Silver Tsunami Survival: Aging Populations and Your Business

silver tsunami

Over the past few decades the world has seen a trend that is both good and bad: People are living longer than ever before. This mass aging in many developing and developed countries is often referred to as the ‘silver tsunami’ due to its far-reaching and unavoidable nature. “How could this be a bad thing?” you might ask. Obviously, everybody wants to live as long as possible, however this trend has been having effects on sectors of our everyday lives that can be considered negative. The negative effect of the silver tsunami that this article will focus on is the impact it has on healthcare systems and corporate health insurance around the world, and in Asia in particular.

The silver tsunami and healthcare systems

Healthcare systems are already burdened today, but this is likely to get worse in the not-so-distant future as the silver tsunami puts pressure on the likes of which has never been seen before. Virtually all healthcare markets in Asia will likely require an increase in their number of hospital beds. At least 25% are needed, if not more, and that is just to maintain current levels of occupancy, which are already too high in some areas. However, with the anticipated continuing shift of focus from local to international patients, and the resulting increase in demand from medical tourists, some nations will likely need this increase in available beds to be more like 100-250%.

There are certainly many perils stemming from modern living. As we have seen from the experiences of numerous developing and developed countries, there is a whole array of common societal and physical ills that come along with it. This includes poor diet and nutrition, sedentary living and lack of exercise, associated weight gain, and an increased prevalence of chronic conditions and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). In fact, the rate of increase in the occurrence of NCDs has been rising in developing Asia at over twice the rate see in Europe and America, due to the quick advancement and shifting demographics in the region. Because of this, it is projected that this figure will be 21% in Southeast Asia, while developed Western markets will see instances of NCD-related deaths rise by 2% from 2008 to 2030.

To be sure, this would essentially constitute a serious health crisis in the region. This is relevant for elderly people, as they are the ones most likely to develop many NCDs.

The tsunami lands in Asia

Why the silver tsunami could potentially be especially devastating in Asia is due to the landscape of healthcare systems here.  Many countries in the region have placed an emphasis on hospitals and medicine that treats acute health problems, as opposed to preventive care. This makes these countries less prepared to promote the lifestyle changes among their populations that will need to be instituted in order to reduce the threat posed to healthcare systems by the silver tsunami.

This is because, in many cases, the kinds of non-communicable diseases that older people struggle with are difficult to treat after they have developed, whereas implementing lifestyle changes years prior to diagnosis could have stopped the disease from developing entirely. Therefore, if a person is going to the hospital to have an NCD treated, it may already be too late to achieve the best possible outcome.

This is why Asian governmental health organizations should be shifting their focus to programs that emphasize preventive care. Yet, even the most developed healthcare systems in the region (such as those found in Hong Kong and Singapore) currently see less than 50% of their citizens utilizing a primary care physician for their care, instead opting to rely on whichever doctors happen to be staffing local hospitals and emergency departments, as well as specialists rather than GPs.

A tsunami of costs

Governments seem to continue to focus more on subsidizing care for acute conditions, and less on incentives for using preventive care. For example, it is estimated that, in Hong Kong, almost 40% of total admissions to local hospitals could have been avoided through improved primary care efforts.

So what does this mean with regards to the costs of health care and health insurance as we proceed into the future? Let’s examine medical costs first. If you have been paying attention to medical costs in the same nations where the silver tsunami is becoming a major issue, you will no doubt see that the real costs of medical care are rising steadily. While there are many factors at play when medical costs rise, when it comes to caring for the elderly, simple supply and demand is a huge one.

Basically, the longer people live, the more likely they are to need medical treatment, whether for acute or chronic conditions. Since average ages have been rising steadily in recent years, and the number of elderly people has been consistently growing, there has been more and more demand for medical services. This, in turn, means that care providers raise their prices due to increased demand, making having medical insurance is more important to have than ever before.

While many countries do have publicly subsidized healthcare to take care of their citizenry, it is also true that private hospitals are the place to go for the best quality healthcare. So is it true that the costs of care in private hospitals are across the board higher those found in public medical facilities. Since the care in these costly private hospitals is not usually subsidized, receiving the best care without breaking the bank will require a quality comprehensive medical insurance policy.

