60 minutes of exercise per day needed for middle-aged women to maintain weight

first_imgThe 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensityphysical activity, which can be achieved by 30 minutes a day, five days a week,and which is recommended by the federal government, while clearlysufficient based on data from many studies to lower the risk of developingchronic diseases, is insufficient for weight-gain prevention, withoutrestricting caloric intake. Among women who are already overweight or obese,physical activity — at least, at levels carried out by participants inthis study — is not related to weight change, emphasizing the importanceof controlling caloric intake for weight maintenance in this group.“These findings shouldn’t obscure the fact that forhealth, any physical activity is good, and more is better,” Lee emphasizes. “Itis important to remember that weight is only one aspect of health. Many studieshave shown that being physically active for even 30 minutes a day, five days aweek, significantly reduces the risk of developing many chronic diseases, suchas cardiovascular disease, some cancers, and type 2 diabetes.”This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health. If a middle-aged or olderwoman with a normal body mass index wants to maintain her weight over anextended period, she must engage in the equivalent of 60 minutes per day ofphysical activity at a moderate intensity, according to new findings by Harvard researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH).“There is plenty of research on treating overweight and obesity — that is,looking at strategies for weight loss among overweight or obese persons, butvery little research on preventing weight gain in the first place. Mostoverweight and obese persons who lose weight do not successfully maintain theirweight loss over time, and so, from a public health perspective, preventingthat initial weight gain is important,” said I-Min Lee, an associateprofessor of epidemiologyat Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), epidemiologist in the Division of Preventive Medicine at BWH, and associate professorof medicine at Harvard Medical School.center_img The findings are published inthe latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Lee and colleagues analyzed data reported from more than 34,000 healthy U.S.women in the Women’s Health Study over 13 years to examine the relationshipbetween the level of daily physical activity and weight change over time. Womenin the study reported their leisure-time physical activities every two to threeyears. Each time that physical activity was assessed, women were divided intothree groups, according to the amount of time they spent engaged in physicalactivity.The most active group of women spent the equivalent of 420 minutes a week(60 minutes a day) or more engaged in moderate-intensity physical activity.The second group engaged in the equivalent of at least 150 but less than420 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity, and the leastactive group engaged in the equivalent of less than 150 minutes a week ofmoderate-intensity physical activity.  An example of a moderate-intensityphysical activity is brisk walking.These three levels of physical activity were chosen based on the 2008 federalguidelines for physical activity, which recommended at least 150 minutes a weekof moderate-intensity physical activity for health, and a 2002 Institute ofMedicine report on recommended dietary intakes, which suggested that 60 minutesa day of moderate-intensity physical activity was needed to prevent beingoverweight, although the scientific basis for this level of activity has beenquestioned.Over the duration of the 13-year study, the average weight of participantsincreased by 6 pounds, which is a rate of weight gain similar to that ofcomparably aged women in the general population. Compared with the most activewomen, both the group physically active for 150 to less than 420 minutes a week,and the group physically active for less than 150 minutes a week gainedsignificantly more weight than the most active group. The two less-activegroups also were significantly more likely to gain at least 5 pounds, comparedwith the most-active group.Researchers discovered that the findings differed significantly, according towomen’s body mass index (BMI). Physical activity was associated with lessweight gain only among women with anormal BMI, which is less than 25. An average U.S. woman who is 5 feet, 5inches tall must weigh less than 150 pounds to have a normal BMI. Among heavierwomen, physical activity — at least, within the levels that study participantsundertook — was not related to less weight gain.In this study, researchers were able to identify a group of “successful weightmaintainers.” These were women who started with a normal BMI and managed tomaintain their weight, gaining less than 5 pounds at each weight assessment,throughout the study. These women, 13 percent of participants, consistentlyengaged in physical activity that was the equivalent of 60 minutes a day ofmoderate-intensity physical activity.Researchers concluded that:Among middle-aged and older women consuming ausual diet with no calorie restriction, moderate-intensity physicalactivity for 60 minutes a day is needed to maintain normal BMI and preventweight gain over time.last_img read more

