By Melissa Lafrance on October 23, 2018
30-Day Online Mindfulness Challenge | Begins October 29
This free, innovative, evidence-based training is for all UBC staff and faculty looking to incorporate mindfulness into the workplace and in their everyday lives. Content is delivered online via any device, and focuses on simple yet powerful and achievable learning objectives. After just 10 minutes a day for 30 consecutive days, participants will be healthier, more productive and better able to problem-solve and work in a team. Learn more and register for the challenge now.
Join Miranda Massie, Health Promotion Specialist and Crystal Hutchinson, Workplace Wellbeing Strategist, for their continuing Wellbeing Series. Part 1 highlighted the importance of self-care, while in their next two sessions, they will discuss building resilience, individual and workplace wellbeing, as well as the resources available to support you.
Part 2: Building Resilience | November 1 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
As we face the constant flux of change and complex challenges, it’s important to look at how we build our personal resilience. Resilience is foundational to the prevention of stress and to increase our capacity to cope with and recover from adverse events. This interactive session will provide an opportunity to talk about the current state of employee mental health in Canada, explore the core components of resilience, and share evidence-based strategies and resources for building resilience. Find out more and register now.
Part 3: Workplace Wellbeing | November 22 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
For us to succeed at work, we need to understand how we can be our best selves, and that includes understanding how we can focus on our wellbeing at work. Join us to learn what UBC is doing to support workplace wellbeing, and how you can tap into existing resources and community networks to build a supportive workplace environment. Explore the strategies, tools and resources available to support your individual wellbeing as an employee, including how workplace wellbeing can be enhanced through our everyday interactions, practices and operations. Find out more and register now.
Stress & Resilience Series
Join Dr. Thara Vayali for her continuing Stress & Resilience Series. In the next two sessions, explore the stress response, recognize stress levels, build resilience, and discover the connection between empathy and stress.
Part 2: Empathy & Stress | November 8 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
This workshop will define empathy and explore the ways empathy shows up in our day-to-day lives, including how it can lead to stress and the beneficial ways expressing empathy can improve wellbeing. Find out more and register now.
Part 3: The Stress Inventory | November 21 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
This workshop will explore the domains of stress, including how you can take a personal stress assessment and learn beneficial ways of recognizing, managing and improving stress and your overall wellbeing. Find out more and register now.
Building Career Resilience in Change Series
Changes in the workplace continue at a rapid pace. How can we respond to the changing workplace and also engage with it in ways that support our career development? Join UBC’s Career Navigation & Transition Consultant Pooja Khandelwal in a group coaching series on Building Career Resilience in Change.
Attend this three-part series to gain insights and skills to enhance career resilience and self-reliance. Develop a personalized employability plan and the ability to access appropriate resources for changing career needs. It is highly encouraged that you attend all three sessions, as the information you gain will build to greater benefits. Find out more about the series and register now. (Note: You only need to register once for the entire series.)
- Part 1: The Changing Workplace and its Impact on Careers (Nov. 14, 2018)
- Part 2: Career Wellbeing as a First Step to Career Resilience (Dec. 5, 2018)
- Part 3: Career Resilience Framework (Jan. 17, 2019)
Ergo Your Office Tutorial | November 28 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Optimize your computer work environment to improve comfort and reduce the risk of injury. This one-hour tutorial combines a presentation with a practical session, giving you hands-on experience adjusting typical office equipment. By the end of the tutorial, you will know how to set up your chair, keyboard/mouse, and monitor to promote neutral working postures. Find out more and register now.
Sit-Stand Desks & Platforms | November 28 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
This workshop will provide important information about different types of sit-stand desks and platforms available for the workplace. Understanding the pros and cons of each will assist departments, staff and faculty in deciding which option may be most suitable. Product samples will be available for participants to try in order to understand how the different models impact physical positioning and workflow. Find out more and register now.
Community Health News: November 2018
This month, join us for UBC Thrive Week (Oct. 29 – Nov. 2). Hosted on both the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses, Thrive is an opportunity for staff, faculty and students to explore their path to mental health.
