SUPPORT MENTAL HEALTH AT SEA

MARITIME MENTAL HEALTH

WORKSHOP

“…..mental health in our sector. It’s an issue I see all the time, my company pays lip service to the issue but never truly takes it seriously or addresses it…..”

Anonymous


ANDREW’S VISION FOR MENTAL HEALTH AT SEA

ZERO SUICIDES AT SEA

EVERY CREW WITH THE TOOLS THEY NEED TO SUPPORT MENTAL HEALTH AND SAVE THEIR FRIENDS LIVES


WE NEED YOUR HELP


FOR EVERY TICKET THAT IS PURCHASED I GIVE ONE TO A MARITIME CHARITY

If we have sufficient sponsorship I will donate 100% of our ticket profits to support two key projects


What Sponsorship is available?

HEADLINE | VENUE | DIGITAL | VIDEO


BRANDING AND MARKETING OPPORTUNITIES INCLUDE


Primary Position for your company logo on all printed and digital marketing collateral. 

Public acknowledgement in all pre and post event and on the day on:

Linkedin | Twitter | Instagram 

Mention by Founder during welcome speech.

Primary company positioning logo featured on the event video. 

Use of video on your website and can be seen on YouTube 

Use of official event photo’s 

Corporate logo & profile of 100-200 words will prominently feature on the event site

Company logo prominently placed on all post-event communications

Placement of your marketing and informational material at the event. 

Company logo on all event signage, where used.

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Maritime Mental Health Projects

Maritime Mental Health Projects

2019


Publications

In the first half of 2019 Andrew Cowderoy and the Maritime Institute will be publishing a quick reference guide that gives seafarers and supporting stakeholders, chaplains, managers and families the tools to highlight


Video

DOCUMENTARY

The Maritime Wellness Institute will create a short twenty minute documentary highlighting wellness at sea and why we need to support crew at sea around the world.

Gut Health Part 1

How our microbes impact our physical and mental health part 1

By Fresh Fitness Food

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“You are what they eat”  – Alanna Collen, PhD – biologist

 

Germs are bad…right?

David Vetter was 12 years old when he died from a common herpes virus. This virus doesn’t even cause symptoms in most people but David suffered from a rare disease that caused his immune system to be pretty much non-existent. Therefore he spent his entire life living in a sterilised environment in a plastic dome. It gained him the nickname “Bubble boy”. He was considered the ultimate germ-free human (1) but, on the contrary, he was in no way healthier. Quite the opposite.

Traditionally bacteria have had a bad name and for good reason: many infectious diseases caused by microbes have been a major problem for most of human history. With the invention of antibiotics we got a bit carried away trying to kill all of them because all germs are bad right? Only recently have we started to understand that we need the millions of microbes that inhabit our guts to stay healthy just as much as they need us. When our microbiome is in a state of dysbiosis, disease can be the result. Hippocrates understood this long before microbes were discovered when he said:

 

“All disease begins in the gut”  – Hippocrates 460 – 375 BCE

 

So what is our microbiome, how can it affect our health and what can we do to keep our friendly bacteria happy?

 

Why every microbiome is special

For every cell in your body there are 9 bacteria in your gut (3). This community of bacteria is what we call our gut microbiome. It plays a very important role in our health and in our response to certain foods. Research is difficult because no 2 gut microbiomes are the same: every human has a microbiome that is as different as their DNA. This is because we all have a unique exposure to different bacteria depending on the microbes we inherit from our mother during birth (yes this really does occur in the way you are thinking – babies are born with a sterile gut and the first colonisers are bacteria from the mother’s birth canal and faeces) as well as through breastmilk. Further colonisation occurs by exposure to the environment, and the foods we eat. 

Your genes also play a role, certain genetics make our gut a better place for some strains than others. Our microbiome also changes over time, as we age but also after each meal (5). 

Not all bacteria are equally desirable to us, some are very useful, others just take up space, and some can make us ill. In a healthy person pathogens are kept in check by other microbes. A healthy gut microbiome has a lot of different species that are constantly competing with each other for a place to live in the gut. In a state of dysbiosis one pathogen can overcrowd others and cause problems. Dysbiosis can be a consequence of use of medications such as antibiotics, poor diet, disease and obesity (6). 