Wenger praises ‘outstanding’ Cech

first_imgArsene Wenger praised Petr Cech after his goalkeeper made two vital saves to earn a point at home to Liverpool. “Second half I think we should have won the game, we were a bit unlucky, we lack still a little bit physically and collectively to finish well what we start. Our game is still not fluent enough in the final third.” After a difficult start to his Arsenal career, Cech was pleased to show what he can do following his summer move from Chelsea. ”When you start with a new club and everything goes wrong, you need to bounce back and this is what I tried to do,” he told Sky Sports. ”Today was one those games where I was in the right place at the right times and helped the team overcome a difficult moment in the first half. ”The shot of Coutinho, I saw the ball all the way so I managed to get there. With Benteke, I think it was Gabriel who tried to intercept the ball in front of me so I had to wait, I knew I had to be there fast and I got a bit of luck, I closed it down quickly enough.” Wenger was left disappointed by the decision to chalk off Ramsey’s strike and insisted he could tell at the time the midfielder was being played onside by Martin Skrtel. “It was a regular goal,” he added. “It was in a period of the game when we had the most problems defensively but it is a regular goal, I cant see why it was cancelled – it was clear. “I didn’t ask for an explanation, what does it change? It is about decision making and they got it wrong, I could see live that he could not be offside.” Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is still to see his side concede this season but was also left bemoaning the missed chances that could have given the visitors the win. “We definitely could have had all three points,” he said. “Performance-wise I was very happy with how we worked. First half in particular we created chances and should have been in front. In the second half you always expect pressure. “Our performance level has grown over time our defensive organisation is good against big teams. “Cech had a period of 10 to 15 minutes when he made some magnificent saves. Congratulations to the keeper. Simon Mignolet had to make some good saves as well of course.” It was roles reversed after the break as Arsenal looked the more likely to take the three points, but a fifth home game in six without a goal meant they had to settle for the draw. “We have started very average I must concede,” Wenger said after the game. “We have four points from two homes games and won the most difficult game away from home. “I think sharpness is missing a little bit in some players. I would like to give credit to Liverpool, they defended well and were quick to close us down. “With the domination we had in the second half if you don’t score the first goal the other team doesn’t come out.” Wenger went into the game with both first-choice centre-backs sidelined as Per Mertesacker missed out through illness and Laurent Koscielny was absent with a back complaint. Calum Chambers and Gabriel were thrown together, with the former struggling against Benteke and Coutinho in the first half – although Wenger praised his defence for keeping a clean sheet. He said: “I believe they have not the experience to play together, they have come in from one day to the next but overall we didn’t concede and Petr Cech saved us two or three times in the first half – during that period he was outstanding. Press Association Although the summer recruit was key to the Gunners taking a share of the spoils, Arsenal will feel hard done by having had a legitimate Aaron Ramsey goal disallowed for offside and – with one win from their opening three games – Wenger conceded it has been an average start to their Premier League campaign. Cech made a point-blank stop to deny Christian Benteke and also tipped a Philippe Coutinho strike onto the post as Liverpool dominated the first-half. last_img read more

Heineken Shares Football Drama with Champions League Â

first_imgPremium lager brand, Heineken, will continue to share the drama of the UEFA Champions League to football fans in Lagos, Abuja and Port-Harcourt for the rest of the 2017/2018 Champions League season.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Premium Lager beer, Heineken, has continued to share the drama of football with fans across the country via its exclusive UEFA Champions League viewing experiences. Last Wednesday, Heineken transformed the Tak Klub House, Abuja and Ember Creek, Victoria Island, Lagos, into enviable premium viewing centres for Nigerian fans to enjoy the the Liverpool versus Manchester City and Barcelona against Roma matches. These matches were broadcast live to venues filled with excited football fans.The stunning night began with fun games, great conversations and laughter as guests flooded the centres to watch their favorite teams vie for a chance at the coveted UEFA Champions League trophy. Football fans were treated to exhilarating quizzes to loosen them up in anticipation of the adrenaline packed matches. Chilled glasses of Heineken were circulated among the excited crowd as they waited for the first half to begin.The fans who were amped up from the first half, relaxed with fun games and quizzes at half time. As some fun-seeking fans went forward to participate in the thrilling quizzes, delicious small chops and cold glasses of Heineken were served to the guests who watched on. Branded prizes were handed to the excited winners of the quizzes and games.last_img read more

Terry happy to play alongside Ferdinand at the Euros

first_imgJohn Terry has insisted that he would have no problem playing alongside Rio Ferdinand at the European Championships this summer.There has been speculation about whether the pair will line up together for England given that Chelsea skipper Terry has been accused of racially abusing Manchester United defender Ferdinand’s brother Anton when the Blues played QPR in October.But in an interview with The Sun, Terry stated that he would never pass up the opportunity to play for his country.He said: “I don’t have an issue playing with anyone and never have done. I don’t pick and choose who plays for England and if I’m selected to play it won’t become an issue either.”Asked about rumours he considered quitting the national team after being stripped of the captaincy, Terry replied: “I’m not going to throw away my international career for anyone. I am proud to represent my country. I will never turn my back on England.“I was baffled by these rumours about me quitting. I even had players coming up saying they heard I was going to quit.“But I never considered quitting. I was deeply disappointed by the FA’s decision to strip me of the captaincy as it meant the world to me. But sometimes you just have to accept these things and move on.”Meanwhile, The Sun say Jose Mourinho is set to snub the chance to return to Chelsea and will sign a new contract at Real Madrid worth £10m a year after tax.A Madrid source is quoted as saying: “We are very, very close to clinching an agreement.“Talks have gone extremely well and Jose now has the new contract and we are just waiting for him to sign.”Click here for the Chelsea v Liverpool quizFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Things to know: Erik Karlsson explains why he’s ready to rejoin Sharks lineup

first_imgBOSTON — Erik Karlsson is recovering from his groin injury a lot more quickly this time around.Karlsson expects to rejoin the Sharks lineup on Tuesday for the team’s tilt with the Boston Bruins after missing Sunday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings. The two-time Norris Trophy winner sat out of Sunday’s bout after he re-aggravated a groin injury that recently sidelined him for nine games in Columbus on Saturday. The re-tweak also forced him to miss the last 33:04 of Saturday’s game against …last_img read more

