January 2022 The WELLesley Employee
A Monthly Safety and Wellness Newsletter brought to you by The Town of Wellesley Employee Safety & Wellness Committee
January's Wellness Initiative
Submitted by Jeff Azano-Brown
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
Each year, many New Year’s Resolutions center around topics of wellness. Often the resolutions are to lose weight or exercise more. CNN Health shared an article on the effectiveness of making New Year’s Resolutions. The article reports that University of Pennsylvania research shows that one week into the new year, just 77% of resolutions are still on track, and after 6 months, only about 40% are still on course.
One of the ways to be in that top 40% after 6 months, is to ensure that your resolutions and goals that are specific & attainable. Another way to make a new resolution, or a new habit, is to disrupt the environment where the bad habit was occurring. Learn more about this by clicking on the link below and watching the short video attached to the article.
Here are 4 of the 21 achievable New Year’s Resolutions that are suggested in the article.
1. Reboot Your Diet
Evaluating, and making many necessary changes, to the status of your nutrition is a great New Year’s Resolution. However, to make it achievable, remember that taking one step at a time will be more attainable than trying to change everything at once. To stay on track, try choosing one means of improving your diet at a time.
2. Do A Kitchen Cleanse
Go through your kitchen cabinets, refrigerator, car and office, and get rid of all unhealthy food products. Replace them with healthy options.
3. Take It A Week At A Time
For goals such as running or exercising 3 times per week, try breaking it down weekly. You will be more apt to stick to your plan if you schedule exercising 3 times this week. Then, at the end of the week, you can schedule exercising 3 times per week again.
4. Take A Time-Out Daily
Carving out just 10 minutes per day can make a difference. Try using this small amount of time to rest and rejuvenate by focusing on your breath, listening to soothing music, or simply disconnecting from the distractions around you.
To learn more about these goals, and see the additional resolutions listed in the article, click here:
Have a Happy, Healthy New Year!
January is National Blood Donor Month
Submitted by Cay Meagher
The Red Cross is experiencing its worst blood shortage in over a decade. The dangerously low blood supply levels have forced some hospitals to defer patients from major surgery, including organ transplants. Did you know that less than 10% of eligible donors actually donate? Donation is a simple and safe process and one donation can help more than one person. As January is the month of new beginnings, think of those you could help with just a small amount of time, and blood, by your donation. To find a blood drive near you please visit: https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive
January is National Radon Action Month
Submitted by Sally Rose
The goal of this is outlined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which advocates that air in all indoor spaces be tested for radon. As the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers in the United States, radon kills around 21,000 people annually. Although It’s a preventable health risk, radon cannot be seen or smelled.
It’s crucial to not only make checks within the workplace, but to encourage all workers to test the radon levels within their homes, too.
The Importance of Wearing Sunscreen in Winter Months
Submitted by Monica Visco
Perhaps many of us think that we only need to protect our skin from the sun in the summer months. Tossing the sunscreen into our beach bag and applying it regularly when it is hot outside is an easy habit to maintain. Not continuing the practice during the winter months, though, is a mistake. Here’s why:
Up to 80% of the sun’s rays can penetrate those winter clouds. There are two types of UV rays that affect us, UVA is always present and can penetrate clouds, glass and deeper into the skin. UVB rays are greater on sunny days during the summer months.
Our skin can get dry more quickly in the harsh winter weather. Sunscreen moisturizes the skin and actually has “anti-aging” properties.
Are you a skier? UV radiation increases by 5% with every thousand feet you rise above sea level. Snow actually radiates and intensifies the sunlight, also increasing your exposure to harmful rays. You should use lip and skin sun protection products. They should be reapplied every two hours because the winter elements actually diminish the impacts of the sunscreen more quickly.
In summary, skin cancer is an enemy in any season. It can occur all year long. And, since sunscreen also helps us to keep our skin more youthful, it seems like a smart choice to use it all year long. Make it part of your daily routine and stay healthy while you enjoy the winter season!
Winter Safety – Preventing Cold Stress
Submitted by Michael Carmody
One of the most common and potentially serious hazards of outdoor activity is cold stress. The effects of cold on unprotected skin can result in frostbite, a potentially serious injury. Prolonged exposure to cold can cause hypothermia, an inability of the body to produce enough heat to keep the body functioning normally. A person suffering from hypothermia is usually aware of what’s happening in the first stages though in later stages, because brain functions are affected, the victim may not be thinking clearly enough to do anything about it.
Heat loss from cold stress occurs through any or all of four processes: radiation, conduction, evaporation and convection. To prevent frostbite and hypothermia, we need to take measures to minimize heat loss. Convection moves heat towards or away from the skin through air currents. A fan in the summer works great at cooling the body, but wind and cold during winter combine to put extra stress on our bodies’ ability to keep warm.
A strategy of clothing layers of different types can help you stay comfortable in cold temperatures. An outer wind-resistant layer prevents cold air currents from reaching the inner layers. A mid layer of insulation keeps warm molecules of air close to the skin. The base layer (underwear) is the most important layer when you’re active in the cold, shoveling snow or cross-country skiing for example. A base layer of polyester or wool will allow sweat to wick to the middle layers and evaporate. Avoid cotton base layers; cotton fibers cause moisture to stick to the skin, and greatly increase the chance for hypothermia if you’re sweating or get wet in the cold.
The Wind Chill Chart from NOAA and the National Weather Service show the combined effects of wind and cold on the body. The color keys signify the amount of time it takes until frostbite on exposed skin. The chart is also helpful in helping to “dress for success” when planning activities in the cold. Skiing, skating, hiking, snowman building, it’s all much more fun when you’re well protected!
Submitted by Sally Rose
“Those who work the safest way, live to see another day”
This is an easy slogan to remember that reminds workers of the harsh realities of not following safety instructions.
“A spill, a slip, a hospital trip”
This one is great because, if you say it a few times, your colleagues will be reminded of this whenever they see a spill and will be inclined to clean it up.
“To avoid a scene, keep your workplace clean”
Another good one to encourage colleagues to pick up after themselves and to clean up messes to keep everyone safe.
“Safety rules are your best tools”
This one can be used regularly at the end of your toolbox talk or safety moment of the day, to keep it at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
COVID-19 Testing Info
COVID-19 Vaccine Information
BRINGING OUT THE BEST IN PEOPLE: POSITIVE MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUE January 20th, 2022 10:00am - 11:00am
Did you know that you have access to recorded trainings on a variety of topics through MIIA? If you don't already have a login, you can register here using your Wellesley email: https://www.emiia.org/join
Free Wellness Webinars & Programs
Submitted by Jen Glover
Don't forget! Tufts Health Plan has a free webinar series available to everyone, not just Tufts Health Plan members! It has been expanded to offer several programs each week, including regular sessions of guided mindfulness, Zumba®, yoga, and rotating health and wellness topics. This expanded program is called Living Well at Home.
Despite "home" in the title, there are weekly half hour programs that would make a great team building exercise, like guided mindfulness sessions and stretching!
Please visit their updated webpage for more details, links to live sessions, and recordings of previous webinars https://tuftshealthplan.com/livingwellathome. The 2022 Webinar Schedule is online!
Monthly Action Item!
Need a quick break from planning holiday festivities? Take a walk! While just about any walk will help to clear your head and boost endorphins (which, in turn, reduces stress hormones), consider walking in a park or other green space, which can actually put your body into a state of meditation, thanks to a phenomenon known as “involuntary attention” during which something holds our attention, but simultaneously allows for reflection. Even five minutes around the block can help reset your mood and give you energy to face the rest of your day!