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3 months ago · by · 0 comments

Avoid Eyestrain From Daily Computer Use

With more people working remotely and spending the entire day looking at computers and phones, they are at risk for eyestrain.

We recommend that they follow these basic precautions.

  • Look away from the monitor for 30 seconds, every 15 or 20 minutes. Look at or scan things at least 20 feet away to allow your eyes to focus in a rest position.
  • Reposition the monitor 20” to 26” from your eyes (roughly the distance from your eyes to the end of your index finger with arm outstretched). Otherwise, you’ll be forced to sit or lean too close to the screen, or sit too far away. If your eyeglass prescription doesn’t allow clear vision at the 20” to 26” range, get it adjusted.
  • Reset monitor height so that the top edge is even with your view when looking straight ahead. Then tilt the screen upward so that you’re not looking at the image at an angle. The optimal screen position is 10 to 20 degrees below eye level.
  • Reset the monitor screen resolution, the Internet browser text size, and the zoom and font default in the operating system and in software applications so that text is easy to read. Start with a screen resolution of 800×600 for older CRT monitors and 1024×768 or higher for LCD (flat screen) monitors. Set the monitor refresh rate at or above 75 hertz (Hz) on older CRT models. Refresh rate is irrelevant for LCD monitors and is factory set, usually 60 Hz.
  • Blink often (put a sticky note on your monitor!). The average blink rate is 22 times per minute. The rate goes down to seven per minute when looking at a monitor – which causes the eye lens to dry out. If you can’t get into the habit of blinking more often, use an eye moistener (saline solution).
  • Relax your eye muscles. Put the palm of your hands over your eyes for a minute or so, once every half hour. This warms the muscles around the eyes, relaxing them.
  • Minimize glare. Make sure the background light level around the monitor is about the same as the screen light level. Minimize direct sunlight or bright lights in front of the monitor or directly behind it.
  • Adjust the contrast and brightness to levels you use when reading a book comfortably. A bright screen causes eyestrain.
  • Use a paper holder to hold documents. Put the document at the same level as the monitor, or attach it to the monitor. This prevents repetitive neck and eye movement from paper to screen.

 

 

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4 months ago · by · 0 comments

Happy Father’s Day – health tips for Dads’!

Happy Father’s Day! What do you most appreciate about being a dad? With Father’s Day approaching, there’s no better time than today to protect your health. Learn about the top health risks men face and ways to combat these risks so that you can enjoy many more years with your children.

1. Heart Disease

The top killer of men, heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease are preventable. However, you will need to address the leading causes of heart disease. Do that when you stop smoking, lower your blood pressure, reduce your bad cholesterol levels and get your diabetes under control. An exercise regimen and healthy diet also help.

2. Lung Cancer

The top cancer among men is also the most preventable. Because smoking is the cause of 90 percent of lung cancer cases, talk with your health insurance company about available cessation programs and tools that assist you in getting healthy today.

3. Prostate Cancer

The second-leading cancer in men, prostate cancer can be prevented when men undergo an annual prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and rectal exam. These tests should begin by age 50 or sooner if this cancer runs in your family or if you eat a high-fat diet.

4. Diabetes

If diabetes isn’t controlled, you could contract vascular disease, which leads to heart attacks, amputations, blindness, kidney failure and nerve damage. Medical treatment, a balanced diet, routine exercise and an active lifestyle can help you prevent or control diabetes.

5. Suicide

Four times as many men than women commit suicide. Men are also more likely than women to resist treatment for depression, frustration and other challenges. Asking for help is a sign of strength and can help you cope with life before you feel self-hated or a desire to commit suicide.

As a dad, focus on your health this Father’s Day. Schedule a physical exam with your primary care physician, and commit to living a healthier lifestyle. Your children will thank you.

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7 months ago · by · 0 comments

Handling Allergens In The Workplace Or Home

Numerous environmental conditions at your workplace and/or home can cause you to suffer an allergic reaction that ranges from mild to life-threatening.  Consider these tips as you reduce allergens and protect yourself.

Common Allergens

Depending on your job and workplace, you may be exposed to numerous allergens as you work. Consider this partial list.