The silver tsunami and your company’s health insurance

Fortunately for people that are still employed later on in life, they may have access to a group health insurance plan through their employer that will provide coverage for their medical costs. Unfortunately for the employers, they are the ones that will have to deal with the increased cost of health insurance that results from rising medical costs. However, there are steps that your business can take to address this.

Firstly, unlike the governmental health organizations mentioned previously, your company can take a team-based approach to healthcare in the hopes of managing your employees’ lifestyle, thereby leading to better health outcomes later in life. By implementing a wellness program, organizing healthy living seminars, promoting good nutrition, or a whole host of other programs, your business can not only end up saving money on health insurance policies in the long term, but also become very attractive to top tier applicants when seeking out new talent.

Another way to control your medical costs in the long term despite the silver tsunami effect is to partner with an experienced insurance broker that has an intimate knowledge of your local health insurance landscape. Pacific Prime is just such a partner. In fact, many unique aspects of our service make us a preferred partner for over 3,000 businesses and other organizations all over the world.

These include providing a comprehensive comparison of available insurers so that you can identify your best options, examining your company’s claims data to spot trends, negotiating with insurers at renewal time to help keep costs down, and generally making sure that your employees and your company are getting the most from your group health insurance.

To find out more about your best options for group health insurance, and how best to survive the silver tsunami, contact the professionals at Pacific Prime today for a free quote! We can answer all of your questions, analyze where you current plan may be falling short, and recommend new plans that suit your specific needs.

Out of the shadows: Making mental health a priority for Hong Kong employers

mental health article

Mental health issues are pervasive across the world, in virtually every population; affecting all of us either directly or indirectly. Hong Kong, with its frenetic and competitive work culture, is no stranger to this phenomenon. In fact, it has been estimated that about 32 percent of employees in 2016 were classed as having unsatisfactory mental health – up from 29 percent in 2015.

A 2014 survey commissioned by the Mental Health Association (MHA) further found that a whopping 60 percent of Hong Kongers report job-related stress and anxiety. Despite these alarming figures, there still remains widespread social stigma towards those battling with mental illness, leading many in the city to suffer in silence.

To that end, this article by Pacific Prime and healthcare advisory firm Asia Care Group looks at the state of mental health and illness in Hong Kong, its implications for employers, and what companies can do to address the issue of mental wellbeing and health in the workplace.

mental health article image

State of mental health in Hong Kong

Talking about and addressing mental health in Hong Kong is something many don’t do, or refuse to acknowledge. Candace Albert from the Asia Care Group further explained, “Fear drives discrimination and myth, and prevents people from seeking care. Encouraging an open dialogue on these subjects and increasing the level of mental health literacy among the general public are established strategies to drive change. At a societal level, increased openness about mental health will reduce stigma, promote earlier identification of common mental disorders, and enhance the likelihood that individuals explore health resources”.

This stigma has only recently started to be addressed by the government, who conducted their first-ever territory wide survey of mental illness in 2010. The report’s final study findings, which were published in a peer-reviewed journal in 2015, found that the prevalence of common mental disorders among adults aged 16 to 75 was 13.3 percent.

Given these findings, Dr. Chan Chung-mau, Chairman of the Hong Kong Association for the Promotion of Mental Health, wrote in his EJInsight article that it is possible that well over one million people in Hong Kong are in need of some form of mental healthcare. Healthcare, which in many cases, is under-supported.

Mental illness support: How Hong Kong compares with other Asia-Pacific countries

In addition to the above mentioned findings, a 2016 Mental Health and Integration report by The Economist Intelligence Unit gave Hong Kong an overall score of 65.8 out of 100 with regard to  their effort to integrate those suffering with mental health illness into the community.

