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Raleigh company uses its own wellness services to improve the health of its employees – WRAL Tech Wire

This article was written for our sponsor, Orthus Health.

In todays office landscape, amenities reign supreme. From on-site cafes to gyms and green spaces, employees are continuing to seek out workplaces that offer more than simply a desk and a coffee machine.

Often at the top of the amenities list? Wellness programs. In fact, according to a survey from Virgin HealthMiles Inc. and Workforce Management Magazine, 77 percent of employees felt that a wellness program provided a positive effect on the overall company culture.

At Orthus Health, the company is uniquely positioned to use its own resources to provide employees with a cutting-edge wellness program. For more than 20 years, the Raleigh-based company has been utilizing their data-driven wellness and condition management programs to not only better the health of their clients, but also the health of their own employees.

The overall mission of Orthus Health is to educate and engage employees, said Mark Ruby, vice president of Sales for Orthus Health. We provide actionable knowledge to help them understand their near-term, modifiable risk, and we support them in making healthy lifestyle changes.

To achieve this goal, individuals are paired with a dedicated virtual Orthus Health coach. Each coach is a HIPAA-trained professional who talks over health issues and goals with their clients on whatever basis they choose, whether daily, weekly or monthly. For employees of Orthus Health, the coaching program is one of the premium perks of employment.

Ive worked with the company for about a year and a half, two years, and Im a typical 30-something-year-old guy. I dont have a relationship with a doctor. Im not seeing anybody annually. Im not doing my preventive care screenings, admitted Bob Powers, an account manager at Orthus Health who utilizes the program. My coach really pushes me, Youve got to go get checked, youve got to go get checked. And so I did. Luckily, I didnt have diabetes, but I was definitely prediabetic.

Powers continued, I am able to virtually work with my coach at times that are convenient for me. My particular coach helps primarily with my diet, but we also have exercise physiologists, RNs and nutritionists. The culture here affords me the capability to say that my health is important. They want me to be here and to be able to work and do my job. And they understand that part of that is making sure Im taking care of my personal health.

As Powers mentioned, the emphasis on employee health and wellbeing is a major component of Orthus Healths overall company culture.

Since many office jobs are sedentary according to U.S. News & World Report, around 86 percent of American workers sit all day at their jobs the company encourages employees to stay active and focused on their health. Not only does this benefit them in the long term, but it also makes the workplace more positive overall.

Just by participating in wellness activities relating to exercise and diet and nutrition, you become much healthier, but then that also flows over to your whole life, so not only your personal life, but also your professional life, Ruby said. When you come into work, you have energy, youre not dragging in, and just the atmosphere and people are very happy. They feel better, and then obviously that leads to higher productivity.

In addition to coaching access, being an employee at Orthus Health also means getting an inside look at the latest innovations in wellness before theyre launched. Before the company released their mobile app, employees were able to test it before opening it up to the general public. The app engages employees with personalized digital wellness, empowering them to avoid emerging risk or better manage chronic conditions.

More and more people are used to using mobile apps, so we have a very robust mobile app version of our wellness platform, Ruby explained. Theyre able to basically do everything there register for onsite screenings, fill out the disease risk assessment and even tie in their Fitbit or Garmin. Theres a wealth of information on weight management and how to manage diabetes and heart disease too.

Although Ruby is a relatively healthy individual, he still takes advantage of the apps features, like step challenges, and diet and exercise trackers. By utilizing Orthus Healths resources to make his wellness a priority, Ruby was even able to continue working during his cancer treatment.

I was diagnosed with cancer, and I had to go through chemotherapy. One thing the physician said is, each individual should be investing in their health, because you dont know when youre going to have to pull on those reserves, Ruby said. For me, by using Orthus Health tools and Ive used them for quite a few years I was able to have a pretty good health status and that made a big difference in managing my cancer and chemotherapy. In fact, even during chemo, I was able to work.

You just dont know whats around the corner, you know? Ruby finished. Maintaining your health pays dividends down the road in different ways.

This article was written for our sponsor, Orthus Health.

