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THE LOVE Yourself and Your Health campaign will continue for its second year - renewing a commitment to "encourage, empower, and ignite" a cultural shift in Bahamian people towards healthy living.
In addition to giveaways, demos and recipes, music, and discounts on health services and veggie food, organisers have also added a Green Smoothie Challenge which will afford participants an opportunity to win a three-month healthy living assistance package for 2011.
The Love Yourself Wellness Package will include a health assessment, one meal per day, green smoothies, natural health and beauty products and a host of health services such as, massage therapy, physical training, acupuncture, and chiro ...
Your feet bear the brunt of your daily working life. The average person walks the equivalent of five times around the earth in a lifetime and each step can exert up to two times your body weight in ground reactive forces through your lower limbs. Prolonged standing, walking, operating machinery, high heels, carrying heavy objects and slippery surfaces are just some of the dangers the feet are exposed to in the workplace.
Every year, it is estimated that 2 million sick days are lost due to complaints and disorders in the lower limbs, however, many of these sick days can be prevented. Studies show that about 80 percent of adults will experience some foot complaints during their lifetime. This can vary from aches and pains, swelling, corns, calluses, injuries, fungal infections, varicose veins and much more. These common foot problems occur both on and off the job. However, there is no doubt that some work related factors can lead to, or aggravate foot problems, especially jobs that require long periods of standing or that put the feet at risk.
It is recommended that workers spend no more than 30 percent of their working day standing, however there are many jobs where workers stand for longer periods. Workers who are required to spend too much time on their feet are at increased risk of pain and discomfort around their feet, legs, hips and lower back. Standing for long hours, day after day, not only tires the worker's feet but can also cause permanent damage. Continuous standing can cause the joints and bones of the feet to become misaligned causing flat feet, inflammation that can later lead to arthritis, and damage to the veins in the legs leading to pain, swelling, varicose veins and even ulcers. Prolonged standing can damage joints, causing swelling of the legs, and result in a range of problems for the feet, including bunions and corns and heel spurs.
Work-site accidents also result in a significant number of injuries to the feet and lower legs including sprains, strains and fractures. Foot injuries account for 15 to 20 percent of all disabling injuries. While not all of these are the result of work activities, a large proportion occur due to the conditions feet are exposed to at work.
Our feet are exposed to many dangers at work and like every other danger, the risk can be avoided or removed if employees and employers take simple straightforward steps to protect the feet at work.
o Wear the right shoes for work: Workers should wear the shoes that are appropriate to their occupation, working environment, and foot type. Improper footwear can cause or aggravate existing foot problems. Footwear that fits poorly or is in need of repair also contributes to foot discomfort. Prolonged standing, hard flooring and inappropriate footwear are very common working conditions. If safety or special footwear is required for the job (e.g. steel toe boots) employers must ensure that employees have the correct shoes and are not allowed to work without them. In many work-sites such equipment are supplied by the employer at no cost to the worker.
High heels are the favorite work footwear for many women but should not be. They throw the body weight onto the balls of the feet, which may lead to calluses, painful bunions, corns, neuromas and back pains. The position of the foot in narrow width high heels can cause the ankle to become unstable, resulting in ankle sprains. Wearing high-heels for long periods may cause the calf muscles to become shortened and tight over time. The body compensates for this tightness in the calf-muscles by lowering the arch of the foot, or by affecting the knee, hip or back. Backless (sling back) shoes force your toes to claw as you walk, straining the muscles if worn over a long period. To prevent this, keep heel heights to about two inches for everyday use.
Calf stretches help to keep the feet supple and maintain a good range of motion to the ankle joint. Vary your heel heights from day to day, one day wearing low heels, and the next day slightly higher heels. Wearing shoes with a strap or lace over the instep is better than slip-ons because they will improve the fit and help stop your foot from sliding forward in your shoes.
Comfortable, well-structured, sensible and properly fitted footwear is essential to maintain good foot health and prevent minor foot ailments and injuries at work. Proper footwear is important, not only for foot comfort but also for one's general well-being.
o Choose the best shoes for work: It is important to ensure that the safety shoe is appropriate for the task for which it is intended. Upper should be made from natural materials such as leather or a breathable man-made fabric. The toe box area should be rounded or squared and deep enough to prevent rubbing, allowing the toes to wriggle. Insoles can be inserted to provide padding and absorption. The heel should fit snugly on the foot, stopping the heel from slipping out of the shoe. The heel should have a broad base and be no higher than two inches if they are worn for a long time. The sole should be strong and flexible with shock absorption to cushion the jolts of walking on hard surfaces. Laces, buckles or velcro should be used to secure the foot in the shoe.
o Foot safe work sites: In addition to the footwear, the work surfaces also have an impact on the feet at work. Hard, unyielding floors like concrete are the least comfortable surfaces to work on. Working on a hard floor has the impact of a hammer, pounding the heel at every step. Slippery floors are hazardous, resulting in slips and falls, ankle sprains or even broken bones. Employers should make sure that floors are kept clean and dry and non-skid floors should be installed.
Standing or working on a hard, unyielding floor can cause a lot of discomfort. Wood, cork, carpeting, or rubber -- anything that provides some flexibility -- is gentler on workers' feet. Footwear with thick, insulating soles and shock-absorbing insoles can alleviate discomfort. Special anti-slip flooring or matting can reduce slipping accidents.
o Prevent injuries at work: Most occupations have different footwear requirements, but in almost all of them, there is a need for well-fitting, supportive shoes and guidelines for safe floor surfaces. Such guidelines should be followed at all times to prevent injuries in the work place. Being physically fit can also prevent injury to your feet at work. To keep the feet healthy, it is necessary to compensate for long standing or working in a stationary position by performing simple exercises that can be performed at work. They include contracting and relaxing the calf muscles, and flexing and straightening the ankles and knees.