 

Gut flora friends and the impact on physical health

The human body has approximately 23,000 genes of which some provide information to create enzymes to break down food. Our gut microbiome has over 3 million genes that can produce thousands of enzymes. These can help us with digestion and absorbing more nutrients from our food that our body could not otherwise. Germ free mice (mice without microbiome) for example, gain less weight on the same amount of calories than normal mice. Their guts are simply not as efficient in breaking down food and absorbing the nutrients (1). 

Furthermore, some bacteria produce useful compounds for us such as vitamin K, B12, biotin, folic acid and short chain fatty acids (SCFA’s). The main SCFA’s are acetate, propionate, and butyrate. Propionate reduces food intake in mice and butyrate can mute your immune response. This is great news if you have Crohn’s disease as this is in part an overreaction of the immune system. Butyrate is the main food of the cells that line your colon and protects against colon cancer (4). 

SCFA’s also play a role in satiety signalling, insulin sensitivity and appetite regulation. High levels of SCFA’s correlate with lower diet induced obesity. However, causality is a problem here: are people obese because of their microbes or are the microbes a result of obesity and poor diet? Research implies the latter (3). Obese people have a less diverse microbiome than their healthy counterparts. Germ free mice that receive microbes from obese people gain more weight from the same diet than germ free mice that receive microbes from healthy humans (1). 

It is important to realise that this does not mean that your microbes are all determining whether you will become obese or not. You still need to be in an energy surplus consistently to gain weight. Obesity appears to alter your microbes and make it more difficult to lose weight once you are already obese. However, it is not impossible and the microbiome can change again depending on what you feed it (2). Health, or the absence of it, is rarely a matter of one single factor. 

 

Mental health and the Gut-Brain Axis

Apart from your physical health, our microbes also impact our mental health. Gut diseases linked to dysbiosis of our microbiome such as IBS and Crohn’s disease also increase the risk of mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety (3).  The exact mechanisms aren’t fully understood yet but the gut microbiome seems to communicate with our central nervous system through the “second brain”, or enteric nervous system that covers our GI tract. 

This is called the gut-brain axis and there seems to be a two-way traffic between them. Mental stress for example alters the environment of our guts in favour of pathogenic microbes. It makes our gut lining more permeable to pathogens and reduces mucus production (2).  

Microbes also communicate with our brain by producing the same neurotransmitters that the brain uses – serotonin and dopamine: stuff that makes you feel happy. This is how your microbes can impact our mood (1) and partially explains why food makes us feel good. 

There is also evidence that cravings aren’t actually yours, but that these are your microbes telling you what they want. Germ free mice like sugar more than regular mice. Sugar is a high energy food, the favourite fuel of all our cells. Without a balanced microbiome also demanding other useful compounds such as protein and fats, this craving takes over. This could be an indication that sugar cravings are a symptom of poor gut health. People exposed to a lot of stress crave sugar more than others, this can be seen as an attempt of the body to load up on energy to prepare for the fight or flight response (1).  

 

https://freshfitnessfood.com/blog/feb2019/gut-health-how-our-microbes-impact-our-physical-and-mental-health-part-1/

The Importance of Meditation

Take Some Time For You…

By Dan Roberts

 

In today’s world, most of us have busy and hectic lifestyles. This puts us under great strain physically and emotionally. Learning how to truly relax is an art that we can all benefit from. Although it feels amazing to physically relax after a long week, the mind rarely relaxes. Our minds are constantly turned on, whether it’s remembering past stories, anticipating the future or judging an experience. As soon as you begin to experience something, the mind attaches a thought to it and now, the experience has changed. By living like this, we develop habitual thought processes which take control in our lives. Experience without expectations! All it is, is an experience, nothing else.

It’s not until you try and slow down the mind, that you realize how fast it really goes. Thousands of thoughts pass through the mind every minute but just remember – you are not your mind. People are often intimidated or put off by mediation but everyone can do it! Just start by taking 5 minutes in your day to sit quietly without any distractions. Begin to practice observing your thoughts, rather than attaching to them. There’s a difference! As thoughts enter, just exhale them out and come back to a quiet place. Once you begin to practice meditation, you become more centred within yourself and more sensitive to the energy patterns in your life. This will get easier so stick with it and you’ll notice a calmer, more focused you!

If you have not explored my yoga and mediation guide within Methodology X take some time this week to have a look through and discover your inner you.

