You’ve likely heard the idea that sitting is the new smoking. Compared with 1960, workers in the U.S. burn about 140 fewer calories, on average, per day due to our sedentary office jobs. And, while it’s true that sitting for prolonged periods is bad for your health, the good news is that we can offset the damage by adding more physical activity to our days. The federal government has just updated recommendations for physical activity for the first time in 10 years, essentially to get that message across. Based on a review of several years of new research, the key takeaway of the new guidelines, released Monday, is: Get moving, America!
Obamacare didn’t just give more people health insurance. It also caused more people to vote.
That’s the conclusion of a new body of evidence that strongly suggests that giving people coverage through expansions of the Medicaid program increases their likelihood of participating in the next election. Medicaid expansions seem to raise both voter registration and voter participation, at least temporarily. On Tuesday, voters in three states approved measures to further expand Medicaid. The election of Democratic governors in three more could also prompt new expansions. Researchers who worked on three recent studies of the effects say it’s likely that those expansions will have a similar effect on voting in the next election cycle.
Yesterday, one of the most significant midterm elections in recent history occurred, with significant implications for the outlook on public policies and legislation affecting aging and older Americans. Health and aging issues drove the midterms more than other issues, including preserving the Affordable Care Act (with special emphasis on threats to pre-existing condition protections), considering Medicare for All proposals and lowering prescription drug costs. The election results make prospects stronger for new policies to lower prescription drug costs, something President Trump has said he generally favors.
Despite years of attention to the problem, U.S. hospitals have made little headway in preventing severe cases of bedsores among older Americans, a new study shows. Researchers found that across hospitals in three states, the rate of bedsores among Medicare patients dropped by 40 percent between 2009 and 2014.
In a country preparing to host the next Paralympic Games in 2020, the prejudice continues for the seven million Japanese living with disabilities.
When the curtain rises on the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games, Japan’s most talented disabled athletes will get their chance to shine on the international stage. But what fans in the stadiums won’t see is Japan’s troubled history of caring for people with disabilities. From the 1940s to 1996, Japan’s government sterilised people with a mental illness or disability because it deemed them “inferior”. The victims of this Eugenic Protection Law kept silent for decades but are now speaking out and demanding an apology and compensation. However, the attitudes behind this law still linger today. A belief that all disabled people should be euthanised led to a stabbing spree at a disabled care home in 2016. It was Japan’s worst mass killing since world war two. The parents of the murdered have kept silent, a sign of the shame some in Japan’s society still feel towards people with disabilities. The Japanese government has been making efforts to improve the lives of people with disabilities by raising employment quotas. But authorities did not even make their own target, recently admitting they had inflated the number of disabled people employed in 27 government ministries and agencies. In reality, they had only hired half the number of disabled people. 101 East meets the people paying the price for the country’s pursuit of perfection.
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