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Entries in Work (20)

Thursday
Aug022012

Can Paid Sick Leave Make You a Healthier Worker?

Comstock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- According to Uncle Sam, if you have access to paid sick leave at your job, you are likely to be healthier for it. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is out with a new study about just how beneficial this job perk really is.
 
Paid sick leave is a non-wage benefit optionally offered by employers in the U.S. In accordance with the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act, public agencies and private-sector employers must provide up to 12 weeks of paid or unpaid leave to eligible workers.  Despite the recorded benefits of paid sick leave, the CDC says only 40 million private-sector workers in the U.S. had access to this paid benefit in 2010.

Those whose employers offer paid sick leave are 28 percent less likely to suffer non-fatal work-related injuries, according to the CDC study which appears in the American Journal of Public Health.
 
The government agency says this research, which studied 38,000 private-sector workers, is the first of its kind to quantify the benefits of paid sick leave.  

The researchers found that sick or stressed workers who continue on the job increase their risk for suffering additional illness or workplace injury by 18 percent. Without paid sick leave, they keep working for fear of losing income.

"If fewer people work while they are sick, this could lead to safer operation and fewer injuries in the work place," lead researcher Abay Asfaw, Ph.D., said in a CDC statement.
 
Workers in such high-risk jobs as construction, manufacturing and agriculture benefited the most from paid leave, according to the research.

The study's lead researcher notes that if fewer people work while sick, workplace safety is enhanced for everyone. Employers may benefit from improved productivity due to reduced absences or unscheduled leave.
 
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May312012

Juvenile Arthritis Can Hinder Finding Work, Study Finds

Creatas Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Researchers in Great Britain have confirmed what many young adults living with arthritis already know: having juvenile arthritis in childhood makes it more difficult to be successfully employed as an adult.

It's something Dr. Patience White, vice president of public health for the Arthritis Foundation also knows.  She says even a good education may not be enough to overcome the challenge of a disability that begins in childhood.

"The real issue is they haven't had enough pre-employment experience, whether it's babysitting, volunteering or working a paper route," she said.  "What happens to kids with chronic illnesses is they don't get to do that."

Almost 300,000 children in the U.S. have juvenile arthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation.  Past research has found they experience higher rates of unemployment as adults than their healthy peers.

Thursday's study, published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism, found that the degree of disability matters.  The study followed 103 adult patients who had been diagnosed as children with juvenile arthritis.  People who suffered greater disability as children accomplished less as adults.  They were less likely to be employed and they found it harder to hold the jobs they got.  The majority of those who were unemployed said their disease was the reason they couldn't find work.

White says the study shows children growing up with juvenile arthritis will need special guidance from parents and professionals as they set their goals.

"You want young people to get as much education as they possibly can, and think about their functional status and what the job requirements are so they don't set themselves up for failure," White said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb292012

Tampa Doorman Logs No Sick Days in 26 Years

Hyatt(TAMPA, Fla.) --  If you are reading this right now at work with a tissue by your side, sniffling, achy but with just enough energy to trudge along, here’s some inspiration. Either that or you may find St. Petersburg resident Antonio de Sousa, 53, mildly annoying.

Every day for 26 years and six months de Sousa, 53, has put on his uniform -- shorts, a T-shirt and his smile -- and shown up for work every single day.

“I didn’t realize I wasn’t sick that long,” says de Sousa. "I was shocked when I started thinking about it. But I love what I do.”

De Sousa is a doorman for the Hyatt Regency in downtown Tampa. Whether rain or sleet -- well it doesn’t really sleet in Tampa so we will skip that and the snow part -- or whatever the condition outside, no matter how he feels, he has never taken any of the sick days his job gives annually.

“I’m a very reliable person. Even if I’m sick, I just drink coffee and take medicine that night. I think it’s because of the people I work around and people generally just cheer me up.”

De Sousa says he has been healthy for as long as he can remember. Before moving to Tampa he lived in France and met his wife while she was doing missionary work there. When he married her, he came to the U.S. to visit his ailing mother in-law and he never left. In France he never called out sick. He started a new streak with Hyatt that has spanned three decades.

“Even when I had my first job in France I didn’t call in sick. I missed a day once because it snowed, but it wasn’t my fault. I had to give my brother and sister a ride to work through the snow. I showed up to work about 90 minutes late, but my bosses were not there,” he jokes.

He is the type of employee every boss wishes they had, and the type of co-worker everybody finds difficult to emulate.

His co-workers say he waves and smiles at everybody. They marvel at how he kept the streak going for so long.

“I don’t know how he does it. Sure he may not get sick,” says a colleague who didn’t want to be identified. “But what about those days every so often when you just don’t have it in you. He is always happy.”