Try a free risk assessment, powered by Orthus Health. It is anonymous, quick and easy to complete, requiring only basic information about your current lifestyle, nutrition and health conditions. The results will provide you with scientifically-validated insight into:

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A Structured Online Training Program Has More Health Benefits Than You May Think –

Anyone who has ever searched on Google for strategies on improving nutrition or getting faster would need a few lifetimes to parse through the advice those queries return. But there does seem to be a more targeted and beneficial way to use online tools to learn about those goals, according to new research.

The study, published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, focused on the impact of a web-based exercise and nutritional education program for 105 people who were obese with hypertension. About half were part of a control group that received usual medical care without any online education programs.

The other half received medical care, but also worked through a self-administered online program for three months, which included education on healthy lifestyle choices, daily habit changes, behavioral issues that could cause challenges, and reinforcement of progress. They also received a list of recommend foods and advice for physical activity.

Nine months after the interventions were complete, researchers took a look at the participants health markers. The people who used the online program showed a significant decrease in body fat mass, body mass index (BMI), and blood glucose levelsa measure used to determine risk of developing diabetes. They also showed considerable increases in functional capacity for aerobic exercise, as well as lower blood pressure.

By contrast, the participants who didnt use the online program went in the other direction, with significant increases in BMI and blood glucose.

The results for those using the online program were so notable that all of the people in the control group were subsequently offered the educational material once the study was complete, lead researcher Juan Francisco Lison, M.D., Ph.D., of the Department of Medicine at Cardenal Herrera University in Spain told Runners World.

Whats the takeaway for those who arent fortunate enough to be part of a lifestyle intervention study? That structure and pacing really do matter when it comes to making changes like getting more activity and eating healthier.

[Run faster, stronger, and longer with this 360-degree training program.]

Each of the first five modules in the study were activated a week apart and the last three were activated two weeks apart, Lison said. That gave participants time to absorb the material, put it into practice, and do some homework before new material became available.

Simple strategies can easily be incorporated into daily living in a cost-effective and scalable way, and it can empower people with education about health, said Lison. That increases confidence and encourages them to manage their habits.

In other words, step away from the Internet search firehose and find a more structured program insteadsuch as an online coaching or training programthat includes a number of beneficial behaviors and preferably stretches out over at least a few months. Doing so can not only improve your performance, but help you become a more well-rounded runner, too.

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Mothers stress most about sanitising kids, keeping them healthy amid the lockdown, says survey – Gulf Today

This image has been used for illustrative purpose.

Kids' health remains the topmost stressor for moms as 78 percent are worried about their kids getting sick amid the lockdown.

"While 74 percent of moms are worried about keeping everything sanitized, 57 percent are concerned about keeping their kids busy during this lockdown.

Screen time is a growing concern for moms," Momspresso said in their survey findings. The survey was conducted on 500 Indian mothers.

The MomSights tracker also revealed that, on the brighter side, a majority of moms have mentioned that they have a renewed appreciation for spending time with their family and an increased value of life.

They are also realizing the importance of a healthy lifestyle, a positive outlook, and me time. Post-lockdown, they plan to continue living a healthy, disciplined life, check their spending habits, and plan finances better.

This image has been used for illustrative purpose.

Panic buying and stocking up on essentials were rampant in the initial weeks of the lockdown. Subsequently, however, moms have a sufficient stock of staples at home.

Spending on tea or coffee, biscuits, breakfast cereals, and snacks has gone up slightly as more time is spent at home.

Since visiting a doctor is not feasible, many others are stocking up on medicines as well, said the platform.

About how moms are leveraging digital platforms during the lockdown, the survey notes an increase in the use of apps like Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest.

"Moms are relying more than ever on Whatsapp to connect with their friends and family and ensure their well-being.


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Further, OTT platforms such as Hotstar, Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. have also witnessed a surge in demand as a way for families to binge and bond."

Moms are also increasingly watching videos related to art and craft projects for kids, new recipes for cooking and yoga, workouts and meditation videos to stay healthy amid the lockdown.

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How to live longer: The diet proven to modify risk factors linked to obesity and diabetes – Express

Obesity is a health risk, so is diabetes. One diet has been shown to modify risk factors associated with the two. What is it?