By Sarah Hunt, Yoga Instructor at The Dan Roberts Group

How to enjoy being alone

How to enjoy being alone

By Mari Williams

Tonight I’m off on holiday, leaving my lovely Cambridge for the west coast, but before I go I’m spending a large portion of this weekend completely alone, something that would have left me feeling rubbish a few years ago. Now I’m savouring it. So how did I move from hating being alone, to loving it?

I learnt to like myself.

I see lots of coaching and cognitive hypnotherapy clients for whom being alone is a big problem. They feel lost, left out as if they are missing something, rejected… they get stuck in poor relationships both professionally and personally. I could go on and on. Many create a world where noise is constant and will even use music or TV to get to sleep. Why?

So they don’t have to listen to that voice in their heads that criticises them and makes negatives comments.  

For a start, give yourself a break this is not your fault. We are hardwired to fear rejection. Our brain is still immature given how far society has progressed. Our brain still believes we are back in our caves or tribes. Not being accepted when you live as a collective meant you would be asked to leave your tribe and that would almost definitely mean you died, eaten by a wild animal or starved to death. Although we are now surrounded by food and people, our brain still registers any rejection (even situations where you aren’t being left out but it can ‘read’ it as such) as a life or death equation and will kick off your flight, fight, freeze response giving you those panicky feelings. It will rush to prevent you being rejected by guessing what caused it and that must be because you are a terrible person surely!? Hence your critical voice comes in to try to ‘protect’ you by making you think you are the problem and if you can change you to be acceptable to others, then hey presto, you’re back in the tribe!

If only it were that simple.

Because what makes us pleasant to be around and truly acceptable to others is that we love and accept ourselves to the point where we mainly don’t care whether we are acceptable to others. At that point others like us because they see we are stable and happy people. Vicious circle!  This isn’t to say if you have problem behaviours that others won’t be friends with you, but some of those behaviours do make that hard. We all know those people who we really like but have to limit our time with because they are so wrapped up in themselves they are exhausting to be with. I know before coaching and I used to be a bit like that, forceful with my opinions and always right because if I wasn’t right I was wrong and being wrong meant that I was stupid….. and so it went on. Luckily, I had some therapy and shifted that.

We have to learn to love and accept ourselves.

How?

Gently start by spending little bits of time alone. Make a coffee with the radio off, read a book, go for a short walk, take a bath. Pick a portion of time that is just outside your comfort zone. If your comfort zone is 5 minutes, do it for 6 or 7 minutes and build up. Gradually you’ll see that you aren’t going to die and that you might even enjoy time alone. The more you do this the faster you retrain your brain to understand you aren’t going to die and those panicky feeling won’t be triggered and you’ll remain calm and dare I say it, you might even begin to enjoy it.  I remember being quite shocked that I was perfectly okay and I now love it when the house is empty and I can sing to my hearts delight, or just enjoy the perfect silence. Mindfulness is a great way to start this as it can help focus you on yourself. Just think baby steps. A coaching client of mine did this over the last few months and sent me a lovely message saying he had missed my text as he had been enjoying a whole evening alone for the first time ever. He normally spent zero time alone and filled his diary from morning to night. He changed that in just a matter of weeks. It was lovely evidence of how far he had come.

What about that inner voice? If it’s still loud then it’s trying to tell you something. Probably that it’s unhappy and needs some help. See a therapist, clear it out of the way. Why be held back a minute longer?

I now equally enjoy alone time as much as I enjoy socialising. I can read my mood  and decide what I need, it’s empowering! I’ll even go to the cinema alone. It’s my belief we all need quiet alone time to just be, not to think but to potter about just being us, pleasing ourselves and letting our brain rest. If you can learn to do this your entire life changes, health and sleep improve. In the words of Whitney Houston, ‘learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all’.

If you want to work on this or any other issues click here to see how to make a start.  

Sponsorship Opportunity

Maritime Mental Health Workshop

18th April, Home Grown


On 2019 the Maritime Wellness Institute is hosting the very first Maritime Mental Health Workshop in London with guest speakers that include:


Dan Roberts | Andrew Johnson | Mari Williams

Lara & Emma

(RAF Mental Health Nurses)


VISION

If, by the 20th March, we confirm all sponsors levels the founder will use 100% of the ticket profits to MWI Projects that support and highlight crew welfare.

Fifty (50) online crew passes.