View the full events calendar, or gather your colleagues to participate in UBC’s largest Zumba class and Thrive wrap-up celebration! Free to attend with games, booths and healthy snacks available. Come Thrive with us!
October 24-26: UBC’s Annual Flu Shot Campaign
November 2: Garden Design Lecture with Dan Hinkley
November 6: Staff and Faculty Choir Rehearsal (Join now!)
November 15: Lace Up for Kids
November 20: Food Insecurity through Indigenous Perspectives (webinar or video conference)
November 20: Prepare Your Dependent Child for UBC Admissions
November 20: Sing! Sing! Sing! UBC (monthly drop-in choir)
November 27: Annual UBC Mammography Screening (Mobile clinic)
Photo Credit: UBC Communications & Marketing
By Melissa Lafrance on May 4, 2017
Fake news is getting a lot of attention lately. And fake news, especially when it comes to health, can be extremely damaging as people may suffer or be harmed as a result of misleading or incorrect information. Social media makes it extremely easy to spread this misinformation, making a bad situation even worse. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve seen misleading health information shared on social media.
You often don’t even need to open an article or site to know that the information is not legit. But sometimes it’s easy to be fooled. Read on to learn how to spot misleading health information and improve your personal health literacy.
How to spot fake health claims
1. Beware of catchy clickbait titles and images
Read past the headline or title! And be cautious of articles that use photos unconnected to the story. For example, if you do a reverse search of the image using Google (right-click on the image and choose to search Google) and find that the image appears on a lot of stories about many different topics, there’s a higher chance that it’s not actually an image taken of the story itself.
2. Pay attention to the domain and URL
Established organizations usually own their own domains and have a standard look you are probably familiar with. Sites with endings such as “.com.co” should make you think twice.
3. Be critical and ask questions
If it’s described as “the secret even doctors won’t tell you,” be wary. A lot of health information is confusing and many conflicting claims may be circulating. Learn questions to evaluate the reliability of online information.
Being curious leads us to explore, investigate and learn. Curiosity gives us the drive and motivation to acquire valuable health information by questioning expert sources and unravelling new subject areas. Find the things that motivate you to continue, and ask for clarification if something doesn’t make sense.
4. Check the publishing date, credentials and references
You want the most current information (ideally less than three years old). The article should be written by a health professional and the author’s credentials should be listed. Check to see if the website references research articles or organizations to back up its health information. The bigger the claim, the more evidence you need to see that it’s true. You can also read the “About Us” section to find out more about the organization.
5. Do the research
When something piques your interest, research it! While it may seem difficult to sift through the wealth of information available at our fingertips, I highly encourage you to explore reliable websites. Some credible sources include not-for-profit organizations, government health agencies, and educational institutions. Here are some to use as a starting place:
- UBC Human Resources – Staff & Faculty Health
- Workhealthlife by Shepell
- Health Canada
- Government of Canada – Healthy Canadians
- Heart and Stroke Foundation
- Canadian Mental Health Association
- Dietitians of Canada
6. Beware of confirmation bias
We are often drawn to things that reinforce the way we see the world, how we feel about certain issues and our personal connections to certain health issues. These misleading articles or stories are designed to stir up emotion in readers.
7. Trust your instincts
Ask yourself if the finding is really plausible. If the claim seems too good to be true, is very drastic in the way it’s portrayed or written, or makes unsupported causation conclusions, then it’s likely over-exaggerated.
8. Think before you share!
If you can’t be sure that the information is true, evidence-based and free of unsupported claims, think twice before sharing a link or sending it on to others – which could have unintended consequences.
What exactly is health literacy and why is it important?
The Public Health Agency of Canada defines health literacy as “the ability to access, comprehend, evaluate and communicate information as a way to promote, maintain and improve health in a variety of settings across the life-course.”
To put it more simply, health literacy means being able to obtain and understand information relating to our health. We need to be critical when looking at health claims and advertising presented to us. Some health claims are based on research and evidence, while other claims are inaccurate and unsupported (and, in some cases, can be dangerous).
Studies show that people with higher health literacy are healthier. When you are able to understand and use health information, you have the important elements in place to build a healthy lifestyle (including taking preventive measures to avoid illness and knowing how and when to seek medical care).