John Hopkins Medicine neuroscientist Mark Mattson has found the answer.

Published in The New England Journal of Medicine, Mattson writes: "Intermittent fasting could be part of a healthy lifestyle."

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern whereby somebody alternates between eating and fasting.

Specifically, Mattson states intermittent fasting falls into two categories.

The first category is "daily time-restricting feeding" this narrows the time allowed to eat up to eight hours per day.

Then there's the "5:2 intermittent fasting". This is when people limit themselves to one moderate-sized meal twice a week.

The science behind intermittent fasting is that the eating pattern is thought to "trigger metabolic switching".

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This is an age-old adaptation to periods of food scarcity, whereby "cells use up their stores of rapidly accessible, sugar-based fuel, and begin converting fat into energy in a slower metabolic process."

Mattson adds that metabolic switching improves blood sugar regulation - and uncontrolled blood sugar is symptomatic of diabetes.

He also confirms that metabolic switching increases a person's resistance to stress and suppresses inflammation,

Other health benefits associated with intermittent fasting has been recorded as decreasing blood pressure, blood lipid levels and resting heart rates.

"Evidence is also mounting that intermittent fasting can modify risk factors associated with obesity and diabetes," said Mattson.

He based his conclusion on two studies at the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust.

One hundred overweight women showed that those on the 5:2 intermittent fasting diet lost the same amount of weight as women who restricted calories.

However, those on the 5:2 intermittent fasting diet had better insulin sensitivity and reduced belly fat than those in the calorie-reduction group.

Obesity is linked to various health issues, such as type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.

The NHS confirms that being overweight can also encourage breast or bowel cancer. And it's a risk factor for having a stroke.

The health body adds: "Obesity can also affect your quality of life and lead to psychological problems, such as depression and low self-esteem."

And it stresses that "it's very important to take steps to tackle obesity".

Mattson noted: "We are at a transition point where we could soon consider adding information about intermittent fasting to medical school curricula alongside standard advice about healthy diets and exercise."

For those wanting to try out intermittent fasting, Mattson gives a precaution.

"Feeling hungry and irritable is common initially, and usually passes after two weeks to a month as the body and brain become accustomed to the new habit."

Instead of going straight into intermittent fasting, Mattson advises people to gradually increase the duration and frequency of the fasting period over several months.

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Decreasing pain and increasing function, even through COVID – The Kingston Whig-Standard

Dr. Brad Murray, who grew up about ten minutes from Lucknow, is in his 15th year practicing at the Lucknow Chiropractic & Wellness Centre, which he opened in 2006, after working as an associate Chiropractor in a practice in Teeswater for over five years.

Murray completed his B.Sc. Hons. Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo, before graduating from the National College of Chiropractic, Lombard, Illinois in 2000.

Murray offers chiropractic treatments, using low force instruments including the Activator and the VF adjuster by Sigma Instruments, as well as utilizing gentle hands on adjustment to the spine and extremities. Chiropractic adjustments are used to correct and improve joint motion, in order to decrease pain, and improve function and quality of life.

In addition to chiropractic adjustments, Dr. Murray utilizes his laser therapy to help speed healing for a wide range of conditions and injuries, including neck and low back pain, sciatica, rotator cuff injuries, hip and knee Osteoarthritis, and many more.

Murray has completed extensive training in acupuncture, rehab exercises, soft tissue techniques such as myofascial release, foot dysfunction, sports injuries, concussions, Lumbar Spine Stenosis, and nutritional supplements. Ultrasound therapy and Flexion-Distraction (traction) are also possible treatments offered in the clinic.

Proper foot function is a major focus Murray has for his patients, as dysfunction can lead to foot, knee, hip, or lower back pain. Murray adjusts the foot and ankle to improve joint motion and function if needed. Gait assessments are also done, including computerized foot scans done by walking over a force plate, in addition to a complete examination. From this information, it is determined if custom orthotics, from The Orthotic Group are necessary.

The newest addition to the office is an exercise program. This is comprised of assessments of the spine, posture, gait, and movement. The spinal and postural assessment identifies dysfunctions, which lead to prescribing mobility and functional exercises, to improve and maintain function for the long term. Exercises are done in office and at home, with access to online videos and home journal.

They offer a number of products for purchase, ranging from nutritional supplements, vitamins, braces, Superfeet (non-custom) orthotics, pillows, Biofreeze, exercise bands and mobility equipment, inversion tables and more. For more for information, see their website, or their Facebook page.

Murray has a wonderful staff that includes Linda Durnin, Kathy Hackett, Brianna Yuill, and Sherry McBurney. Registered Massage Therapist Marlee Gowing, and Reflexologist Bonnie Kuik also join him in the office.

During the Covid-19 shut down, Murray has had to lay off all four staff members, and is allowed to treat only acute or emergency patients. Associate chiropractor in the office, Dr. Ron Goertzen, has not been working since the start of the pandemic.

Its been an adjustment, said Murray. Im treating over 90% less patients. Im getting more and more calls from patients I havent seen in weeks.

Murray is hopeful that he will gain his original customer base back after the pandemic passes, but has some worries about financial strains on his clients after COVID has left so many without jobs.

I am very confident that when we are allowed to resume care for patients, that we will be busy, very quickly again, said Murray. I have amazing patients that have supported the practice for many years, from Lucknow and the surrounding communities and I expect that to continue. As the weeks add up, many patients are asking when they can get in again, as they are feeling the affects of missing treatments for so long.

Murray is encouraging patients to keep active during this isolation period in order to minimize potential issues that they may experience without treatment. Go for a walk outside or on a treadmill, ride a bike, play sports, do home stretching, and develop a home workout program. There are many options to stay active. Alternatively, Murray is available over email for assistance. In addition to movement, practice a healthy lifestyle by getting a good nights sleep, drink plenty of water, reduce stress, and eat nutritious foods.

Murray has always supported local initiatives like sports teams and the Fall Fair, and takes great pride in his community. He is very excited for all of this to pass and for Lucknow to return to some form of normalcy. Before COVID Murray began some office renovations which he is excited to reveal later this year

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Growing Inclination toward Healthy Lifestyle to Propel Growth of Nonalcoholic Beer Market – TMR Research Blog

The nonalcoholic beer market expects to witness an upward trajectory in the growth rate during the forecast period. Growing awareness about the need for preventing alcohol consumption to avoid its ill-effects is the prime factor for growth generation in the nonalcoholic beer market. In addition rising coronary heart disease and hypertension cases due to alcohol consumption may further trigger the growth of the nonalcoholic beer market. Based on distribution, the nonalcoholic beer market is classified into offline and online channels. Offline channels include supermarkets and hypermarkets. Online channels include e-commerce sites. The online segment is expected to witness a surge, as people will prefer social distancing and avoid unnecessary crowding at markets due to the threat of novel coronavirus disease.

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Production of nonalcoholic beer variants by beer manufacturers to benefit the nonalcoholic beer market

To expand their product segment and spin the web of an expanded consumer base, beer manufacturers like Carlsberg, Budweiser, and Heineken have jumped in the production of nonalcoholic beers. The launch of nonalcoholic beer named Kirin Greens Free by Japans oldest brewery, Kirin, is a classic instance.

Acquisitions and collaborations are a common scenario in the nonalcoholic beer market. For instance, Scottish beer manufacturer Brewdog has collaborated with Lamb of God, an American heavy metal band to release a new non-alcoholic beer named Ghost Walker. Such collaborations ramp up the public relations activities and help in better promotion of nonalcoholic beers. Hence, such trends are expected to be constantly highlighted during the forecast period.

In addition, stringent age limit norms and considerably high taxes on alcoholic beverages in some regions may also prove strong factors for the growth of the nonalcoholic beer market.

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Some cultures and religions prohibit alcohol consumption. Hence, regions with significant influence of such cultures and religions can also prove to be growth multipliers for the nonalcoholic beer market.