Hong Kong’s worst performance was in the area of governance – including efforts to reduce stigma and promote human rights of mental healthcare patients, where Hong Kong is said to lack “a formal overarching mental health policy”. While the Hospital Authority’s 2010 Mental Health Service Plan helps fill the void in bringing coherence to the service provision, “coordination remains spotty”.

mental health index

Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit

For example, the Food and Health Bureau handles medical care of mental illness patients, whereas community support is managed by the Labour and Welfare Bureau. This fragmentation has led to a key support structure, trained psychiatrists, being largely understaffed.

Shortage of psychiatrists in Hong Kong

As of the time this article’s writing, the patient-psychiatrist ratio here is about 4.5 per 100,000 people, whereas the UK has 14.63 psychiatrists per 100,000 people, and Australia has 9.16 psychiatrists per 100,000 population.

The low number of psychiatrists in Hong Kong hurts access to mental healthcare services. This is especially true in the public sector, where people wait as long as 166 weeks for an initial visit. This, coupled with short appointment times of around 5 to 10 minutes per patient, and hiking demand for mental healthcare services, all point to the fact that it is getting harder for public sector doctors to invest their time into treating and supporting patients and their families.

In November 2016, this pressing situation led the government to announce their intentions of further extending their public-private partnership model, which has been in place in general outpatient clinics to handle “suitable and stable” follow-up patients in order to relieve the overburdened public system. As the private sector currently handles about 10 percent of psychiatric patients in Hong Kong, many see the potential in private doctors taking up more patients.

The issue of stigma and mental illness in Hong Kong

Another important issue to address here is the pervasive stigma that still surrounds those with mental illness conditions in Hong Kong and much of Asia. As this issue is multi-faceted, it can be very complex.

To reduce this stigma, in 2010 the Hong Kong government invested HKD 135 million into setting up a community network for people suffering from mental illness. A number of public programs were organized to promote mental well being and foster a greater understanding of mental illness.

On the success of these programs, Candace Albert commented, “The investment initiative to expand the Integrated Community Centres for Mental Wellness is a positive first step. The programs can be enhanced over time by clearly defined referral pathways, both with the existing Hospital Authority services for current and ex- mentally ill patients, and with primary care. The value of community-based programs is strengthened when they operate alongside other services, in an integrated health system.”

Why employers should address the mental health of their employees

The issue of mental health can be a touchy subject that many employers might not be willing to address openly. After all, many hold the widespread opinion that an employer has no business getting involved with their employees’ mental state in the first place. That being said, while employees have every right to maintain their privacy about personal / sensitive issues, it doesn’t mean that companies should completely ignore their employees’ psychological wellbeing.

The reason is clear: an employee’s mental state, if poor and left unaddressed, will likely permeate into the workplace. In fact, its impact is wide-reaching and can be detrimental not only to the employee, but also the employer and society at large. A 2017 Deloitte UK report, titled: At a tipping point? Workplace mental health and wellbeing, delved into this point further and discussed the following key findings:

  • Impact on employees: 85 percent of employees reported symptoms of poor mental health attributed to work-related stress. Demanding jobs increase the chances of physician-diagnosed illness by 35 percent, and long work hours increase mortality by nearly 20 percent.
  • Impact on employers: Poor employee mental wellbeing also results in loss of productivity. The report found that job insecurity increases the odds of reporting poor health by about 50 percent. Absence, however, is not the only cost. Other costs to the business include presenteeism (the loss in productivity from working at less than full capacity), and turnover.
  • Impact on society: Poor mental wellbeing is also costly to society. According to the WHO, the global cost of mental disorders is expected to reach USD 6 trillion by 2030. This primarily includes the costs and strains to the public healthcare sector. In Hong Kong, for example, demand for psychiatric care has grown from 39,770 cases in 2009/2010 to 47,958 cases in 2014/2015, thus leading to an increasingly overburdened public system.

In addition to the above, the University of Hong Kong found in their new study of mental health conditions in the workplace that 90 percent of respondents (both employees and managers) said they needed better support at work. What’s more, 60 percent of respondents believe that mental health issues in the workplace play a large role in pushing away talented staff. “With productivity losses in workplace settings being as high as they are, there’s a strong business case for reducing mental health stigma. Forward-thinking employers stand to benefit by investing in employee mental wellness initiatives because these programs result in reduced staff turnover, lower sick leave, and better employee performance.”, said Candace Albert.

