‘Sitting is the new smoking’

THE Department of Health (DOH)-6 advised the public against leading a sedentary lifestyle which poses dangers to personal health.

John Richard Lapascua, DOH-6 Senior Health Program Officer, said that too much sitting and doing nothing can affect a person’s physical and mental health, citing the findings of the World Health Organization (WHO).

“According to WHO, two to three hours of sitting and doing nothing would have the same effect as smoking one cigarette stick,” he said.

He said that sitting down for a long time can compress the lungs and cause blood vessels to constrict.

On one hand, he emphasized that being physically active can improve a person’s overall energy levels and endurance.

The minimum amount of physical activity required for health benefits can be achieved through at least 30 minutes, cumulative, of moderate intensity activities, five or more days of the week, or doing activities of vigorous intensity for at least 30 minutes, three or more days in a week.

Moderate intensity activities include walking briskly, mowing the lawn, dancing, swimming, or bicycling on level terrain.

Meanwhile, activities of vigorous intensity may include jogging, chopping wood, swimming continuous laps, and bicycling uphill, among others. (PIA-Iloilo)

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How to manage stress

THE Department of Health (DOH)-6 issued stress management techniques dubbed “12 ‘S’ Iwas Stress” to the public to avoid illnesses that may cause harmful effects to one’s health.

John Richard Lapascua, the DOH-6 senior health program officer, said managing stress is important to prevent non-communicable diseases, as well as mental health problems and disorders including suicide.

“It is impossible to totally eliminate stress from the body but everyone can manage stress,” he said.

He said people can choose from the following “12 ‘S’ Iwas Stress”, a menu of stress management techniques.

‘Spirituality’ is being able to devote time to connect with oneself and to God. A person can try medication five to 10 minutes each day and pray to Him for guidance.

‘Stress debriefing’ allows oneself to a brief crisis intervention to talk about one’s feelings and reactions to the critical incident.

Engaging in ‘sports’ like basketball, tennis, among others can help clear one’s mind and relieve stress.

Through ‘self-awareness’, a person can develop a habit of paying attention to one’s expressions of thought, emotions, and behavior.

‘Scheduling and time management’ optimizes the time available to achieve gratifying results. A person can use time manager applications or buy some notebook organizer.

‘Siesta’ means taking a nap, short rest, a break or recharging one’s “battery” to improve productivity. It also helps relax the mind and body muscles.

‘Stretching’ refers to doing simple movements to loosen muscles. Lubricating joints can increase the body’s oxygen supply.

‘Socially’ engaging in fruitful activities will develop one’s ability to deal with other people can also help.

‘Smile’ releases stress and calms down a person, aside from making the person attractive and others happy. (PIA-Iloilo)

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LGUs urged to create local AIDS councils

THE Department of Health (DOH)-6 called on local government units in Western Visayas to establish or reactivate the local AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) councils to strengthen local responses against HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and AIDS.

Dr. Elvie Villalobos, DOH-6 Infectious Disease Cluster Head, said there is a need for functional local AIDS councils in the provincial, city, and municipal levels and tap the involvement of multi-sectoral partners.

“Based on our data, the cases of HIV are increasing. Every 10 hours, a person is diagnosed with HIV in Western Visayas,” he said.

According to the DOH-6 Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU), a total of 606 cases were reported in Western Visayas from January to November 2017.

Of the figure, 495 of the HIV cases were asymptomatic while 111 were full-blown AIDS.

Data from DOH-6 revealed that majority of the cases were males registering 586 while the remaining 20 were females.

Most of the HIV and AIDS cases were transmitted through “male having sex with male” (MSM).

In an effort to address this concern, the Population, Health and Nutrition (PHN) Sub-Committee in Region 6 crafted a resolution enjoining all provinces, cities, and municipalities in the region to reactivate their local AIDS councils (LAC) and establish their corresponding service delivery network for HIV, and ensure functionality by providing funds.

The PHN Sub-committee said that DOH has identified HIV and AIDS as among the top health priorities of the current administration and has affirmed its leadership of the country’s AIDS response in partnership with various sectors.

Likewise, DILG Memorandum Circular 2013-29 mandates for strengthening local responses toward more effective and sustained responses to HIV and AIDS through functional LAC.

The LGUs shall enact an ordinance defining the functions of the LAC, and provide financial assistance, identify multi-sectoral plans, strategies, programs, projects, and activities for the prevention of HIV, AIDS, and other sexually transmitted infections.

DOH-6 through the PHN Sub-Committee shall endorse the resolution to the Social Development Council (SDC) for approval and the SDC shall facilitate endorsement to the Regional Development Council (RDC)-6. (PIA-Iloilo)

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