De Sousa admits the warm Florida weather has helped him continue his streak but he is not judgmental of others, including his two children, who he says have stayed home from school on occasion.

“Everybody is different. I wash my hands if I can every 30 minutes,” he says. “I don’t wait to get sick. I take one day at a time and everybody should too.”

The average American calls in sick around three days a year, so don’t feel so bad. If you are at work, and feeling a little down but you made it in anyway, congrats. Your streak is just beginning.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb072012

Poll: 31% of Workers with Office Romances Married Their Co-Worker

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Love is in the office air. A new Valentine’s Day survey commissioned by CareerBuilder.com finds 31 percent of employees say their office romance led to marriage.  The survey also found 38 percent of workers admitting they have dated a co-worker at least once over the course of their career.  Seventeen percent of those polled admitted dating co-workers at least twice.

Additional findings from the annual CareerBuilder Valentine’s Day survey:

  • 28 percent of workers who dated a co-worker said they have dated someone above them in the company hierarchy, and 18 percent admitted to dating their boss.  Women were more likely than men to date someone above their pay grade, 35 percent to 23 percent.
  • Hospitality is the leading industry when it comes to office romances, with 47 percent of employees admitting they dated a co-worker. The financial services sector was next at 45 percent, followed by Transportation & Utilities, Information Technology and the healthcare industry.
  • 26 percent reported that what someone does for a living influences whether they would date that person.  Five percent of workers revealed someone ended a relationship with them because either their job required too many hours at the office, they didn’t make enough money or the person didn’t like their line of work.
  • 19 percent of respondents reported that they are more attracted to people who have a similar job.
  • Social settings outside of work were cited most often when it came to workers making a love connection.

The survey of 7,780 U.S. workers was conducted by Harris Interactive.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan262012

Study: Working Long Hours Can Double Your Risk of Depression

Comstock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Work can be depressing at times -- that much most people know -- but now, a European study suggests that those who work long hours are twice as likely to experience a major depressive episode.

In a report published in the Jan. 25 online journal Plos ONE, researchers at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and at University College in London followed 2,000 middle-aged government workers in Britain and saw a link between overtime work and depression. They found that those working more than 11 hours a day were at the greatest risk.

The study was adjusted for other variables, such as socioeconomic backgrounds, lifestyle and other work-related factors.

Another study of the same group last year found a 67 percent higher risk of coronary heart disease.  Study authors conceded results might have been different had they studied a younger age group.

"It is true that depression is more common in middle age, and it might also be possible that in order to have any effect on health, quite a long period of exposure to long hours is needed," author Marianna Virtanen told ABC News in an email.

Her advice to American workers was to, "make a distinction between work and leisure; don't skip your holidays; take care of your health and well-being, especially sleep and exercise."

The average number of hours worked annually by employees in the United States has steadily increased, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention's 2004 report, "Overtime and Extended Work Shifts."

American workers now surpass Japan and most of Western Europe in the number of hours devoted to working, the CDC reported.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec152011

Study: Moms Who Don't Work Are at a Greater Risk for Depression

Siri Stafford/Thinkstock(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- Can part-time work increase the chances of full-time happiness for modern moms?  Yes, according to a new study published by the American Psychological Association.

“In all cases with significant differences in maternal well-being, such as conflict between work and family or parenting, the comparison favored part-time work over full-time or not working,” the study’s lead author, Cheryl Buehler, a professor of human development and family studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, said in a statement released by the APA.

Buehler and co-author Marion O’Brien, a colleague at UNC-Greensboro, analyzed interviews conducted with more than 1,300 moms.  Among their findings:

-- Part-time working moms and full-time working moms reported better health and fewer symptoms of depression than stay-at-home moms.

-- Part-time working moms were as involved in their child’s school as stay-at-home moms, and more involved than full-time working moms.

-- Part-time working moms provided their toddlers with more learning opportunities than both stay-at-home moms and full-time working moms.

With respect to the finding on depression, Buehler and O’Brien’s report stated that, theoretically, “a mother’s participation in employment provides her with support and resources that a mother who spends full time at home does not receive.” They said mothers of infants -- and pre-school age children in particular -- tended to be more isolated than women with school-age children and could experience higher levels of child-related stress.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec122011

Part-Time Work for Moms Could Provide Best Work-Life Balance

Siri Stafford/Thinkstock(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- Can part-time work increase the chances of full-time happiness for modern moms?  So suggests a new study published by the American Psychological Association.

“In all cases with significant differences in maternal well-being, such as conflict between work and family or parenting, the comparison favored part-time work over full-time or not working,” the study’s lead author, Cheryl Buehler, a professor of human development and family studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, said in a statement released by the APA.