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As Head of Marketing at TMR Research, Rohit brings to the table over a decade of experience in market research and Internet marketing. His dedication, perseverance, and passion for perfection have enabled him to achieve immense success in his field. Rohit is an expert at formulating new business plans and strategies to help boost web traffic. His interests lie in writing news articles on technology,healthcare and business.View all posts by Rohit Bhisey

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The Key to Handling Stress and COVID-19 SF Gate – msnNOW

Provided by SF Gate

By Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP, Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD, Michelle Williams, ScD, Ryan Castle, William C. Bushell, PhD, Kimberly Brouwer, PhD, and Paul J. Mills, PhD

Although COVID-19 is very easily transmitted from person to person, the risk of subsequent hospitalization and death primarily affects people who are already at risk because of old age, infirmity and/or chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, autoimmune illness, obesity, and heart disease. All of these chronic illnesses are associated with measurable low-grade inflammation in the body. The chronic low-grade inflammation that develops with advanced age has become known as inflammaging. Most people with chronic illness unknowingly have low-grade inflammation. Recent research points to a second finding: these same disorders are often accompanied by persistent low-grade anxiety and depression.

All of this as a background increases the danger for a person when acute illness strikes. In addition to the elderly and chronically ill, COVID-19 is causing acute respiratory illness and stroke sometimes leading to death in seemingly otherwise healthy younger individuals. The transition from SARS-CoV-2 infection to diagnosed COVID-19 is typically accompanied by a cytokine storm. Cytokines are proteins that are major drivers of inflammation, and their rapid increase, or "storm is one of the bodys immune responses to acute threat.

In addition, studies have connected pro-inflammatory cytokines to the stress response; they regulate well-known stress hormones such as ACTH and cortisol. Three major systems are involved: the immune system, the central nervous system and the endocrine hormone system.

In the face of these connections, we are coming forward to suggest that complementary practicesdeep breathing, yoga, and meditationcan play an important role during this pandemic. These practices have been confirmed by hundreds of scientific studies to bring down over-activity of the autonomic nervous system, calm the mind from anxiety, reduce the stress response, regularize heartbeat, and lower blood pressure. Together, all of these diverse benefits are associated with reducing the invisible presence of chronic low-grade inflammation, especially if added to good sleep, exercise, and proper diet.

We dont fully understand how the immune response, linked to stress and inflammation, can turn lethal. As a response to cuts, wounds, invading pathogens, and other threats, prior to antibody formation, the body first responds with inflammation as a normal yet crucial healing function. But it has long been known that inflammation is paradoxical. Acute inflammation can over-react, harming or even killing the patient. (Instances of strokes and heart attacks among young COVID-19 patients might be linked to micro-cytokine storms in the brain and heart.)

The threat from low-grade chronic inflammation was not discovered until recently but seems to be widespread. It is unaccompanied by the swelling, burning, and redness of the skin that marks acute inflammation and therefore goes undetected by the patient or physician. Preventing and addressing chronic low-grade inflammation and its significant adverse consequences are urgent issues, even more urgent during a pandemic. There seems to be every reason to make the public aware how deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and other healthy lifestyle practices can help during this crisis and long afterwards.

Deepak Chopra MD, FACP, Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego

Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD, Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School/MGH

Michelle Williams, SM, ScD, Dean of the Faculty, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Kimberly Brouwer, PhD, Professor and Chief, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, Division of Global Health, Infectious Diseases Epidemiology, at the University of California, San Diego

Ryan Castle, Executive Director of the Chopra Library

William C. Bushell, PhD, medical anthropologist and research director of the Chopra Library

Paul J. Mills, PhD, Professor and Chief, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, at the University of California, San Diego

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The Intersection of Psychology and the LGBTQ+ Perspective – Pepperdine University Graphic

Art by Elizabeth Brummer

The rainbow flag of the LGBTQ+ community celebrates themes of diversity, inclusivity and unity, encouraging kindness and acceptance. Yet for many queer individuals, their coming out experiences are anything but liberating.

With statistics showing LGBTQ+ youths being at an even greater risk for mental health struggles and queer youth suicide rates five times greater than their heterosexual counterparts, understanding how to support this community has never been more important.

