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Dr. Gurley: Five Things To Do For Your Health This Month - September

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1) Assess: Labor Day is a great annual reminder of the value of work, and also a chance to evaluate the impact your work is having on your health. If you’re the classic office-drone, here are some things to evaluate and adjust, before they can cause some miserable health problems - is your space ergonomic? Do you take a break and move around every hour? Is your job so sedentary that you’ve started to add on some pounds - and can you change your lunch or breaks to include more activity in your day? If you’re a mom of small kids, here are some things to assess this Labor Day - how’s your back holding up as the wee ones grow? Are your wrists creaking? Can you change the way you lift and move to protect your joints for the long haul? How long has it been since you had a work-out, or a health check-up, or even just grabbed some me-time? If you’re a caregiver, can you take a class about body mechanics for lifting and turning? Do you have all your vaccinations up to date, as well as good instruction about hygiene for yourself and the person who receives your care? Or is your job that of being a student? If so, you need to pay attention, too, to how many hours a day you’re sitting. Prolonged sitting and that boulder of a backpack can all combine to cause problems with your back, even early in life. Maybe it’s time for a cool standing desk you can hang on your wall. Finally, if you’re plugging away at an industrial job, keep in mind that there are specific health/disease conditions that can affect an industry. Use Labor Day to remind yourself to make sure your doctor knows what you do for a living so he/she can check you for industry-specific exposures and health-risks - even if you’ve retired.

2) Compile: Disaster Preparedness Month is September, following right on the heels of the anniversary of our nation’s largest natural disaster - Katrina. While you’re shopping for other fall items, make a list of what you’ll need to create, or update your disaster preparedness kit. Check out this site for detailed tips and lists to use.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.