Buehler and co-author Marion O’Brien, a colleague at UNC-Greensboro, analyzed interviews conducted with more than 1,300 moms. Among their findings:

* Part-time working moms and full-time working moms reported better health and fewer symptoms of depression than stay-at-home moms.

* Part-time working moms were as involved in their child’s school as stay-at-home moms, and more involved than full-time working moms.

* Part-time working moms provided their toddlers with more learning opportunities than both stay-at-home moms and full-time working moms.

In their report on the study, UNC’s Buehler and O’Brien said employers could help more people — mothers and fathers alike -- take advantage of the health and family benefits of part-time work by making part-time jobs more attractive.

“Since part-time work seems to contribute to the strength and well-being of families, it would be beneficial to employers if they provide fringe benefits, at least proportionally, to part-time employees as well as offer them career ladders through training and promotion,” O’Brien said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec052011

Get Up! Sitting Makes You Fat, Research Suggests

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(TEL AVIV, Israel) -- New research gives many of us yet another reason to get up off our desk chairs  and get moving.

The findings, published in Cell Physiology, suggest that the pressure placed in the buttocks and hips from sitting down for too long can generate up to 50 percent more fat in those areas.

Researchers from Tel Aviv University looked at MRI images of muscle tissue in people who had been paralyzed by spinal cord injuries and found that major amounts of fat cells stretched to surround the areas around the muscles that endured pressure from lying or sitting. The researchers then manipulated a group of fat cells to stretch and stay sedentary for long periods of time, representing the time spent sitting or lying down. After two weeks, they found that stretched cells produced nearly 50 percent more liquid fat than regular fat cells.

“These findings indicate that we need to take our cells’ mechanical environment into account as well as pay attention to calories consumed and burned,” Amit Gefen, one of the Tel Aviv researchers, told the U.K.’s Telegraph.

Previous research found that those who were bound to wheelchairs or were bedridden developed abnormal muscle and fat growth in areas of the body where more pressure was placed. But Gefen said this research could also translate to the not so extreme sedentary lifestyle.

Even those who eat well and exercise can suffer the consequences of a bigger butt and waistline if they stay seated for longer periods of time, according to this research. But forgo the exercise and become a couch potato and the results could be worse, Gefen told The Telegraph.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov022011

‘Happiest Woman’ Succeeds in Finding Work-Life Balance

Courtesy Mary Claire Orenic(NEW YORK) -- Mary Claire Orenic of California may just be “the happiest woman in America,” according to USA Today.

At 50 years old, Orenic is a senior manager at a global company.  She has a husband she adores and a son on his way to college.  She might put in 45 to 60 hours at her job during the week but unwinds at the beach on the weekend.

According to experts, Orenic exemplifies a high level of well-being for women in the 45- to 55-year-old age group -- the largest demographic in the U.S. today.

Gail Sheehy, a journalist and the author of  the 1970s best-seller Passages, told ABC News that this group was in particular crisis.

“This generation of women at midlife has a lower level of well-being than any other generation,” Sheehy told ABC News.  “It’s always been that [when] women got to their 40s and 50s, they were happier than at any other time in their lives.  This generation is the most stressed and distressed.”

USA Today asked Gallup-Healthways to identify what contributed to well-being in the midlife age group.

In addition to a good marriage, a strong support network of friends and a positive attitude is important.  Gallup-Healthways found that having a career and finding a good work-life balance also helped. For the most part, Orenic has all of this.

Pollsters said that many women at this midlife stage still worked full-time. Orenic said she had no plans to slow down.

“I need that fulfillment,” she said. “I’ve always worked.  I’ve usually worked 40 hours. I think I’ll do that when I retire.”

Gallup-Healthways’ data also found that having a flexible work schedule and a short commute was also important for happiness in  the 45-55 age group.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep012011

Insomnia Costing US over $63 Billion in Lost Productivity

Creatas Images/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- Nearly a quarter of all American workers -- 23.2 percent -- suffer from insomnia, according to a new study, and that is costing the country $63.2 billion a year.

The study, published in the Sept. 1 issued of Sleep and led by Ronald Kessler, a psychiatric epidemiologist and professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School, found that the lack of sleep is causing workers to lose 11.3 days of productivity annually.  Financially, that amounts to $2,280 per year.

As Kessler explains, “It’s an underappreciated problem.  Americans are not missing work because of insomnia.  They are still going to their jobs but accomplishing less because they’re tired.  In an information-based economy, it’s difficult to find a condition that has a greater effect on productivity.”

Researchers used a national sampling of 7,428 employees, which was part of the larger American Insomnia Study, to determine these results.

The study also found that insomnia affected only 14.3 percent of workers aged 65 and older, and that female employees were more prone to it than their male counterparts -- 27.1 percent to 19.7 percent, respectively.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio