Health tips — September 2014

How office designs relate to sick leave and how medical wait times in Canada may have increased the rate of female mortality.

Control your environment

Your office's design may make you sick, a recent study finds. Researchers from Stockholm University in Sweden analyzed data on 1,852 employees and found those in open-plan offices took more time off for short- and long-term illnesses than those who had a closed-room office, even if that room was shared. "The results indicate lower odds of sick leave in office types with high personal control and a lower degree of environmental stressors," such as noise, the authors suggest.

Delayed access to care costing lives, study says

The estimated typical wait time for medical care in Canada across 12 major specialties grew to 18.2 weeks in 2013, up from 9.3 weeks two decades earlier, reports the Fraser Institute. Furthermore, as wait times increase, so does the rate of female mortality. The think tank estimates delayed access to care may have contributed to the deaths of 44,273 Canadian women between 1993 and 2009. "Canadian taxpayers fund one of the developed world's most expensive universal access healthcare systems, yet delays for emergency care, primary care, specialist consultation and elective surgery are among the longest in the world," says Nadeem Esmail, study author and Fraser Institute senior fellow.