Hard at work in the fight against cancer

a close-up of worried looking office worker scratching the back of his head

When we think of the reasons for employee absenteeism, we often think of back pain, wrist strain or stress leave. Yet while musculoskeletal (MSK) and anxiety-related conditions account for a significant proportion of absences, we tend to forget the heavy toll that cancer takes on the workplace.

According to the New Zealand government, work-related diseases are responsible for an estimated 516 to 804 lives lost per year and as many as 20,000 new disease occurrences. Of these, work-related cancer plays a considerable role[i]. In addition, cancer carries a significant economic burden with far-reaching implications. One UK estimate puts yearly cancer costs at £5.5 billion in lost productivity due to the time off needed for both patients and their caregivers[ii]. Moreover, new findings[iii] reveal that nearly one third of employee long-term illness claims in the UK over a one-year period between August 2014 and July 2015 were due Read more

The obesity-cancer connection

feet on a bathroom scale, whose reading spells out “SOS”

Approximately 25% of men and 26% of women in New Zealand are obese[i]. Although obesity has been long associated with diabetes and heart conditions, it is also increasingly linked to cancer, as recent findings have shown. Today’s post explores the implications and reasons behind the numbers.

The World Health Organisation defines obesity as having a Body Mass Index (BMI)[ii] of 30 or more[iii]. In New Zealand, approximately 25% of men and 26% of women are obese[iv]. Around the world, obesity rates have doubled since 1980[v] and, although long associated with diabetes and heart conditions, a recent report now shows a clear connection between obesity and cancer. The report, released at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago this past May 29, reveals two major findings: 1 in 5 cancer deaths is caused by obesity obesity will replace smoking as the largest preventable cause of Read more

Physiotherapy in Women’s Health

In this month’s physiotherapy post we look at special conditions affecting women and how physiotherapy can help in both prevention, treatment and recovery.

Physiotherapy in Women's Health refers to the therapeutic treatment of all dysfunctions affecting the pelvis and pelvic floor. Pelvic Floor: a complex structure composed of a group of muscles that support the pelvic organs and form the uterine canal and a passage for urine and feces. These muscles not only need to contract in order to keep a woman continent, but they also need to relax to allow for the passage of urine and bowel movements, natural birth and sexual relations. Problems with the pelvic floor may arise when its muscles are either very weak (hypotonia) or very tense (hypertonia). A combination of Read more