Sponsorship Opportunities

 

Headline

VIP Seating for six + ten online

Primary Position for your company logo on all printed and digital marketing collateral. 

Public acknowledgement in all pre and post event and on the day on:

Linkedin | Twitter | Instagram 

Mention by Founder during welcome speech.

Primary company positioning logo featured on the event video. 

Use of video on your website and can be seen on YouTube 

Use of official event photo’s 

Corporate logo & profile of 100-200 words will prominently feature on the event site

Company logo prominently placed on all post-event communications

Placement of your marketing and informational material at the event. 

Company logo on all event signage, where used.

Venue

Preferred Seating for four + five online

Company logo on all printed and digital marketing collateral. 

Public acknowledgement in all pre and post event and on the day on:

Linkedin | Twitter | Instagram 

Mention by Founder during welcome speech.

Company logo featured on the event video.

Use of video on your website and can be seen on YouTube 

Use of official event photo’s 

Corporate logo & profile of 100-200 words will prominently feature on the event site

Company logo placed on all post-event communications

Limited placement of your informational material at the event. 

Video

Two tickets to venue + two online

Your logo placed on video and digital material

Acknowledgement in all pre and post event and on the day on:

Linkedin | Twitter | Instagram 

Mention by Founder during welcome speech.

Use of video on your website and can be seen on YouTube 

Use of official event photo’s 

Corporate logo & profile of 100-200 words will prominently feature on the event site

Digital

Online ticket for four

Company logo on digital marketing collateral. 

Acknowledgement in all pre and post event and on the day on:

Linkedin | Twitter | Instagram 

Mention by Founder during welcome speech.

Use of video on your website and can be seen on YouTube 

Use of official event photo’s 

Corporate logo & profile of 100-200 words will prominently feature on the event site

Company logo placed on all online (only for those streaming live) event communications

What is Oral Cancer

What is mouth cancer?

By Dr Alexandra Day

Cancer of the tongue and oral cavity are the most common forms of mouth cancer, followed then

by the throat, lip, neck and other mouth cancers make up the rest of cases. It is one of a very few

cancers that experts predict case numbers will increase in the coming years.

 

Who can be affected by mouth cancer?

  •  Anyone can be affected by mouth cancer, whether they have their own teeth or not

  •  Mouth cancers are more common in people over 40 with more cases seen in men than women

  •  Research shows however that mouth cancer is becoming a more increasing problem in younger patients and in women.

  • More than 90% of mouth cancers in men and 85% in women are linked to lifestyle choices and environmental factors

 

Do people die from mouth cancer?

Yes. Nearly 2,000 people in the UK die from mouth cancer every year, more than testicular cancer

and cervical cancer combined. Many of these deaths could be prevented if the cancer was

diagnosed early enough. Early detection for mouth cancer can result in a survival outcome of 90%.

However, delayed diagnosis means survival rates plummet to as little as 40%.

 

What can cause mouth cancer?

  •  Two thirds of mouth cancer cases are linked to smoking tobacco. Smokers put themselves at almost
    three times higher risk and second-hand smoke significantly increases the risk for those who have never smoked.

  •  Smokeless tobacco use can increase the risk of developing mouth cancer by 15 times. The traditional
    habits in some cultures of chewing tobacco, betel quid, gutkha and paan are particularly dangerous.

  • Drinking alcohol to excess is linked to around a third of all cases and those who smoke and drink to
    excess put themselves at risk by up to 30 times.

  • More than half of cases in the UK are linked to a poor diet.

  • Overexposure to sunlight increases the risk of cancer of the lips. from the sun has been linked to cancer of the lip.

  • The human papillomavirus (HPV) is estimated to overtake smoking as the number one cause of mouth
    cancers in the future. HPV can be spread through oral sex, and research now suggests that HPV could
    soon rival smoking and drinking as one of the main causes of mouth cancer.

 

What are the signs of mouth cancer?

Mouth cancer can appear in different forms and can affect all parts of the mouth, tongue and lips.

Mouth cancer can appear as a painless mouth ulcer that does not heal normally. A white or red

patch in the mouth can also develop into a cancer. Be aware of any unusual lumps in your mouth

or jaw area and any persistent hoarseness or difficulty swallowing. It is important to visit your

dentist if you have any of these symptoms that persist for more than 2 weeks. Your dental check-

ups at Bishopsgate dental will always include an oral cancer examination as standard.

