Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Samsung, Travelers Insurance, Bayer and AppliedVR have teamed up in a new 16-month study to evaluate virtual reality (VR) for pain reduction and therapeutic purposes. The belief is that VR can potentially be a drug-free tool for pain management. Similar VR studies are happening in Canada. Earlier this year, researchers from Simon Fraser University’s Pain Studies Lab recruited people with and without arthritis to play their VR game. Their goal is to understand how VR can be used as a tool for enhancing physical activity, which can help reduce pain.
According to Dr. Brennan Spiegel, director of health services research at Cedars-Sinai, the study will use technology from Samsung, Bayer and AppliedVR as a supplement to manage pain in patients with acute orthopaedic injuries of the lower back and extremities. The study will be funded by Travelers and Samsung. Dr. Spiegel added: “We need to find ways to stem the tide without relying entirely on medicines. Health technology, like virtual reality, has tremendous potential to improve outcomes while saving costs, which is why we’re so excited about this collaboration among academia and industry.”
Arthritis in the workplace: Are employers and employees speaking the same language?
In this issue of JointHealth™ insight, Arthritis Consumer Experts looks at the current state of arthritis in the workplace. Find out what makes the City of Ottawa and Aboriginal Peoples Television Network two of Canada’s best workplaces for employees living with arthritis.
In this issue, you will also find:
A summary on arthritis in the workplace, including the latest statistics about the cost of work disability
Suggestions on what kind of flexible work arragements would help workers with arthritis
City of Ottawa and Aboriginal Peoples Television Network awarded for best arthritis workplaces in Canada
Award presentation to City of Ottawa (From left to right: Cheryl Koehn, ACE; Marianne Phillips, Director, Human Resources, Donna Gray, General Manager, Service Innovation and Performance Department, Mayor Jim Watson; Kelly Lendvoy, ACE)
Many Canadian workers struggle to find the right balance between work, family and personal responsibilities, particularly employees with chronic disease who are becoming an increasingly high proportion of the workforce due to aging, arthritis chief among them. Canadian employers who understand chronic disease, particularly the impact of a disease like arthritis, are implementing adaptations in their work environments to accommodate employees. Based on workplace insights shared by employees and company managers, ACE is awarding the City of Ottawa and Aboriginal Peoples Television Network for their arthritis awareness, prevention and benefits practices in the workplace. Continue reading →
Government of Canada issues Flexible Work Arrangements report
Working with patients to bring the right to request flexible work arrangements to Canada.
In May and June of 2016, Canadians participated in the online consultation of implementing a meaningful right to request flexible work arrangements under the Canada Labour Code. Stakeholders shared their expertise, concerns, ideas, and personal experiences through online surveys, written submissions, and roundtable discussions.
ACE participated in Flexible Work consulations carried out by the Department of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, attending a regional roundtable in Vancouver and being part of a written submission from the Arthritis Alliance of Canada.
In its post consultation report, the Department made the following references to arthritis: Continue reading →
ACE is searching for Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis
To help kick off Arthritis Awareness Month in Canada, Arthritis Consumer Experts ACE) today announced the launch of the third annual Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis. The judging criteria this year will particularly value those organizations providing an environment that meets the needs of employees living with arthritis to manage their disease and work with symptoms such as pain, fatigue, joint dysfunction or immobility.
“Smart employers know committed, productive teams require an environment where employees know they can balance work, family and personal responsibilities. In this third year of our award, we are looking closely at the availability of flexible work benefits and policies, as well as employees’ comments on their effectiveness,” said Cheryl Koehn, President and Founder, Arthritis Consumer Experts. “We want to recognize companies providing innovative flexible work arrangements to help employees with arthritis, and other chronic diseases, take better care of themselves, and in turn report less pain, fatigue, and disruption at work, allowing them to remain employed for longer.” Continue reading →
A research team from the University of Calgary and Statistics Canada found that people living with osteoarthritis (OA) have almost twice the risk of losing work time due to illness or disability as those without OA. Furthermore, the researchers found that people with OA are three times as likely to become unemployed.
Combining the National Population Health Survey, the researchers selected 659 people with OA, matched them with 2,144 non-OA individuals on the basis of age and sex, and compared their reported work time loss from 2000 to 2010. Work time loss was 90% higher and unemployment tripled due to illness or disability among the OA patients after adjusting for sociodemographic, health and work-related status.
