“This four-letter word is the Swedish key to happiness at work” - Quartz, March 14, 2016
This short article looks at the “secret” to work happiness in Sweden - where workers are among the least stressed worldwide. It’s a four-letter word: fika…a coffee break during which employees leave work behind and relax in the company of colleagues. It is a key pause for the Swedish workday, and it may even boost productivity!

“Junk food is bad for plants too” (and it’s bad for us) - Nautilus, March 31, 2016
This article explains how a steady diet of fertilizers has turned crops into couch potatoes. It’s undeniable that crops raised on fertilizers have produced historical yields. But there is a trade-off. High-yielding crops raised on a steady diet of fertilizers appear to have lower levels of certain minerals and nutrients. The diet our crops eat influences what gets into our food, and what we get—or don’t get—out of these foods when we eat them.

“Fitness trackers reveal the damaging pitfalls of the modern approach to self-improvement” - Quartz, March 17, 2016
Could fitness trackers put us on a dangerous slope? They are designed to help us get more exercise and make healthier food choices, but this article highlights that the technology can take a dark turn if it ends up enabling an unhealthy preoccupation with fitness and weight. Some wellness experts argue that these gadgets pose a problem for people who are prone to disordered eating and exercise habits in general.

“Why are our kids so miserable?” - Quartz, March 21, 2016
According to several psychological studies, something in the US and the UK is undermining young people’s mental health, especially girls. Researchers have a raft of explanations for why kids are so stressed out, from a breakdown in family and community relationships, to the rise of technology, to increased academic stakes and competition. Also, inequality is rising and poverty is debilitating.

“How your surroundings could be killing you” - Time, March 15, 2016
It may sound obvious that a healthy environment (air, water, workplaces, homes) underpins a healthy population, but this is largely unnoticed on a day-to-day basis. This article refers to a WHO study that concludes that more than 12.5 million deaths globally each year can be attributed to unhealthy environments.


A Striking Stat:

A World More Obese than Underweight

"More people in the world are now obese than underweight – a complete reversal from forty years ago when the underweight population was more than double the obese. 105 million people were obese in 1975 vs. a staggering 640 million-plus today."

Source: School of Public Health, Imperial College London, in The Lancet, 4.2.16

AuthorBeth McGroarty, Director of Research, GWI