedometer all at once  does not have the same benefit as taking 5000 steps in one shot and then spreading the other 5000 out during the rest of the day.
When you are trying to lose weight or maintain weight loss add a goal for lifestyle activity in addition to exercise goals.  Often, lifestyle activity is a great first step if you are not ready to exercise yet and a great addition if you are exercising but the scale is not budging.

Bottom line – how often we move during the day is as important as how often we exercise in a week.
Keep Moving, Be Well,
These weekly emails are general guidelines. These guidelines apply to patients who are cleared by a physician for the type of exercise described.  Please contact your physician with any concerns or questions. Always report any symptoms associated with exercise, such as pain, irregular heartbeats, and dizziness or fainting, to your physician.  

Janet Huehls, MA, RCEP, CYT, CWCRegistered Clinical Exercise Physiologist
Certified Wellness Coach UMass Memorial Weight Center 774-443-3886

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Questions about July 3

Q. Do SHARE members have to work on July 3?

A. Most SHARE members will not have to work on Friday, July 3. Some SHARE members may be required to work in order to keep their department open that day. Those employees will have Monday, July 6 off. 

Q. Do I have to use my own time to take July 3 off?

A. No. If you do not have to work July 3, you will be paid for the holiday.

Q. How will my time be counted if I work July 3 and take July 6 off?

A. If you do work July 3, you will earn holiday compensatory time, which you can use to take July 6 off. (For rules about what counts toward the calculation of overtime, see the section "Overtime" on page 24 of the SHARE contract.)

Q. How can I find out if I have to work on July 3?

A. If your department needs to be open on July 3, the department manager will make a plan for the necessary coverage and communicate that to any employees who will be asked to work that day. If you are not sure if you will be expected to work, check with your supervisor.

If you have more questions about any of this, talk to a SHARE rep in your area, or call the SHARE office at 508-929-4020.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Fourth of July Holiday

UMMS HR recently sent a memo about the Fourth of July holiday which said that "the University of Massachusetts Medical School will be officially open for business on Friday, July 3, 2015 and Monday, July 6, 2015." This has caused some confusion, since most SHARE members were expecting to have Friday, July 3 off, because that is the way that Saturday holidays have been handled in the past.

We reached out to HR to clarify, and have two reassuring messages to relay:

  1. No one is losing out on getting a holiday, although some UMMS departments may need some staffing on Friday.
  2. HR will send out a clarification, this week we hope, about which departments will need skeleton staffing and which can be closed on July 3.