Of Planets and People

first_imgHere’s a quick tour of the planets to see what’s newsworthy.Mercury:  Planets with oddball orbits like Mercury, so close to the sun, seem unlikely locations for life, but Astrobiology Magazinebegs to differ.  Mercury (and exoplanets with similar “oddball” orbits) could get into a resonant state that might allow sunlight to support photosynthesis, the article says.  Conclusion: there could be thousands of other locations for life in the universe.  Closer reading shows admissions that it would be “challenging” for life to exist under those conditions.  For example, “the threat of prolonged periods of darkness and cold on these planets would present significant challenges to life, and could even potentially freeze their atmospheres,” yet a thick atmosphere would be needed to protect the planet from radiation, since slow spin would likely mean a weak magnetic field.  A photo caption adds another difficulty: “It is difficult to form Mercury in solar system simulations, suggesting that some of our assumptions about the small planet’s formation might be wrong, a new study suggests.”Venus:  Astronomers at San Francisco State think they have learned how to detect a “Venus zone” about any given exoplanet.  This can help them distinguish between habitable planets around other stars from those “likely to exhibit the unlivable conditions found on the planet Venus.”  In current thinking, Earth and Venus had similar starting conditions.  “Knowing how common Venus-like planets are elsewhere will also help astronomers understand why Earth’s atmosphere evolved in ways vastly different from its neighbor.”Earth:  Geomagnetic storm?  Not to worry:  A couple of weeks ago, a major geomagnetic storm from the sun hit the Earth.  Nothing happened.  Life went on, most people oblivious to the danger.  In advance of the arrival, Science Magazine explained in “A geomagnetic storm is coming—should I worry?” that the only effect people might notice is some especially beautiful displays of auroras.   An idea posted on PhysOrg suggests that Mars became barren and lifeless when its atmosphere was stripped from coronal mass ejections (CMEs) from the sun; Earth, by contrast, has always been protected because of its strong, global magnetic field.  Why Venus retains a thick atmosphere without a strong magnetic field was not explained.  For more about Earth, see today’s other entry, “Earth as a Habitable Planet.”Mars:  The big news at Mars has been the arrival of NASA’s new MAVEN spacecraft (PhysOrg) and India’s first venture into Martian exploration, the Mars Orbital Mission, or MOM (PhysOrg).  Aside from that, the rovers continue roving and the previous orbiters continue orbiting.   Astrobiology Magazine shows that hope for life on Mars seen in meteorites has not disappeared: “A tiny fragment of Martian meteorite 1.3 billion years old is helping to make the case for the possibility of life on Mars, say scientists.”  A similar announcement launched the new “science” of astrobiology in 1996.  This new article’s perhapsimaybecouldness index is high: “Life as we know it, in the form of bacteria, for example, could be there, although we haven’t found it yet. It’s about piecing together the case for life on Mars – it may have existed and in some form could exist still.”Jupiter:  Since the story about possible plate tectonics on Europa (see 9/08/14), Jupiter has been a relatively silent planet in the news.Saturn, however, is a newsy place.  NASA awarded the Cassini Team high honors as an “excellent” mission, handily beating out the Mars Curiosity Rover, whose team has lacked focus (PhysOrg).  What’s new in Saturn science?Rings:  Cassini scientists are baffled over the reduction in bright clumps in the rings since Voyager flew by in 1981, a JPL press release says.  “Compared to the age of the solar system — about four-and-a-half billion years — a couple of decades are next to nothing.” Yet “Saturn’s F ring looks fundamentally different from the time of Voyager to the Cassini era,” one scientist said.  Astrobiology Magazine also discussed this mystery.  Despite the puzzle, the article presented a positive spin, saying that the observed processes are helping astronomers understand the origin of our solar system.“In addition to the drama of moons that come and go over less than a human lifetime, studies of the ring system give insight into how solar systems in general are built.“The sort of processes going on around Saturn are very similar to those that took place here 4.6 billion years ago, when the Earth and the other large planets were formed,” notes [Robert] French [SETI Institute]. “It’s an important process to understand.“Titan:  January will mark the 10th anniversary of the Huygens Probe landing on Titan (see PhysOrg for Cassini firsts).  A paper in Icarus wrestles with the brightness of parts of Saturn’s giant moon.  Some areas look like fresh bedrock of water ice, while others seem consistent with solid organic compounds precipitated out of the atmosphere.  There appears to be more water ice than earlier thought.  For instance, the vast equatorial dune fields seem enriched in water ice, and so must not be primarily piles of precipitated atmospheric hydrocarbons.  Another paper on Icarus wrestles with the nature and fate of evaporite deposits.  Space.com attempts to find whether missing Titan rains might be stored in underground reservoirs.Uranus and Neptune: the “water giants” don’t get much press because the last flyby missions took place in 1986 and 1989 (see 8/25/14 story about Neptune’s active moon Triton).  Planetary scientists, however, continue to model them on computers.  A French team now claims success explaining Uranus and Neptune in their models, according to PhysOrg.  Speaking of problems with accretion, location and deuterium-to-hydrogen ratios, the new French model “solves all of these problems at once.”  PhysOrg puts a question mark at the end of “The origin of Uranus and Neptune elucidated?”  If history is any guide, the success will be short-lived, until the next team addresses the mysteries of these two planets (cf 5/30/02).  Meanwhile, a paper in Nature thinks that water absorption lines in Neptune are in “good agreement with the core-accretion theory of planet formation”—a bit of a stretch for a spectral line.Miranda, a small moon of Uranus, made news recently, even though the one-and-only encounter was by Voyager 2 back in 1986.  And a famous encounter it was, showing one of the most bizarre moon surfaces in the solar system, decked out with dramatic “coronae” or raised regions completely different from the cratered surroundings.  Leading theories at the time invoked multiple impact scenarios to account for the strange surface, claiming the moon must have disrupted and re-accreted several times.  Now, a new team publishing in Geology claims it can account for the coronae with a variation on plate tectonics driven by tidal heating.  The new theory was summarized on Astrobiology Magazine and PhysOrg.  To work, it had to occur when the small moon was in an eccentric orbit some time in the unobservable past, the scientists say.  The summaries do not explain why the coronae are less cratered than the surrounding terrain, nor why they have sharp boundaries and high cliffs.Pluto:  The outermost “planet” or “dwarf planet” (most people still want to call Pluto a “planet,” according to Space.com and National Geographic) is awaiting its first NASA visit next July.  The New Horizons spacecraft is getting close enough for distant pictures; it has imaged Pluto’s small moon Hydra, PhysOrg reported.  Meantime, Icarus reported evidence for “longitudinal variability of ethane ice on the surface of Pluto” from Earth-based telescopes.  “Ethane ice is seen to vary with longitude in an unexpected way,” the team says.  “Volatile transport is responsible for the observed distribution.” Any observations should be considered tentative till the spacecraft arrives for a closer look.Comets:  The Philae lander on the Rosetta spacecraft is getting ready for its historic landing on 7P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in November.  PhysOrg printed an interview with Claudia Alexander, one of the planetary scientists working on the Rosetta mission, about what the year-long orbiting mission and three-day landing mission hopes to find.Exoplanets:  A paper in Nature and an article on PhysOrg deal with planet formation.  Both struggle with the problem of dust and small pebbles accreting into bodies large enough to attract more material by gravity before they migrate into a death spiral into the star.  PhysOrg takes some comfort from the fact that exoplanets are common, and from a recent discovery of possible pebble-sized objects in the Orion Nebula, but advises caution, because astronomers are not sure if the pebbles (if that’s what are observed) are growing by accretion, or “if they are debris remnants from another process.”  Nature says that “models of migration have not successfully predicted any populations of planets before they were observed.”  In another surprise, Astrobiology Magazine reported an exoplanet that makes its parent star look “deceptively old.”  According to one astronomer, “We think the planet is aging the star by wreaking havoc on its innards.”Is it the planets (Gr. planetai, wanderers) who wander, or the scientists who wander as they wonder about the universe, without a God to plan it? (Visited 15 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Black boxes found in Colombian plane crash