 

What is involved in a full check-up of the mouth?

The inside of your mouth and your tongue will be examined by the dentist and the examination will

also look at your neck and underneath your jaw. It’s also great for you to check your mouth

regularly at home and pick up any changes quickly. Remember, your dental team can see parts of

your mouth that you cannot see easily yourself so it’s always best to make sure you have your

mouth regularly checked by a professional.

 

What happens if my dentist finds a problem?

If the dental team find something unusual they will fully assess and photograph the area and refer

you immediately to see an oral medicine consultant who will carry out a thorough examination of

your mouth and throat and may take a small biopsy to examine the area under the microscope.

They may organize further blood tests, x-rays or scans to help decide if any treatment is needed.

 

Can mouth cancer be cured?

There are treatments for mouth cancer but complete cure chances are significantly reduced if the

diagnosis is late. Regular examinations are crucial to ensure any problems are spotted early. If you

are worried or unsure, do not hesitate to get any lumps or ulcers checked out.

How can I try and prevent getting mouth cancer?

 

  •  Stop smoking, and cut down on the amount of alcohol you drink.

  •  Avoid other forms of smokeless tobacco

  •  Eat a balanced, healthy diet with at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

  •  Practising safe sex and limiting the number of partners you have may help reduce your chances
    of getting HPV associated with mouth cancer.

  • Visit your dental team regularly as they recommend, usually around every 6 months.

 




Flossing and it's impact on Oral Health

Flossing and its impact on oral hygiene

Blog by hygienist Amy Stevens

Following articles in various national newspapers recently there has been an increased interest in the topic of flossing. There have been headlines stating that flossing teeth has no health benefit! This is after the US health department removed flossing from their daily recommendations.

What the headline should have said was “flossing compared to interdental brushes according to the evidence is not as effective”.

Flossing is still an important part of your oral hygiene routine but it is only one form of interdental cleaning; there are many other options. Flossing has been recommended in America since 1979 – after 37 years it is not surprising that other, more effective methods have been introduced.

For example, some people may still prefer to use a manual toothbrush, although evidence now shows that rechargeable electric toothbrushes (not battery operated brushes) are more effective at removing plaque. Flossing is now in the same realm as manual toothbrushes. Yet the effectiveness of the cleaning will ultimately come down to the technique of the patient.

The Head of Periodontology within the Institute of Clinical Sciences Professor Iain Chapple states that floss has no benefit in patients who may have gaps between their teeth due to a history of gum disease. However there is evidence that interdental brushes are effective at reducing plaque levels and inflammation.

This is not to say floss doesn’t have a role to play. In a healthy mouth where there are no gaps between your teeth it may not be possible to fit an interdental brush between the teeth, in this situation floss is recommended at preventing gum disease and keeping the teeth and gums healthy.

Advisors at the British Dental Association support this; they state small interdental brushes are preferable for cleaning the area in between the teeth where there is space to do so.

The British Society of Periodontology issued a press release this week stating “daily cleaning between your teeth using special interdental brushes is essential for treating and preventing gum disease. Floss is of little value unless the spaces between your teeth are too tight for the interdental brushes to fit without hurting or causing harm”.

Therefore, flossing is not a waste of time and it is still a viable alternative to interdental brushing where appropriate.Everybody is different so I recommend speaking to your dentist or hygienist who can advise on the best option and technique specific to you, some people may need a range of different sized interdental brushes as well as floss for tighter gaps. So the answer to the question, do you need to floss?

You only need to floss the teeth you want to keep!

The daily oral hygiene routine

– First, clean interdentally using either floss, super floss or interdental brushes

– Then brush for at least 2 minutes with an electric toothbrush

– Use 1400ppm fluoride toothpaste and spit but don’t rinse the toothpaste away

– Do this twice a day

Some people may also benefit from using an alcohol free fluoride mouthwash at a separate time to brushing for further protection against decay.

Hygienist Liverpool Street

If you need a hygienist appointment, please don’t hesitate about contacting us. We pride ourselves on giving you the first-class care you need to keep your smile healthy. You can book online via our contact form for a hygienist appointment in Liverpool Street or call us on 020 7377 6762.

Causes of tooth sensitivity

Are you avoiding eating or drinking cold or hot foods and drinks, due to pain or sensitivity?

