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Tag Archives: health tips

But Baby, It’s Hot Outside: How to Prepare for a Heat Wave

How to stay cool in a heat wave

When it gets hot, stay safe! (Photo: American Ratings Corporation, 2015)

I like to joke that I live in the Bay Area because I can’t handle high heels, canned vegetables or extreme weather. As a native, however, I know the reality is a little more complicated. True, we don’t often suffer the extreme weather conditions experienced elsewhere in the United States. But it does get cold here, and, more pertinently, hot. Moreover, unlike the rest of the country, our homes and public infrastructure aren’t built to ward off either. As a result, when we have hot weather, we can find ourselves unexpectedly overheated. It’s no joke: hundreds of people die from heatstroke in the U.S. every year—more than the annual death toll of any natural disaster.

So, how can we in the Bay Area prepare for a heat wave? First and foremost, be aware. Most victims of heat stroke are young children and elderly or disabled adults. Never leave a child in the car, and check on adults whom you suspect may be at risk. Second, get ready for the heat before the heat wave strikes. Here’s where we can help: we’ve compiled the following tips on how to keep your Bay Area home cool in the heat. Continue Reading “But Baby, It’s Hot Out There: How to Prepare for a Heat Wave”

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Minimize Spine and Neck Pain While Working at a Computer

Many people spend the majority of their workday sitting at a desk in front of a computer—an activity that often leads to spine and neck pain. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to minimize this type of discomfort.

Get a comfortable chair. If your work requires you to sit in a chair for most of the day, it’s a good idea to get one that minimizes back strain. Your desk chair should be adjustable and enable you to sit at a comfortable height in relation to your workstation. Adequate lumbar support is also important, whether built into the chair or in the form of a supplementary pad.

There are several ways to minimize the spine and neck pain associated with working at a computer. Photo: Wright’s Chiropractic (2013)

There are several ways to minimize the spine and neck pain associated with working at a computer. Photo: Wright’s Chiropractic (2013)

Maintain proper posture. Even if your desk chair has good lumbar support, it won’t be of much benefit if you have poor posture. Bad habits such as slouching, crossing your ankles and leaning forward in your chair can result in discomfort. Continue reading “Minimize Spine and Neck Pain While Working at a Computer” »

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Savvy Consumer Tip: FRAX

Do you know if your bone health puts you at risk for a fracture? Watch this video to learn more about FRAX, a new online calculator from the World Health Organization.

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How Much Will That Medical Procedure Cost?

If you have health insurance, you may not pay much attention to how much different medical procedures cost. But if you don’t have insurance or use out-of-network doctors, you have a right to know the cost of certain procedures ahead of time. That way, you can avoid getting stuck with an unexpected bill or even negotiate a better price from the provider.

The nonprofit group Fair Health has a feature on its website that lets you find estimates of the average prices charged for medical and dental procedures in your area. I just looked up the cost of a physical therapy evaluation for my particular zip code. The chart showed the estimated charge, the estimated reimbursement (which depends on what your plan allows) and the out-of-pocket charge to me. When I checked the costs for a gold crown, I was asked several questions about the type of crown before getting a rough estimate of $1,300. Don’t forget to check out the Healthcare Resources section and the useful Glossary of Terms.

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Savvy Consumer Tip: Sunscreen

Big changes are coming to sunscreen labels. Watch this video to find out what they are.

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