[Its hard to] have to be the explainer, junior Grace Ramsey said. To just kind of always have someone give you this really, really blank look when you tell them about this super, super significant facet of who you are.

Bridging the Gap Between Societal Standards and Self-Acceptance

As a member of the asexual community, Ramsey said explaining their sexual orientation to others can be a challenge. Ramsey said if their orientation is brought up in conversation, they feel obligated to explain it; otherwise, others wont fully understand.

With explanation comes justification, because most of the time, people are like, Well, are you sure have you really just not met the right person yet?' Ramsey said.

Asexuality was only recently removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and is now recognized as a sexual orientation rather than a dysfunction. Ramsey said because theres such a conflation between love and sex in society, people forget that sexual and romantic attraction are vastly different.

No one understands what its like to not feel sexually attracted to other humans, except for other asexual people, Ramsey said. They cant wrap their minds around the fact that an asexual person could want to have a romantic relationship.

As Ramsey initially came to terms with their identity, they found the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN), an organization that helped them to feel less alone. For many in situations similar to Ramseys, talking to a specialist can be beneficial.

Taking the time to get counseling and reflect on how that has shaped me has been imperative in my understanding, senior Chase Manson said. Knowing when to just not give up to ask for help thats really important.

Manson said his journey with mental health has been an ongoing process. Manson said there are difficulties in the gay community, specifically regarding confidence.

I think in the gay community, there is a tendency to demonize ourselves sexually because were not, like, good enough, and that can lead to body image issues that can lead to depression, Manson said. [There can be] misinformation about what a healthy lifestyle looks like.

Ever since he was outed as opposed to coming out on his own terms, Manson said finding his tribe, or friends who are also part of the LGBTQ+ community, has allowed him to find confidence in his identity.

I was able to relate to someone and have a friend who I could talk to about this stuff, Manson said. That, to me, has really shaped not only my mental health journey but also my personal journey.

Many people perceive coming out as a one-time occurrence. Pepperdine counselor Esther Lee said the exploration of ones identity is not a singular decision its a continuous process.

Feeling different can be really difficult, Lee said. Ive heard from many students that it was difficult for them to have no environment that validated or normalized their experiences.

Self-acceptance of ones orientation can also become a resilience factor, Lee said.

When individuals are committed to their identity exploration, and when theyre open to understanding who they are, it can become a strong resource it can become their strength and resource, Lee said.

Some closeted individuals within the LGBTQ+ community, however, may not feel safe to receive the help they need.

[Having] a part of yourself that affects the way you see the world that must be hidden from other people really causes high levels of depression and anxiety, Psychology Professor Steven Rouse said.

As the faculty adviser of Crossroads, Pepperdines LGBTQ+ club, Rouse said organizations like the Trevor Project and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) are helpful resources for those who are struggling. Even so, some individuals might not feel comfortable seeing a specialist.

A lot of people avoid going to counseling because theyre afraid that its going to be an experience thats going to actually increase their level of distress and increase their level of self-hatred, Rouse said.

History and Relationships of LGBTQ+ Mental Health

Diving deep into the background of the DSM, Rouse said the DSM-1 was created in 1952 and included homosexuality as a sociopathic personality disorder. During this time, Rouse said, research revealed that personality tests of gay and straight men could not be differentiated.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is a comprehensive manual of all identified mental health disorders. It defines and classifies disorders and is used in the field by practicing mental health professionals. The most recent DSM is the DSM-5, which was published in May 2013.

In the DSM-3, which came out in 1980, the change was made so homosexuality was only a disorder if a person was attracted to members of the same sex but didnt want to be. A few years later, the DSM-3-R came out in 1987, and at that time, it was removed as a disorder.

Nearly three decades have passed, yet efforts to curb fluidity of sexual identities persist.

For many of those 30 years, there were many therapists who claimed to be able to change sexual orientation either under the name of reparative therapy or sexual orientation change efforts, Rouse said.

Ramsey said even within the LGBTQ+ community, there have been disagreements over recognition for each group. They said they have received comments over whether the A for asexuals within the LGBTQIAP+ acronym should be removed.