Sensitive teeth are one of the most common dental complaints we hear about in the practice. The pain suffered by many when eating anything cold of just breathing in the cold winter days can be very debilitating.

Tooth sensitivity is due to either the enamel, the outer/protective layer of the tooth, being very thin. Or the dentine, the underlying root surface, being exposed. These can result from many factors like over-brushing, gum recession, acid erosion or grinding, amongst other causes.

Unfortunately the dentine of our teeth is very porous and the hot or cold will pass straight through it into the nerve, causing sensitivity and in some cases sever pain.

As mentioned above, one of the reasons of teeth sensitivity is gum recession; over-brushing can cause this. An incorrect brushing technique can cause a lot of irreparable damage – if you press too hard and/or the brush bristles are in the wrong angel you are basically wearing away your teeth every time you brush. The bad news is that once the gum recedes it will never go back, the damage is done.

The right toothbrush and toothpaste for sensitive teeth

To prevent the gums receding or to stop them getting further down, we advise our patients to invest is a good rechargeable electric toothbrush. Unfortunately, not any electric toothbrush will do, so make sure that you get one with a “Pressure Sensor”. This will let you know when you are pressing too hard when brushing, limiting the potential for damage. A visit with the hygienist is invaluable, as they will teach you how to brush your teeth correctly.

The most common way to stop your teeth being sensitive is to change your normal toothpaste for one tailored to sensitive teeth. There are many in the market; but the ones we have tried and tested and recommend to our patients are “Repair and Protect” by Sensodyne or “Sensitive Pro-Relief” by Colgate. They both work by forming a protective barrier over the teeth, thus decreasing the degree of pain felt when eating or drinking hot or cold foods. It is worth nothing that most sensitive toothpastes take 2-3 weeks to make a difference, so please do not discontinue use or become disheartened if you don’t notice dramatic relief straight away.

In some cases, over years or neglect, no amount of specialist toothpaste will make a difference and the only way to provide the patient with relief is to put fillings on the teeth to protect them and prevent further wear. The filling will be the same shade as your teeth and can restore their aesthetics, making them look white and shiny again.

Hygienist Liverpool Street

If you are suffering from sensitive teeth, please don’t hesitate about making a hygienistappointment with us. During your consultation, we’ll find out what the root of the problem is so that we can begin an appropriate treatment plan and you can enjoy an ice cold drink again! We pride ourselves on giving you the first-class care you need to keep your smile healthy. You can book online via our contact form for a hygienist appointment in Liverpool Street or call us on 020 7377 6762

Managing Transportation Worker Fatigue with Wearables

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By Garmin

Technology is rapidly changing the transportation industry. Wearable devices, with their capability to provide objective, continuous monitoring, are an important tool that can revolutionise this market as part of solutions aimed at increasing safety and productivity for transport workers.

Reforms to the Chain of Responsibility have increased the importance of safety management systems.  Wearables can play a key role in these systems by improving the flow of information, enabling real-time communication between supervisors and driver without distractions. Wearables can potentially detect and monitor fatigue, or even enable fleet managers to remotely monitor driver health data such as heart rate and stress.  While fatigue monitoring systems are still in the early stages of development compared to camera-based systems, they promise a suite of advanced features not possible today.

How can wearables monitor fatigue? 

Most wearables in the market today analyse motion and heart rate to detect sleep and classify sleep stages. By analysing sleep patterns, along with information such as steps and fitness activity, a fatigue-monitoring system can provide individualized energy level or alertness forecasts for workers. Real-time analysis of heart rate data can supplement these forecasts, providing the possibility to alert or intervene before an accident occurs.

Other methods include:

Measuring driver head motion without using a camera. A headset detects if the driver is looking forward through the windshield or looking up, down or sideways. The device sends an alert and beeps if it detects the driver has been looking in a single direction for longer than usual.

Drowsiness detection glasses that track blink rates and how far eyelids open after closing. That data is translated into a number on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being “very drowsy.” Any change outside the norm triggers an alarm on a smartphone enabled with Bluetooth technology or a wrist device that alerts the driver their attention is waning.

Smart caps enabled with Bluetooth technology that measure brain wave activity through a mini-electroencephalogram. The brain waves indicate the driver’s ability to resist sleep and can detect the onset of micro-sleeps, or brief episodes of nodding off. A connected smartphone app receives this information and provides visual/audible alerts to warn the drivers they’re getting tired. The app also relays information to fleet managers who can access real-time data from the caps and use it to adjust shift schedules or encourage breaks.