first_imgBAe146 Credit: Keith Newsome Investigators have recovered the flight data and cockpit voice recorders – the “black boxes’’ – from the wreckage of a Bolivian plane that crashed in Colombia on Monday carrying the Chapecoense football team.The recorders, which will be instrumental in uncovering what went wrong with the plane, are said to be in good condition.Seven  of the 68  passengers  and nine crew on board the plane survived the crash near Medellin’s Jose Maria Cordova International Airport but one survivor subsequently succumbed to injuries to put the death toll at 71. Authorities originally thought there were 81 people on board but four did not board the doomed plane.The dead included soccer players heading to play a final in Colombia and journalists covering the event.The 95-seat Avro RJ-85, registered CP-2933 and owned by Lamia Airlines, was operating  flight LMI-2933 from Sao Paulo Brazil via Santa Cruz in Bolivia to Medellin and was about 30km south-east of the airport in a holding pattern when it crashed in the mountains.An airforce helicopter had to turn back due to low visibility and weather has been bad in the area.Medellin’s Mayor Federico Gutierrez told Blu Radio that said that it is a “tragedy of huge proportions.,”The Colombian Civil Aviation Authority said that the pilots declared an emergency at 10pm local time saying they had electrical problems.The accident has shocked the football world anda left Brazilians mourning the loss Chapecoense, which had been due to play Atletico Nacional in the finals of Copa Sudamericana 2016 in Medellin.The first division team, from the small city of Chapeco, made it to Brazil’s first division in 2014 for the first time since 1970 and won its way through to the Copa Sudamericana finals last week by defeating one of Argentina’s top clubs San Lorenzo.The finals were suspended.Medellin’s Jose Maria Cordova International Airport is located at an altitude of 2142m amongst mountains.According to Flightradar24 the plane crashed while in the holding pattern at about 16,000ft.The particular Avro RJ85 was built in 1999 and was one of two owned by the small Bolivian airline.last_img read more