  • Latex gloves or equipment
  • Ink toner
  • Cleaning chemicals
  • Floor wax
  • Perfume
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Dust
  • Food, including nuts and dairy
  • Mold
  • Asbestos
  • Aerosols
  • Paint fumes
  • Dye
  • Pollen
  • Pet dander

Possible Allergic Reactions

The allergic reaction you experience can be mildly annoying or severe and life threatening. Be aware of these possible reactions.

  • Contact dermatitis
  • Sneezing
  • Pain
  • Swelling around your mouth or elsewhere
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Trouble breathing
  • Anaphylactic shock

What to do if you Have an Allergic Reaction

Seek medical treatment as soon as you suspect you’re having an allergic reaction. To provide the best possible treatment, your doctor or emergency medical personnel may ask for a list of possible allergens to which you may have been exposed.

How to Prevent Allergic Reactions

While you can’t always prevent allergen exposure, you can advocate for an allergen-free work environment. Ask about switching to natural cleaning supplies or banning peanut butter as you remove allergens that affect you and your co-workers.

You may also take protective measures. Wear gloves, use a respirator or open a window as you reduce exposure to your known allergens.

Request special accommodations, too, especially if you have a known allergy. According to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), you’re considered disabled if your allergy limits your activity level. In this case, you can request that your employer improve ventilation throughout the building or allow you to work a different shift when allergen use is limited.

What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?

By law, your employer must provide a safe work environment. If you suffer an allergic reaction to chemicals, cleaning supplies or something else and can’t perform your job, you may be eligible to file a Workers’ Compensation claim.

Workers’ Compensation benefits could cover your medical treatment, a portion of your lost wages and other expenses. However, you must prove that the allergic reaction stemmed from something at work and not food, medication or another environmental condition you encounter at home or elsewhere.

If working conditions or environmental factors cause you to suffer an allergic reaction, you can file a Workers’ Compensation claim. Discuss your specific case with your Human Resources manager and doctor as you protect yourself at work.

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9 months ago · by · 0 comments

Six Tips That Could Reduce Your Health Insurance Costs

Thanks to your health insurance policy, you can receive routine checkups, specialist consultations, lifesaving medications and necessary procedures for just a few dollars a month. Your premiums may be rising this year, though, because of increased health insurance policy costs and decreases in your employer’s budget. Instead of dropping your coverage or paying a fortune for health insurance, stay healthy and balance your personal budget in the new year with six tips.

1. Review Your Benefits

Does your current health insurance policy include vision, dental or prescription medicine coverage that you rarely use? Dropping these options could reduce your health insurance costs.

2. Shop for Private or Government Exchange Health Insurance

Instead of automatically accepting your employer’s coverage with higher monthly premiums or fewer benefits, shop around. Private or state sponsored health insurance could be a more affordable option for you.

3. Increase Out-of-Pocket Expenses

Put your good health to good use and elect to pay lower monthly premiums in favor of higher out-of-pocket expenses. Yes, your deductible and copays will increase, but you could save money in the long run.

4. Consider Joining Your Spouse’s Policy

If your spouse or partner has employer-sponsored health insurance, discuss the costs of joining his or her policy. You could save money by switching to family coverage instead of carrying individual policies.
You should also check out your options after qualifying events occur in your life. In those cases, you may be able to switch your health insurance coverage and save money. Those events include:

  • Marriage
  • Child Birth or Adoption
  • Legal Separation or Divorce
  • Death of Spouse or a Dependent

5. Rethink Insurance Options When You’re Laid Off

January is a typical month for downsizing. If you lose your job, you could be eligible for Cobra (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act). You continue to pay your health insurance premiums plus a two percent administrative fee, and your insurance does not lapse.
The costs of COBRA can be expensive, though, especially when you aren’t receiving a paycheck. You have 60 days to decide if you want your COBRA benefits or not, so start researching private options as you make the best financial decision for you.

6. Get and Stay Healthy

Little things like exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet and quitting smoking can reduce your health care costs since you’ll see the doctor less often. Additionally, your employer may offer wellness incentives for healthy living that can reduce your premium costs. Even if they aren’t offered, you will save money when you get and stay healthy.
This January, take time to review your health insurance. With these six tips, you can save money, be healthy and stay on budget in the new year.