Biometric T-shirts with embedded sensors that monitor various biometrics including heart rate, breathing rate and heart rate variability – all indicators of stress and fatigue. Like smart caps, the analytics can be accessed through a smartphone app to track activity and view real-time data.

The next generation of fatigue systems will analyse advanced metrics such as skin temperature, sweat, glucose, lactate, sodium and potassium levels. Despite all the technology, there is no denying that a well-rested and alert driver is a safer, more productive one. Simply being aware of worker fatigue can help manage the problem of on-the-job tiredness and ensure that workers get home safely.

The Study Behind Advanced Sleep

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By Garmin

Garmin recently announced Advanced Sleep Monitoring in Garmin Connect, an enhanced capability to more accurately identify sleep stages based on analysis of photoplethysmography (PPG) and actigraphy (ACT) data collected by Garmin wearables featuring optical heart rate. The sleep stage identification algorithm was developed against truth data generated by a clinical device and is the result of a sleep study conducted under the supervision of Dr. Suzanne Stevens, Director of the University of Kansas Medical Center Sleep Medicine Clinic with certifications by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the American Board of Sleep Medicine.

The sleep study cohort consisted of 67 participants (47 = M, age 35.6 ± 8.3; 20 = F, age 35.9 ± 10.5). Only sleepers using CPAP were excluded from the study; otherwise, all participants identified as having no known sleep-related conditions. Purposefully designed for at-home use, participants used a clinical device capable of assessing sleep architecture in a relaxed environment outside of a traditional sleep lab. The device generated EEG, heart rate, EOG and EMG channels, as well as provided the sleep stage classifications. Respiratory effort and airflow were not measured because these measurements are not required for sleep stage identification.

The truth data was scored by a sleep technician certified by the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists operating under the direct supervision of Dr. Stevens. In addition to the clinical device, participants wore a Garmin wearable on both wrists during the study. Wide bandwidth PPG and ACT data were logged on the devices and post-processed for algorithm development. The clinical device and wearables were time-synchronized, facilitating cross-device alignment of signals and reduction of errors during data analysis.

Garmin intends to publish a paper in a peer-reviewed sleep journal and will publish results based on the production system used by the Advanced Sleep Monitoring in Garmin Connect. Compared to a “leave one out” approach where a machine-learning classifier has the benefit of being trained repeatedly on high-resolution data that would be impractical to gather from users, the Garmin results will be based on a more challenging, real-world scenario in which PPG and ACT data resolution is reduced to improve transmission times with reliance on post-processing by a cloud-based analytics engine to generate the sleep stage classifications.

The Benefits of a Wellness Programs

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By Garmin Health

The trend of incorporating wearables in wellness initiatives continues to experience rapid growth as the acceptance of the technology and its effect on well-being increases. More than twice as many employees own an activity tracker today than in 2016 (27% vs. 13%) and having health data on the wrist places an emphasis on individual well-being. Physical activity and exercise were the top issues driving wellness priorities in a 2018 global study of workforce well-being strategies. Combining a wearable device with personalized step goals and daily feedback has been shown to increase activity levels over the short and long term.

The evidence supporting exercise as medicine is overwhelming. The most effective way to prevent disease and improve biometric scores is by adding an effective physical activity initiative to a wellness program. Exercise has a domino effect that not only decreases blood pressure, but also cholesterol, glucose measurement and more. A JAMA article showed the use of wearables is associated with significant increases in physical activity and significant decreases in body mass index and blood pressure.

Employee health has a heavy influence on retention rates and productivity and can fuel business success. A 2016 Gallup poll showed that investing in employee well-being has positive effects on reducing medical/prescription costs, absenteeism and disability claims. As health care costs continue to climb, there is more of a focus on investing in measures to reduce the need for care. Wearables represent an opportunity to impact future health care.

Wellness can have a positive impact on a company’s bottom line and contributes to a high-performance culture. A healthy workforce results in happier employees, which impacts business performance.  The value of investing in well-being has never been more clear. Garmin Health provides enterprise solutions that leverage Garmin wearables and the high-quality sensor data they produce for use in the fitness, corporate wellness, population health and patient monitoring markets. Contact us today to find out more.