Q&A with South Africans working at Doctors Without Borders

first_imgSpanning the globe, the international organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) – Doctors Without Borders in English – helps those affected by natural disasters or caught in conflict zones. We profile South Africans working in this organisation, elevating the country’s reputation through the work they do.Claire Waterhouse has been an MSF fieldworker since 2012. She works during the Ebola outbreak in Western Africa in 2015. (Image: Supplied)Compiled by Priya PitamberIn 1971, 13 doctors and journalists in France joined forces to form Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), known in English as Doctors Without Borders.Its aim, reads the MSF website, was to “establish an independent organisation that focuses on delivering emergency medical aid quickly, effectively and impartially while also speaking out about what they witnessed”.On its founding, it comprised 300 volunteers ranging from nurses to doctors and other staff to help people in distress, both natural and man-made and those caught in the middle of armed conflict.Watch:“MSF remains fiercely independent of both governments and institutions,” reads the website. “MSF also reserves the right to speak out to bring attention to neglected crises, challenge inadequacies or abuse of the aid system, and to advocate for improved medical treatments and protocols.”Today, the MSF has offices in 28 countries, including South Africa. And South Africans in the organisation help raise the country’s profile through the work they do. We talk to four such MSF staff.Claire Waterhouse joined the MSF as a field worker in 2012.Stefan Kruger, a doctor with the MSF, is proud to contribute as a South African to the international community during times of need. (Image: Supplied)Stefan Kruger, 33, is a Cape Town doctor. He has sporadically worked for the MSF since 2012.Anna Cilliers is a professional nurse with the MSF. She travels to South Sudan in June 2013 for a vaccination campaign to reduce the spread of seasonal meningitis. (Image: Supplied)Anna Cilliers, 47, is a nurse and has been with the MSF since 2012. She is responsible for co-ordinating medical activities at project/field level.Midwife Jeanne Rene (Zani) Prinsloo has been with Doctors Without Borders since 2012. She’s travelled to Pakistan, the Philippines, Afghanistan, South Sudan and other countries putting her skills use. (Image: Supplied)Jeanne Rene (Zani) Prinsloo, originally from the Eastern Cape but now living in Johannesburg, is a social worker and a midwife. She has been with the MSF since 2012.Brand South Africa: How did you get into this role?Claire Waterhouse: I had moved back to South Africa from Hong Kong and was looking for a job. MSF caught my eye and luckily, I caught theirs too. They offered me a mission in the Central African Republic for six months and the rest is history.Stefan Kruger: I always had the idea of spending at least a part of my career doing humanitarian work. When the timing was right I followed the normal recruitment process of MSF South Africa.Anna Cilliers: As a young and inexperienced nurse, I was introduced to the work of MSF during the 1980s when I read The Dressing Station by Jonathan Kaplan, where he also writes about his work experiences with MSF in conflict zones. I knew then that I would like to join MSF in the future.I qualified and worked as an intensive care nurse and in 2003 joined international medical humanitarian organisations to work in Iraq and Liberia.In 2007, I returned to South Africa and worked for a few years in Johannesburg with community-based organisations. In 2012, I applied at MSF. My work and life experiences prior to that definitely prepared me for my work with MSF. My first project in June 2013 was as a nurse in South Sudan where we did a vaccination campaign to reduce the spread of seasonal meningitis.Jeanne Rene (Zani) Prinsloo: Two quotes inspired me a great deal:“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhiand“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” – Muhammed AliMy skills, strong sense of humanity and willingness to positively contribute to improving other people’s lives were the motivating factors for me to join MSF.Here I am four years later, still at MSF and I am happy to have made this decision. I also love travelling, so by joining MSF, I am also [able] do that.BSA: How does your work help elevate South Africa’s national profile?CW: There are not that many South Africans in the field, so I hope that when we are seen in the field, it helps to elevate the country’s profile by showing that there are South Africans out there working hard all over the world to make a difference and provide emergency medical care to those who need it most.SK: MSF is a truly multinational organisation and it is part of an international community that cares about some of the greatest tragedies of our time. I love the fact that I get to be a part of it, as a South African.AC: MSF makes it possible for nondescript South Africans like me to help elevate South Africa’s profile. MSF provides opportunities for South Africans to work and live in places where access to medical care is severely limited.In the different countries where MSF is present, we predominantly work in partnership with the national ministries of health. In Pakistan where I worked for the past 20 months as the project medical co-ordinator at a hospital in the north western region, I might not be remembered by name, but as the South African nurse/co-ordinator who worked with MSF.My responsibility for representation is to both MSF and South Africa. I’ve observed in the different countries where I have worked, national health authorities – once they know I’m from South Africa – will refer to South Africans who previously worked in the country.Mostly these South Africans with MSF have been remembered for their good technical skills, their humanitarianism and as being good people.It is MSF that raises South Africa’s humanitarian profile internationally by employing skilled and experienced persons to work in its projects.JP: I am proud to be from South Africa, and from the African continent. It is always interesting to discuss our vast history, and people find it fascinating.In essence, working with MSF internationally gives me an opportunity to represent my country, and introduce other nationalities to this unique, special and beautiful part of Africa.I am proud that South Africa has a lot of qualified healthcare professionals who can serve the country and beyond. I am always proud to serve others beyond my borders.BSA: What has been the highlight of your career?CW: There have been many, many highlights, but I think near the top is probably being involved in the Ebola crisis last year. This was especially towards the end of the epidemic, in Guinea, where we finally started to feel like we had overcome it and that there might be light at the end of the tunnel.SK: I became quite involved with the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The highlight was not the start, when it took centre stage in international media, but going back to West Africa for a third time and seeing that there was an end in sight.AC: The “thank yous” from patients whose lives were saved or from those who benefited from our services.It is also enriching when we are able to provide supportive care, such as pain control, and to be there in times of need. I have had the honour of being part of this kind of care in conflict zones and in Ebola projects.Other highlights are when communities and health