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Archive for the ‘Health Literacy/Consumer Health’ Category

National Parks: Nature and Health Benefits

Thursday, August 25th, 2016
Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park

Today the National Park Service is celebrating its 100th birthday. What a wonderful milestone in our country’s history. Here in the Pacific Northwest we have some of the most beautiful national parks, forests, and preserves. Even here in Seattle, whenever I get a peek at Mt. Rainier my eyes become glued to the view, I hold my breath in awe, I start feeling energized and happier. And I also notice the people around me appear to have a similar reaction. There’s something about seeing that mountain that just puts me in a better mood.  I am not alone in this. A quick search on PubMed results in several research papers that discuss the many health benefits of being outdoors in nature.
Such health benefits may include:

  • increase in memory and attention spans
  • stress reduction
  • sharpening the senses
  • elevates moods
  • sense of well-being
  • decrease risk of developing poor vision
  • increase creative problem solving
  • improve immune system

Not everyone has a mountain view but whether it is a view of a sunset, a desert, a field of grain, a river, a garden- taking time to get outside and enjoy the view. It’s good for both the mind and the body!

MedlinePlus and other NLM resources have information and tools to help you exercise and be healthy:

Start today and make a point of going outside and consider making plans to visit one of the National Parks and start enjoying the health benefits!

Free exercise information for older adults!

Monday, August 15th, 2016

Celebrate Go4Life Month this September. This year’s theme is #Fit4Function, focusing on the practical benefits of exercise and physical activity, like being able to drive, carry groceries into the house, do yardwork, walk the dog – all activities important to older adults.

Go4Life is an exercise campaign program of the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health. Go4Life provides a variety of free materials to help seniors become and stay physically active. Sample exercises, an exercise guide book (in both English and Spanish), easy-to-print tip sheets with information about the health benefits of physical activity, even tools for setting goals and tracking progress, the National Institute on Aging has got it all. What’s more, all the information in these resources is based on research in people ages 50+. (more…)

Videos Featuring NLM Resources for Nurses

Friday, August 12th, 2016

Does your library serve nurses or nursing students?

If so, then check out the latest video from the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) regarding the freely available resources nurses and nursing students will find invaluable in their research.

NLM Resources for Nurses: Research

In less than four minutes learn about 15 different resources—all free, reliable and online—to support nursing research and promote quality health outcomes.

And once you’ve watched it, please share this video with your colleagues, patrons, and students. Information like this wants to be shared!

Want to alert nurses and nursing students about where their patients can find quality consumer health information?

If so, then check out the latest video from the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) about the various resources that NLM freely provides which clinicians can recommend to their patients.

NLM Resources for Nurses: Patient Education

In only 2 ½ minutes learn about 11 different resources—all free, reliable and online—to help patients and their families learn more about diseases, disorders, conditions, and treatments.

And once you’ve watched it, please share this video with your colleagues, patrons, and students. Quality health information can make a positive impact on the lives of patients and their families.

Want more videos on quality health resources? Subscribe to the NLM YouTube Channel and check out the playlists.

NLM is the world’s largest medical library, and millions of scientists, health professionals, and members of the public use NLM services every day. Check out the many resources NLM has to offer today!

MedlinePlus changes

Friday, July 1st, 2016

On Tuesday, July 12th, 2016, the MedlinePlus team will update the domain to “” for all page URLs on the English and Spanish MedlinePlus sites, including health topic pages, drug monographs and encyclopedia articles.

For example, the URL for the English health topic page “Asthma” will change from



The URL for the Spanish health topic page “Asthma” will change from


The old URLs will automatically redirect to the new URLs for the foreseeable future. However, we suggest updating your pages to point to and concurrent with this update.

This update does not change the site contents or design.

Contact MedlinePlus for questions about this update at

Summer Safety

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

hikers Summer is often the time of year most people enjoy. It is more relaxing, a chance to enjoy outdoor activities, take vacations, and spend time with friends and family. However, many may also find it a time to take more precautions with sunburn, mosquito bites, and accidents. While not all accidents and health issues can be eliminated steps can be put in place to help prevent such concerns.

Sunlight provides health benefits including vitamin D which helps absorb calcium. It is also thought to boost mental health and cognitive function. But too much sun can lead to health problems one of which is Melanoma which is the most serious type of skin cancer which affect primarily adults but has also been diagnosed in children and teens. How to stay safe in the sun and which sunblock to use? Check out these resources:

Many are concerned about mosquitoes and not just their annoying itchy bites but concerns about Zika and other related illnesses. Though the Northwest may not have as much concern as warmer and more humid parts of the US it is good to consider using mosquito repellent. Which ones are safe and effective to use? Check these resources:


June is Men’s Health Month

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

silhouette of runnersWhile attending the Children’s Author luncheon at the Public Library Association conference in Denver this past April I couldn’t help but take note that Sherman Alexie began his talk by talking about a medical condition. The focus of his talk was not about medicine and medical care but he did focus several minutes  humorously recounting his medical experience regarding the benign brain tumor that was removed. He involved the men in the audience by noting that few men take the initiative to seek preventative health care, including himself, because every time they go they receive a diagnosis. So why would you go?!

Alexie’s logic may be questionable but is is not an unusual perception by many men.  Men tend to live unhealthier lives compared to women. They tend to drink and smoke more, take greater risks, and tend to delay or just not seek medical care such as regular checkups, health screening, or treatment. And, if you are a man of a racial or ethnic minority, your health is trailing behind even more than the general population. (more…)