Remember, foot pain is not normal, it is an indication that something is wrong. If you have foot pain, see a podiatrist for a complete exam and treatment.
For more information or to see a podiatrist visit Bahamas Foot Centre Rosetta Street 325-2996, Bahamas Surgical Associates, Albury Lane 394-5820 or email at email@example.com or visit www.apma.org.
Twenty proud security personnel representing 17 airports in 13 Family Islands received Train the Trainer certification at the closing ceremony of the five-day “Excellence in Screening Techniques Course,” held January 21-25 at the SuperClubs Breezes Resort.
Local coaches have been encouraged to come out and participate in the USATF Coaches Courses, as it is a great opportunity to further their skills in the sport.
The course, which starts today, will be held at Thomas A. Robinson Track and Field Stadium instead of the Ministry of Education building. It was reported that more than 100 people have expressed interest and signed up for the course. At the completion, coaches will be awarded with their certifications from the USATF. The course is sanctioned by the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) and will be hosted by the Bahamas Association of Athletic Coaches (BAAC).
"We are very excited about the response for the coaches course. Our target was to reach the government schools and see if we can get a program started where the inner-city kids could stay at the schools and start their development from there.
"We are of the opinion that we lose too many kids from the younger kids because there is not enough interest," said Shaun Miller, a member of the BAAC.
"We probably will be looking at doubling the amount of athletes that The Bahamas can produce on the world class in the long run.
"We really want to target the Family Islands. We are a little disappointed that we don't have the funding to bring more coaches, not just teachers, out of the Family Islands. We wanted to target all of the major Family Islands to place coaches in strategic points because I believe that a kid doesn't have to move to Nassau to further his training career in track and field. Hopefully one day we will have more coaches clinics set up on the Family Islands to accomplish that goal."
A week of activities is planned, starting with the distance clinic, scheduled for Monday, November 4 at Fort Charlotte, starting at 4 p.m. On Tuesday, coaches will visit the Bahamas Association of the Physically Disabled, and Wednesday is Coaches Appreciation Day. The Bay Street Mile will take place on Saturday, November 9, followed by a coaches grill-out at Goodman's Bay.
The week will end with a church service at Bahamas Faith Ministries on Sunday.
Nicholls Town, North Andros -- For six years he's been a real life hero, saving lives, catching bad guys and keeping law and order -- all in a day's work.
But for Owen Hanna, while he's working his dream job as a police officer, it's not enough.
The 24-year-old crime fighter, who is stationed at the Nicholls Town Police Station in North Andros, dreams of obtaining a Governor General's Youth Award (GGYA) medal.
While he wouldn't exactly qualify as a youth, Hanna is approaching the GGYA's age limit of 25. That has not deterred him from becoming involved in the self-development program.
GGYA participants take part in hiking expeditions, community service, a physical activity and develop a skill. Depending on the time invested in the program, participants can earn Bronze, Silver or Gold Awards.
"During my time in high school, I wasn't aware of GGYA. After reviewing a participant's application form, I noticed the age ranged from 14 to 25. Being 24, I was eager and more excited to be a part of GGYA. I also wanted to further my development," said Hanna, who now serves as a GGYA unit leader.
"After telling people I was going to join GGYA I got positive feedback. I don't think there are many people who would have, at this age, gone for the Bronze. The GGYA welcomed me with open arms. They were eager to receive me and teach me what they know. But, you know what, it's never too late."
Even though he doesn't have his Bronze yet, Hanna has already set his sights on a Silver Award.
But, he knows that his age will pose a problem.
He's now hoping GGYA officials will subscribe to the theory that age 'ain't nothing but a number' and allow him to continue on in the program.
"I've done so much in my life, but there's still so much to do and honestly, I'd really like to go all the way to the Gold," he said. "I'm hoping GGYA will make an exception and allow me to pursue the Silver and Gold. That would be a dream come true."
Hanna, who trained extensively to become a police officer, said the GGYA expeditions would be "a piece of cake".
"I'm prepared for anything; I'm not afraid of challenges. I'm willing to overcome any challenge if it will be beneficial in the end. Being a police officer I have already been through rigorous training. On numerous occasions I go on hikes. So, right now, I'm excited to hike," he said.
Besides eventually earning a law degree, Hanna said he has a passion for helping the nation's youths and wants to "save the lives of some of these young men".
He also wants others to know it's not too late to join GGYA.
"When I looked at the program itself, it has an excellent structure to develop, shape and mold any young person's character and to steer them in the right direction. That's my goal. Now that I know I have a chance, I want to let people who feel that once they come out of school they can't join this program, that they can and they should go for it," he said.
Nearly 1,700 participants from throughout the country are in the GGYA.
Units are located on Abaco, Acklins, Andros, Bimini, the Berry Islands, Crooked Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Long Island and Grand Bahama.
This year alone, the GGYA has presented over 400 Awards to various youths.
A chestnut-colored coffin draped with the Bahamian flag attracted the stares of every eye in the packed auditorium, where solemn crowd of uniformed officers, family members, friends and fraternity brothers gathered to say their final good-byes to Corporal 2453 Desmond Burrows.