authorities gratefully acknowledge our services in their towns and villages, which often are rural settings with no or limited infrastructure.The acknowledgements ultimately go to the donors who contribute to the work of MSF and to the office teams in our home countries who make it possible for us to provide the humanitarian services worldwide where needed.JP: Over the years, I have had the privilege of working in various countries and places; all of them are different in many ways. Use your imagination to travel with me:In the Philippines, the devastating Typhoon Haiyan left many people homeless and without access to medical care. However, the positive attitude of the Filipinos taught me some valuable life lessons and gratitude. Despite losing everything, they remained resilient and adapted to the new situation.In Pakistan, I experienced quite a culture shock and I had to adapt to strict cultural norms and values. Although Pakistan is similar to Afghanistan in many ways, the hospitality and warmth of the Pashtu culture surprised me. The Pakistani MSF colleagues are among the best people with whom I have ever worked.When I worked in a refugee camp in South Sudan I realised that it was possible for us to make people feel like “we found love in a hopeless place”. The simplicity of everyday life, and MSF camping style meant living conditions were challenging. Our vibrant team, both local and international, taught me to go back to basics and together we survived.The highlights of a career in this field are definitely contributing to decreasing maternal and neonatal mortality, ensuring access to healthcare for people who are otherwise excluded.In addition, working with amazing international teams teaches you a lot, just as much as they learn from you. This is a great privilege to be exposed to diversity – to learn it and to live it.BSA: What has been the most challenging part of your job and how did you overcome it?CW: Honestly, it’s probably feeling homesick, missing the familiar and your family and friends. You overcome this just by going on. The field is tough but rewarding and you meet amazing people and make lasting friendships to get you through each mission.Equally, the Ebola crisis was extremely emotionally draining and challenging on all levels. It was really difficult to face the enormity of the situation every day, especially in Liberia.I’m not sure if we ever really overcame the challenge, just learnt to focus on the good instead: our brilliant national staff on the ground who gave up everything so bravely to work for their countries, every patient we managed to heal, the feeling of working in a team so united to beat this thing.SK: Doctors tend to always want to do things hands on, right there and then. With MSF, there are often bigger rewards when planning and putting longer term systems in place, at times a tough balance to strike.I remember hearing a distant explosion while in Afghanistan and instead of rushing to the emergency room with my colleagues, [I] stayed back to finish the inventory for our mass casualty kits.AC: The most challenging part of my job is to accept the things we cannot do. The tough choices. When working in a conflict zone or in a remote resource-limited area, MSF has to prioritise care.This means, for example, we cannot provide the specialised treatment to individual patients diagnosed with cancer or children who need heart surgeries as this requires highly specialised care facilities and personnel.We will provide supportive care and often refer them to other organisations or the local ministry of health who might be able to help.JP: The lack of sleep! Once you’re on an assignment adrenaline takes over, and you just want to keep working. The desire to do more in a very short period of time is the driving factor.However, working with a good team always helps because you can delegate some duties to fellow team members. This helps to ensure sustainability of a project and it equips team members with different skills.I have also seen that we cannot save everyone because women and babies access our services too late just because of the particular circumstances in remote areas or conflict zones. However, we never give up, and our focus remains on saving as many lives as we can.Yes these realities are hard but I am not desensitised. In all of this, three simple words always help me in making decisions: “Know your limits”.Working in war and conflict zones poses its own challenges, and keeping our teams and patients safe in our facilities remains a priority. Living conditions, especially in emergency settings, can also be challenging. I always practise yoga to keep me focused and balanced, and it’s an activity widely practised by MSF team members in different projects.BSA: What advice can you offer anyone interested in getting into a line of work such as yours?CW: If this is what you want, don’t give up! It’s not always easy to get into this line of work, but it is so worth it, even though there are difficult at times. The work MSF does makes me proud to work here every single day.SK: Some people may not go back to the field for a second mission, but no one regrets the first.AC: MSF requires professional, skilled and experienced doctors, nurses, para-medical staff, health management, logistics experts, human resources, administration and finance personnel to deliver a high standard of care in our projects.I would advise anyone who would like to join MSF to be intentional in career choices and to get at least two to three years of experience in your particular field of work before applying.I am glad I had 12 years of nursing experience in different contexts and other humanitarian settings before I joined MSF.The living and working conditions with MSF often are challenging due to the unpredictable security contexts of the location and therefore a mature approach and prior life and specific work experience are invaluable advantages to help ease challenges in the field.JP: It is a privilege to do this work. And while it is not easy, it is very rewarding because your skills can be used where they are needed most:Working with MSF will enrich your experience but you also need to be flexible, adaptable and creative to keep thinking outside of the box.If you like extreme travelling and adventure, this it is for you.Be humble and always willing to learn. Team work is key in realising our end goal.You might miss the comforts and familiarity of home, but you always get the best out of every assignment you go on.You will learn so much about yourself on a personal and professional level, pushing yourself to the limits, ultimately becoming a better human being.BSA: Is there anything else you’d like to add specifically related to your field?SK: There is actually a fair amount of diversity in the projects that MSF takes on. It therefore requires a wide range of different professionals, with different interests and / or specialities.AC: Working with MSF is more than a job for me; it’s my passion and vocation. How MSF started and why it exists resonates with my core outlook on life.I am passionately South African as well because what we’ve experienced in our country has prepared me to work in cross-cultural settings in politically unstable and conflict countries. Our history, as South Africans, has also taught me tolerance and to listen and learn from people who are different from me or my tribe. Thank you fellow South Africans for providing me with this priceless gift.If you’d like to work with MSF, click here, or if you’d like to donate, click here.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