Osteoarthritis is by far the most common type of arthritis. It is estimated to affect more than 3,200,000 Canadians-about 1 in 10. The disease is the leading cause of chronic pain and loss of mobility in Canada and is associated strongly with diminished productivity and increased utilization of healthcare resources. Disease onset usually occurs during the working years. Continue reading →
One of Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis
(Left to right: Dennis Leung, Coordinator and Harro Lauprecht, Manager, SFU’s Return to Work/Disability Management Program; Monica Swanson, Manager, SFU Special Projects; Cheryl Koehn and Kelly Lendvoy of ACE)
Hello ACE members, subscribers and followers,
As a person with arthritis I know all too well how difficult in can be to deal with the daily realities of living with the disease and try to do a great job at work, even on days or times when I’m not feeling that well. Because what we do for work is a large part of our lives and we derive not only an income but a sense of personal satisfaction from our jobs, ACE wants to recognize employers in Canada who are dedicated to helping employees with arthritis remain gainfully employed.
It was with great pleasure that on January 28, 2016, ACE presented Simon Fraser University with it’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis award. One of Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) important goals is to maintain a healthy workplace for all employees, including those living with chronic diseases like arthritis. I am so encouraged by SFU’s approach to employee well-being and, in particular, the understanding, empathy and services they provide their employees living with arthritis. ACE is thrilled to be a resource to SFU and other employers in Canada to elevate disease awareness and education and explore ways to collaborate to help employees with arthritis live better lives at work.
Founder and President
Arthritis Consumer Experts
About Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis
The Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis program is a national campaign to help employers better understand arthritis in the workplace. Annually, ACE conducts the Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis Awards, a coast-to-coast search to find and recognize three small, medium and large companies who offer exceptional workplaces for their employees living with arthritis. The recipients of the award is recognized for their efforts to make their work environments great for everyone, including employees living with arthritis – the most common chronic disease in the workplace.
About Simon Fraser University
Born in 1965, SFU has become Canada’s leading comprehensive university with vibrant campuses in British Columbia’s largest municipalities – Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey – and deep roots in partner communities throughout the province and around the world. Simon Fraser University celebrated its 50-year anniversary in 2015.
Simon Fraser University, L’Oréal Canada and High Liner Foods lead the way for best arthritis workplace practices in Canada
Canadian employers, working with their private health insurers, are increasingly looking for ways to promote patient-focused prevention, treatment and management of chronic disease as part of a health and wellness program for employees. To recognize the best arthritis practices and most innovative initiatives to raise arthritis awareness, Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) announced the winners of its second annual search for Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis.
Based on workplace insights shared by employees and company managers, ACE is awarding these Canadian companies for their best arthritis practices in the workplace and commitment to investing in employee health and well-being:
Labour Day celebrates the achievements of workers. It originated with the labour union movement which called for eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest. It is important that we acknowledge workplace safety, especially for your joints, in order to foster workplace achievements, retain qualified workers, and optimize work productivity.
Certain jobs put your joints at higher risk of getting arthritis, such as those that require you to make the same repetitive motions daily. In an interview with Everyday Health, Erik Gail, MD, professor of clinical medicine in the rheumatology section and interim director of the Arizona Arthritis Center at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson, said: “Anything that puts unhealthy strains or stresses on the joints can cause arthritis.” Below is a list of jobs that may increase your risk for arthritis if you don’t take the necessary arthritis prevention strategies. Continue reading →
You may think that working a 9-to-5 desk job is tough. Think about doing that while managing your osteoarthritis and/or inflammatory arthritis, which itself is a full-time job on its own. For people living with these diseases, working in an office environment – and sitting for a prolonged period – can create joint stiffness in the spine, hips or knees. Improper posture and technique when using a computer or writing may aggravate pain for people with the disease in their hands. It can also place additional stress on affected joints. Experts suggest we maintain regular movement throughout the workday as sitting too much can weaken the muscles surrounding your joints.
In an interview with the Globe and Mail, Dr. Aileen Davis, a professor in the departments of physical therapy and surgery at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine, said: “For people who are spending long days sitting at work, we would recommend that they periodically do some stretches and also that they get up from their desk and move around every hour, hour and a half. I’m not saying that you’ve got to walk a long, long way, but just even the fact that you’re getting up and moving around your office is helpful.” Continue reading →