A person’s resting metabolism is very sensitive to temperature, and offices are often too cold for people. Steelcase/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA
With millions of Americans vaccinated against COVID-19, many who have worked from home over the past year will be heading back into the office. Adjusting to new routines is challenging and can affect our health and fitness. We’ve been more sedentary or more active, gained weight or dropped pounds.
As part of my work as a biomedical engineer, I study how physical factors influence human metabolism. This includes height and weight, gravity – and air temperature. My research colleagues and I have found that living or working in a cool environment for extended periods can lower core body temperature. That decreases metabolic rate – how fast we burn calories – and commonly causes weight gain.
Update - May 2021:
It's hard to believe that it's now been over one year since the Covid-19 Pandemic hit the world. Below this post is our June 2020 posting telling our clients that we're open. We are very much still open. Monday thru Friday 8am to 5pm.
During this extraordinary past year, The Computing Center had to pivot our business model more than once to meet our clients needs.
- As an essential business, we had figure out ways to have a number of our staff regularly come to the office and keep everyone safe and healthy. We created an office cleaning regimene, got everyone masks, found disenfectants that were in short supply for a while, and developed procedures for equipment dropoffs and pickups.
- We needed to operate remotely which we knew how to do, but to do so with more of our staff AND many more of our clients also working remotely. That turned out to be challenging, but our staff and our clients quickly detrmined the best ways to do so.
- We and all the other business owners and management had to navigate the sometimes confusing and once-in-a-while contradictory governmental guidance and instructions. Rules changed- sometimes daily. And early-on, there was no guidance. We found ourselves looking at the science and credible reports to determine what would work well for our staff.
- As it became available, we embraced Covid-19 testing. We leveraged the Cayuga Health System "Mall" drive-thru testing center where testing results was available typically in less than 24 hours. Anytime our staff or their families had any kind of exposure or just didn't feel good, we sent those working in the office home and we had people tested. That kept us on top of what was going on. Nearly all The Computing Center staff were tested, a few several times. That system helped keep us healthy and reduced exposure.
- In January, as the vaccines became available, we got vaccinated. 100% of The Computing Center staff are now fully Covid-19 vaccinated and so are most our staff's families. We did not mandate this, just encouraged and of course provided the extra time-off for the shots and for anyone who had reactions. By the way, reactions ranged from none-at-all, to mild fatigue, to a couple of people who needed to take a day off.
We learned alot over the past year:
Protecting Seniors Online from Scams, Hacks and Tax Fraud (377)
(NewsUSA) - The vast majority of seniors today are using the Internet at least once a week to check email, pay bills online and keep in touch via social media. But all that time online puts them at risk for scams and hacks, such as tax fraud.
In fact, a new survey by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care network, found that 67 percent of surveyed older adults have been the victim of an online scam or hack.
Encouraging seniors to practice cyber security can go a long way toward protecting their identity and sensitive financial information. Home Instead collaborated with the National Cyber Security Alliance to create Protect Seniors Online, available at www.ProtectSeniorsOnline.com, a free resource that educates older adults about cybersecurity. Here, seniors can test their cybersecurity skills with the "Can You Spot an Online Scam?" quiz.
Older adults can take the following steps now to protect themselves online:
*Password protect and secure devices, accounts. Lock all devices (including computers, tablets and smartphones) with secure passwords in case devices are lost or stolen.
*Think before clicking. When faced with an urgent request -- like emails asking for money -- think before clicking or get a second opinion. Clicking on links is often how scammers get personal information. When in doubt, trash an unusual message.
*Share with care. More than half (51 percent) of seniors surveyed by Home Instead use social media to stay connected. Use care when sharing personal information, adjust privacy settings to limit who can see your information, and turn off location sharing.
*Use security software. Install anti-virus and anti-spyware software and program it to run regularly. And be wary of pop-up ads or emails, many of which contain malware that can infect computers.
*Log out. Log out of apps and websites when you are finished. Leaving apps and websites open on computer screens could make you vulnerable to security and privacy risks.
*Recommend support. Older adults who live alone may need help from a trusted source -- such as a family member, tech-savvy friend or professional caregiver --to serve as a second set of eyes.
To explore additional Protect Seniors Online resources, including the interactive quiz, visit www.ProtectSeniorsOnline.com
A Home Instead office near you can be found by visiting www.homeinstead.com/state.