State budget includes initiatives for agriculture

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest  Leave a CommentThe state’s main operating budget for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 was signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine after being passed by the Ohio Legislature July 17, two and a half weeks later than its June 30 deadline. “Farm Bureau applauds the Ohio House and Senate for including two of our highest priority issues, preservation of the business income deduction and a collaborative plan to address water quality challenges through Gov. DeWine’s H2Ohio Initiative, in the state’s operating budget,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau. “Farm Bureau also appreciates the funding increases for our partners at the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Extension Services, and Soil and Water Conservation Districts, all of whom deliver critical information to our farmers regarding best practices.”  The legislature allocated $172 million in funding for H2Ohio for this budget cycle through the use of budget surpluses. Funding will be divided between the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to support water quality improvement projects. Long-term funding is still being addressed in a stand alone bill. “The governor’s approach to water quality is refreshing for Ohio agriculture. The H2Ohio initiative and its extensive resources shows an understanding of the complexities that come with this issue,” Sharp said. “This funding being included in the state budget is a great example of how this administration and legislators are fully committed to work with farmers throughout the state toward the common goal of clean water.” Other items of interest to Ohio Farm Bureau members:Previous versions of the budget contained a reduction to the business income deduction (BID), which exempts the first $250,000 of business income for a pass-through entity and levies a flat tax rate of 3% after that $250,000 threshold. Reducing the BID would have raised taxes on small businesses by $1 billion, but due to hundreds of emails from members of business organizations such as Farm Bureau to their legislators, the BID was restored to current law. Ohio Farm Bureau testified on this issue, sent several action alerts to members, and supported the final version.The budget also contains language that expands the defense for agriculture in a nuisance suit to anyone enrolled in CAUV. OFBF supported this provision.OFBF also advocated for increased funding to Meat Inspection and Food Safety, which both received those increases as did the Ohio Proud program. The graduation requirements for high school students have been raised to increase academic rigor in the standards to better prepare students for the workforce. OFBF is part of a larger business coalition that advocated for these graduation requirements.Online extraAs details are released about Ohio’s new two-year, $69 billion budget, Ohioans will be hearing a lot about a 4% state income tax cut, 21 being the new age to buy tobacco or vaping products and a new presidential primary date. However, there are significant items in the budget pertaining to agriculture. Ty Higgins, Ohio Farm Bureau director of media relations, gets those details from staff policy experts Tony Seegers and Jenna Beadle and legal counsel Leah Curtis.Transcript  Leave a Commentlast_img read more

Did The EPEAT Environmental Registry Cave On Apple’s Retina MacBook Pro?