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12 months ago · by · 0 comments

Tips on Getting a More Comfortable Night’s Sleep

Get a good night’s sleep, and you’re more likely to wake up alert, energetic, happy and able to function. Since November is National Sleep Comfort Month, implement six tips that help you sleep better and more comfortably.

1. Invest in a Quality Mattress and Comfortable Bedding

Your sleep comfort depends largely on your mattress. If it’s lumpy, hard or scratchy, you’ll toss and turn instead of truly resting. Visit a local mattress store today and invest in the best mattress and bedding you can afford. It will quickly pay for itself as you sleep better and enjoy greater productivity and happiness.

2. Lower the Temperature

Because your body heat rises slightly as you sleep, you’ll be more comfortable when you lower your bedroom temperature by a few degrees. Opening a window or turning on a fan produces the same results.

3. Limit Big Evening Meals

Visiting the buffet for dinner tasted good at the time, but a large evening meal increases overnight discomfort. It will keep you awake and give you indigestion and heartburn. Step away from the kitchen at least two hours before bed. If you need a snack, indulge in a small portion of cereal with milk, fruit or granola.

4. Skip Alcohol and Caffeine

Your late-afternoon coffee affects your sleep 10 to 12 hours after you drink it. Your nightcap might make you drowsy, but the alcohol will wake you in the middle of the night. To boost your afternoon energy level, grab an apple, walnuts or cheese. If you want an alcoholic drink at night, enjoy it at least two hours before bedtime.

5. Relax

When you’re anxious, tense or stressed, your body won’t be able to relax. Practice yoga, deep breathing and visualization. As you relax your mind, your body will follow, and you’ll enjoy more comfortable sleep.

6. See Your Doctor

If you still can’t get comfortable at night, talk to your doctor. Discuss physical or mental issues that might be preventing you from getting adequate rest. Check with your insurance agent, too, about whether chiropractor visits or specialty pillows are covered by your insurance.

With a good night’s sleep, you wake up in a good mood and ready to tackle the day.

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1 year ago · by · 0 comments

Add Fruit and Veggies on the Grill and Boost Your Summer Health

You already cook meat on the grill. Why not add fruits and veggies? They help you boost your summer nutrition and taste delicious.

Choose Fresh Produce

Whether you decide to grill pineapple, watermelon, corn or asparagus, make sure it’s fresh. Ideally, the produce you grill should be firm and picked within the past three days.

Brush on the Oil

You’ll want to stock quality canola, olive or coconut oil in your pantry before you grill produce. It adds extra flavor to your grilled produce and a light coating works together with foil packets or a non-stick grate to ensure the fruits and veggies don’t stick to the grill.

Mix a Few Marinades

In addition to the oil, prepare a few marinades. Olive oil infused with herbs, raspberries, mint or other flavorings, honey and low-fat or Greek yogurt enhance the taste of your grilled produce.

Leave the Skin On

The skin of many fruits and veggies contains healthy nutrients. So, leave veggie skins on when you grill them and maximize the nutrient content of the grilled veggies you eat. Most fruits, however, grill better without the skin.

Pre-Cook Some Veggies

Certain veggies cook more evenly on the grill when you pre-cook them in the kitchen. To prep asparagus, beets, broccoli, parsnips, potatoes, squash and carrots for grilling, steam or blanch them until they’re al dente. Alternatively, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, peppers, mushrooms, onions and eggplant will cook evenly when you grill them raw.

Use the Right Temperature

When you cook fruits and veggies over moderately hot coals, the outside could cook faster than the inside. You’ll want to rotate the produce between direct and indirect heat so that each piece cooks evenly and completely.

Whether you cook for one or 100, prepare fruits and veggies on the grill and enjoy a summer nutrition boost. They help you stay healthy, and you’ll feel good knowing that you’re helping your family and friends stay healthy, too.

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Scurich Insurance Services
Phone: (831) 661-5697
Fax: (831) 661-5741

Physical:
783 Rio Del Mar Blvd., Suite7,
Aptos, Ca 95003-4700

Mailing:
PO Box 1170
Watsonville, CA 95077-1170

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