[People have said] its not a sexuality its a lack of sexuality, so we shouldnt be included in the community as well, Ramsey said. So it can be hard because sometimes theres not even a safe place for us in the LGBTQ+ community.

Lee said while the LGBTQ+ population is at a higher risk for emotional distress and mental disorders, many of these stressors come from external sources. Hate crimes, stereotypes, biased language and other microaggressions are just a few causes of declining mental health within the queer community.

If friends and loved ones are struggling to accept who they are, then, you know, those individuals might experience loss and grief because its such a loss of the relationship and trust, Lee said.

Speaking to Spirituality and Sexual Orientation

With mental health already a challenge, navigating religious rules, sexual orientation and external judgment can be a difficult journey for those in the queer community.

One of the biggest lies that the American church has told queer Christians is that they have to choose between one aspect of their identity or the other, Rouse said. Once a person comes to the realization that their sexual orientation is not something thats changeable a lot of people start then moving away from their Christian faith.

Rouse said finding a way to live a life that glorifies God while understanding the reality of their sexual orientation can be very challenging. Ramsey said as a Christian, they have learned to find strength in mindful meditation and prayer.

A big part of my mental health journey has been remembering that, you know, God loves me regardless of what other people say, even people who claim to have the same religion that I do, Ramsey said.

Overall, Ramsey said they have felt supported by the Pepperdine faculty and resources on campus such as the Counseling Center.

Manson said he is a big believer in mentorship and finding a spiritual or relational adviser.

If you know someone who is openly out or lives their life in a way that you find inspiring, talk to them gay or straight, Manson said. They have very good insightful knowledge that you can use to apply to your life.


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Remote working and home Wi-Fi strains – ITProPortal

Around-the-world, as we attempt to minimise the spread of the current pandemic, the new normal we now find ourselves in has truly impacted all aspects of our everyday lives. Millions of people globally have been thrown into new daily set-ups and routines. From children logging into virtual school lessons online, and limiting the time we spend outdoors, to finding new ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle and well-being, and video-calling loved ones to check-in.

As we are asked to stay home and limit outings to absolutely essential, some of the most significant changes were adapting to is carrying on with our nine-to-five jobs from home, to keep connected with colleagues and clients, and create a productive working environment in the process.

The upsurge of remote working across the world is extraordinary and has served as a learning curve for us all. Naturally, this has put pressure on millions of people to ensure we have the right provisions at home that enable us to carry out our jobs successfully, and allowing businesses to continue as normal as possible.

At the same time, life and work in quarantine has exposed us to just how much we depend on the technology we use on a day-to-day basis. From a work perspective, we need our computers and laptops, email, video conferencing tools and smartphones to run as seamlessly at home as they do in the office. Though outside of this, when the working day is done, we rely on the same connectivity for streaming our favouring TV shows on Netflix, keeping connected with friends and family on social media, and connecting to the world and community outside of our homes.

What was once intended simply for browsing the internet, connecting with friends on social media, and streaming films online must now also the bear additional pressures that we are now putting on the home network. It is therefore inevitable that connection quality and overall performance will suffer, and from time-to-time, well all experience varying degrees of dropouts, buffering and patchy video calls when using home Wi-Fi.

As lockdown remains in place for the foreseeable future, we will continue to rely on our home Wi-Fi networks and smart home ecosystems more than ever before, to keep us connected as well as entertained. This period will also force us to require a deeper understanding of our home networks and how we can maintain optimum performance.

Understandably, one of the main concerns for those working from home is that Wi-Fi or internet connectivity wont be able to cope with the number of connected devices, or that buffering and dropouts will impact their ability to do our jobs. Before Covid-19 was declared a global pandemic, D-Link Europe conducted research to explore how much people across Europe depend on home Wi-Fi networks, what the modern home network looks like, and if we know how to maintain them properly.

What we found paints a clear picture of Wi-Fi usage before the pandemic, at which time, 30 per cent of people across the continent believed that general internet browsing consumed the most Wi-Fi data in the home. Around one-third of people (30 per cent) felt that streaming their favourite TV shows online used most of their broadband. In contrast to todays new normal, only a mere 6 per cent of people believed that working from home was where their data was most consumed.