first_imgRelated Posts IT + Project Management: A Love Affair 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now brian proffitt Just three months after Apple’s public relations snafu that saw the company mysteriously leave the computer industry’s EPEAT environmental standards program and then come back again under a cloud of shame, it turns out the Mac/iPhone maker had little to worry about. All of the products Apple submitted to the registry, including the Retina MacBook Pro at the heart of the original controversy, have now qualified for EPEAT status anyway.That development, though, has gotten a lot of folks angry, including environmental organization Greenpeace and noted repair site iFixit.org, who have accused EPEAT of watering down its standards in order to accommodate what they describe as Apple’s decidedly non-environmental hardware.The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) registry rates devices on their “greenness.” based on factors such as longevity, upgradability and recyclability. EPEAT is sponsored by grants from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and revenue from industry participants in its registry, specifically annual fees based on a company’s sales and revenue in an evaluated product’s category, according to Sarah O’Brien, Director of Outreach and Communications for EPEAT.Of EPEAT’s 47 participants, O’Brien emphasized, “Apple pays only a small part of our total revenue.”O’Brien’s statement was aimed at countering comments from Greenpeace and iFixIt that implied that because Apple was essentially paying for its own certification, the company was able to call the shots as far as receiving Gold certification for the Retina MacBook Pro.The Retina Lightning RodThe Retina MacBook Pro has become the poster child for Apple’s avoidance of green standards. In June, criticism for Apple’s recyclability came to a head when iFixit noted that the laptop used a lot of glue to bind the display, case and boards within the device together. In iFixit’s opinion at the time, this makes the device very hard to service and recycle.It’s an assertion iFixit is very strongly maintaining.“Apple’s Retina MacBook Pro – the least repairable, least recyclable computer I have encountered in more than a decade of disassembling electronics – was just verified ‘Gold’, along with four other ultrabooks,” blogged iFixit’s Kyle Wiens. “This decision demonstrates that the EPEAT standard has been watered down to an alarming degree.”Greenpeace went even farther in its assertions.“Apple wanted to change the EPEAT standards when it knew its MacBook Pro with Retina Display would likely not qualify for the registry in July of this year – now EPEAT has reinterpreted its rules to include the MacBook Pro and ultrabooks,” Greenpeace IT analyst Casey Harrell said in a statement to PC World.“Is it a coincidence?” Harrell continued. “It’s unclear why EPEAT caved in, but the impact is that EPEAT has confused consumers and businesses who want to buy green electronics that can be repaired and will last a long time, and sets a dangerous trend for the burgeoning market of ultrabooks.”EPEAT Fires BackO’Brien was equally assertive in her defense of EPEAT’s evaluation of the Retina MacBook and other products.“We are a standards-based program,” O’Brien told me, referring to the IEEE 1680.1 standards. “Our verification and registry of products is based on those standards.”O’Brien’s boss, CEO Robert Frisbee, also defends the groups actions.“Once standards are defined and agreed-upon, EPEAT’s focus becomes verifying products that are on the registry. EPEAT staff are not directly involved in the investigations, and do not have any authority to alter the requirements to let participants off the hook. Through investigations by independent contractors, products are either found conformant to the standard or not,’ Frisbee wrote in EPEAT’s blog this week in reaction to the media kerfuffle.Both EPEAT staff members emphasized that since EPEAT follows the letter of the standards when it has products tested, it is doing its job as expected. O’Brien outlined how many stakeholders, from manufacturers to environmental non-government organizations (NGOs) like Greenpeace, are involved in the standards-building process.“The ideal situation is that everyone brings their perspectives and goals to the standards discussions,” O’Brien said. But, she added, those goals have to be balanced with the need to actually have products be able to achieve the standards at some point.O’Brien defended the notion that EPEAT’s standards are easy to attain. “When the Registry first launched, there were no Gold products for a year.”Currently there are 1,573 active Gold-rated products in EPEAT’s Gold level of certification. By contrast, 671 have achieved Silver status and 38 have Bronze status.EPEAT’s Present and FutureTo meet minimal EPEAT standards, products have to meet 28 baseline regulatory requirements set by the EPA. To get EPEAT’s additional levels of certification (Bronze, Silver, and Gold), the product has to rate well in optional criteria such as the reduction/elimination of environmentally sensitive materials and design for end-of-life.While EPEAT is not itself a government organization, its product ratings can be important to governments. U.S. federal agencies, for example, are required to give EPEAT-registered products preference in procurement decisions. This, more than anything else, is why most people believed Apple returned its products to EPEAT’s registry in July.What is not clear is why Apple would leave EPEAT to begin with. O’Brien said that her organization still does not know what prompted Apple’s initial departure.For now, EPEAT and other organizations, including the EPA, are beginning talks to revise the IEEE standards. O’Brien says this is critical in order to keep the standards relevant to the fast changes in hardware design.“We have to get the goal and vision out head of rapid changes,” O’Brien said.Image courtesy of Shutterstock / ReadWriteWeb. center_img Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Tags:#Apple#enterprise Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more