Health & Wellness
We believe that a healthy family is a happy family and are putting efforts to increase the health and wellness of the Greater Brockton Area. On this page, we will be sharing information about health and wellness through articles, pictures, and videos to promote healthy lifestyles.
Our top pick for the week is from U.S Department of Human and Health Services
Why Schools & Work Matter for Adolescent Health Five days a week, U.S. adolescents spend an average of 7 hours per day in school – almost a third of their time. As they transition into young adulthood, that time will be spent at work instead. The Lancet Commission’s report on adolescent health and well-being identified both work and school as key places for intervening to support adolescent health. We know that health, education, and work reinforce each other:
- Unhealthy young people are more likely to miss school and work. Both physical (e.g., asthma or diabetes) and mental health issues can lead to missed school or work. Chronic absences in school increase the likelihood of dropping out. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, missed days at work cost U.S. businesses over $225 billion each year.
- Healthy young people are better learners. Healthy breakfasts and physical activity each have been linked to better grades, test scores, and cognition. In contrast, risky behaviors such as substance abuse can keep young people from pursuing their education and work goals.
- Education and work can influence health. Education is a key social determinant of health. It helps people make more informed decisions for their health and increases access to jobs and environments that better support health.
Opportunities to Promote Health in School and Work There are several things we can do to ensure that school and work environments support the health of young people.
- Increase access to quality education. Efforts to reduce disparities in discipline help advance educational equity. Access to postsecondary education and training is especially helpful—a study by the Georgetown Public Policy Institute’s Center on Education and the Workforce found two-thirds of U.S. jobs will require at least some college.
- Increase opportunities for work. Vocational training, apprenticeships, and internships can expose adolescents to different career pathways and get their foot in the door.
- Create safe, supportive environments. Healthy schools and workplaces don’t just keep adolescents free from physical injury or disease. They also build supportive relationships and prevent bullying.
- More explicitly promote and support health in schools and workplaces. Beyond providing physically and emotionally safe environments, school policies can actively promote health through practices such as developmentally appropriate health education and school-based health centers. Similarly, workplace policies can offer incentives for healthy habits and ease access to preventive services like vaccines.
Teens’ Social Media Use: How They Connect & What It Means for Health In this digital age, technology and the Internet are part of everyday life. Social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are especially prominent in the lives of adolescents, and they’re not just for talking with friends: adolescents use social media to express themselves and find information. Below, we look at their habits, the risks and benefits of social media use, and resources to keep youth safe online. How Teens Are Connected The Pew Research Center regularly conducts surveys on technology use in the United States, and collects data on adolescents’ social media use.
- Teens connect via mobile.Widespread and improved mobile technology means teens can access social media more easily. According to a Pew survey conducted during 2014 and 2015, 94 percent of teens who go online using a mobile device do so daily.
- Teens use multiple social platforms. Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are the most popular , and 71 percent of teens say they use more than one social media site.
- Teens’ social media use differs by gender. Boys report going on Facebook most often ; while girls are more likely than boys to use visually-oriented platforms such as Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram.
- Teens share a lot of their personal information. A survey of over 600 teens from 2012 found that nearly all shared their real name and photos of themselves , and most shared their school name, birthdate, and the city or town where they lived.
- Teens use social media for romance too. Another 2015 Pew report – PDF on the role of technology in teen romantic relationships notes that half of teens say they’ve used Facebook or other social networking sites to express romantic interest in someone, and many use these sites to display their romantic relationships.
Social Media: Health Resource or Health Risk? As with most technology, there are potential benefits and risks to teens’ social media use. These platforms can help teens socialize and communicate with peers; find learning opportunities; and become engaged in causes important to them. Social media also provide a wealth of information and resources that teens can use to maintain their own health and relationships. On the other hand, teens on social media are at risk of cyberbullying and other aggression online; inappropriate content or exposure to predators; and having their private information available publicly. There is also some evidence that frequent social media use may be linked to depression and other mental health problems. Ultimately, social media becomes a tool or risk for teen’s health based on how they use it, which is in turn shaped by the guidance they get from caring adults. To support teens’ healthy social media use, parents and youth-serving professionals can use these resources:
- Help teens protect their information online with Onguardonline.gov, a federal resource sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security.
- Talk to teens about being responsible digital citizens and how to prevent and handle issues such as sexting and cyberbullying with additional resources from the Department of Homeland Security’s “Stop. Think. Connect. ” campaign, including a rap video by youth on online safety.
- Set healthy boundaries for social media use (and technology in general) with this family media contract example from the American Academy of Pediatrics site for parents, HealthyChildren.org.
- Check out social media resources from the Department of Health and Human Services and many of its offices (including OAH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health), for reliable information on adolescent health.
- Direct teens toward sites that are designed to help them directly, including the National Runaway Safeline , NIDA for Teens, Smokefree Teen, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline . The OAH website also has a page for teens to find action steps and resources they can use to care for their health as well as a list of service locators.
The broad use of social media by adolescents means it is an influential piece of their lives. Talk with adolescents to help them use social media to support their health.