As part of this, we also looked to understand the number of connections in the average smart home, and the impact this had on connectivity performance. Of this, and perhaps somewhat predictably, we found that smartphones took an overwhelming lead as the most connected device at home, as more than 92 per cent of households claimed to have one or more paired to their router at any one time. This was followed by one or more computers (87 per cent), and then tablets, such as iPads, at 70 per cent of homes across Europe.

In fact, at the time of our research, 66 per cent of Europeans admitted they understood that their home Wi-Fi performance sometimes suffers due to the number of devices they have connected. Leading us to believe that never before has home Wi-Fi been as strenuously tested as it is now, as whole households convene to work, play and live stream using the same connection.

We also explored how confident people across Europe were at maintaining their Wi-Fi connection. We found that 20 per cent of people across the continent felt that they wouldnt know the necessary steps to fix their Wi-Fi in fact, more than a quarter of those surveyed werent 100 per cent certain what a home router was at all. As dependence on home Wi-Fi continues to grow over the coming weeks and months, now is the time to learn about your network set-up, and understand what you can do to get the best of it.

A good Wi-Fi connection is crucial to working at home, but there are other essential steps to consider, as well. Working from home while using modern team applications, such as Google Suite or Office 365, it is easy to overlook things which in a work environment second nature, like remembering to take regular breaks, since it is easy to cascade from one call to the next, compared to being in an office where a trip to the coffee machine or water cooler is a habit.

Creating and sticking to routines is equally important, as is creating a dedicated work area. This creates routine and this normality. Weaving a few exercises into the working day during these uncertain times is also a worth considering. Even if it is as simple as doing a circuit of the living room, the act of walking and stretching has therapeutic benefits.

On top of this, there are also some small, simple, and quick changes to our everyday IT set-up we can take to improve and better maintain a decent connection in the home, such as:

If youre running a business or working from home, for example, you might want to consider separating work and home internet traffic. One way to do this would be to deploy a dedicated SSID for each and applying bandwidth restrictions; one for internal use and the other for business use (with higher bandwidth and better SLA). This prevents kids from hogging the whole wireless network bandwidth to watch a Video on Demand service during a critical conference call, for example.

Around the world, millions are acclimatising to new routines, and adapting technology to suit how they live and work from home is fast becoming a priority. Yet, as we demand more from our home Wi-Fi, we also have the opportunity to learn more about how they can be improved or updated to accommodate the requirements of today and tomorrow.

It is also important to understand that distinguishing work from home life whilst working from home is part of the challenge as the two become more convoluted than ever before. From running a business to maintaining internet for a busy household, it is crucial, in these times, to be as prepared as possible for the best work-life balance in quarantine.

Paul Routledge, Country Manager, D-Link

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Unexpected effect? Russians give up booze and sweets as Covid-19 causes healthy lifestyle kick – RT

When it comes to the coronavirus, good news is few and far between. But, in Russia, a sudden silver lining may finally have been found: some people are drinking less and eating healthier.

According to a new survey from Roskachestvo Consumer Behavior Research Center and Online Market Intelligence, during the Covid-19 lockdown, Russian people have significantly changed their shopping habits to avoid from more harmful food and drink.

The study, conducted between April 21-22, shows that 45 percent of Russians gave up alcohol, 38 percent gave up sweets, and 35 percent gave up sausages. Interestingly, those from older age brackets were more likely to stop buying harmful products, with two-thirds (67 percent) of respondents over the age of 55 putting down the bottle.

The research also brought up some little quirks about regional variations in the country, discovering that those from Russia's Southern Federal District were more likely than the rest to give up fish (39 percent) and cheese (32 percent). In the North Caucasus region, some people (six percent) even stopped buying fresh vegetables an anomalous not-so-healthy choice. On the whole, 35 percent of those surveyed said that their food shopping costs had reduced since the start of quarantine, with 35 percent saying that theirs increased. Earlier this month, it was reported by Izvestia that figures from fiscal data operator Taxcom showed that vodka sales had dropped 41 percent in the first week of April.

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