What employers can do to address employee mental health

By addressing and opening up discussion about mental wellbeing in the workplace, employers can offer the support and tools employees need without intruding on their privacy; not to mention create a more positive and productive work environment overall. Here, we’ve included several key ways to address employees’ mental wellbeing and health in the workplace:

Educate your staff

Given the prevalence of mental health issues in Hong Kong, chances are a significant proportion of your staff are already struggling with a problem. A general lack of awareness and pervasive stigma at the workplace, however, can mean that many employees are not willing to acknowledge their problem, or are confused about how they want to deal with it.

To add to this confusion, “mental health” is a broad term that not only refers to disorders and illnesses like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, but also a construct similar to physical health. What this means is that, similar to how we take care of our physical wellbeing by eating well and exercising regularly, mental health is not only about treating mental illness, but also about taking care of our bodies, getting enough sleep, stimulating our brain, and managing our emotions.

As part of your employee wellness strategy, one solution is to bring in a qualified mental health professional to educate your employees about the wide range of mental health topics. Topic examples include:

  • Spotting signs and symptoms
  • Supporting colleagues
  • Coping with, reducing, and preventing stress
  • Getting quality sleep
  • Building and enhancing emotional resilience
  • And more

The key is to encourage open discussion that allows employees to feel comfortable and ask questions, so that stigma at your workplace will begin to fade. “It’s not enough just to hang up posters with a helpline or website to encourage people to get help,” Candace Albert commented. “We need to encourage people to think and talk about the issue in a workplace setting, such as through educational sessions and workshops. Many employees are afraid to seek help early on, but the majority of common mental disorders can be treated. With appropriate support, individuals can remain productive and efficient members of the workforce.”

Provide a range of mental health management resources

While putting mental health professionals on site can be very beneficial to your staff, some employees could feel too anxious or embarrassed to talk or open up about their issues. Offering additional resources like telehealth (e.g. online counselling services) can, therefore, be a good way to further support employees. By offering these extra resources, not only are more mental health treatment and/or management options available, but they also enable employees to feel more comfortable in reaching out to get the help they need.

Partner with an employee benefits and wellness specialist

From the above, it is clear that there are many advantages to supporting and addressing mental health in the workplace. With that said, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all mental wellness benefits approach, which is why it can be beneficial to partner with an expert like Pacific Prime, who has the skills and experience to identify, devise, implement, and manage your company’s benefits and mental wellness solutions.

We’re also experts in all things insurance, and are able to deliver employee health insurance solutions that includes considerations for mental health. By offering these extra mental health support benefits, employers can ensure that their valued employees are both physically and mentally healthy, and are never left feeling like they don’t have the support they need.

Do you have any more questions? Contact our team today to get the answers to all your questions, as well as a no-obligation free quote.

About Asia Care Group

Asia Care Group Limited is a boutique healthcare advisory firm that focuses on major strategic change projects in the Asia-Pacific region. ACG works across the industry spectrum, with Governments, Public and Private Providers, Health Insurers and Development Organisations in pursuit of more effective and efficient healthcare systems.

About Candace Albert

Candace Albert is a Managing Consultant with ACG, based in Hong Kong. She holds a BA in Public Health Studies from Johns Hopkins University and a dual MPH and MSc in Sustainable Health Systems. She has spent several years working in the areas of chronic disease, health systems strengthening, and strategic planning at previous posts with the Department of Health (US), OECD (Paris), and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Employee benefits for Millennials: what’s really going to attract young workers?

Two Gen Y people point out something in the sky, representing the search for employee benefits for Millennials

As more and more Baby Boomers retire, labor markets around the world are looking to the younger generations in order to source their new leaders and talent. While Gen X are the next in line age-wise, Millennial (or Gen Y) numbers already far outweigh the generation before them, and they’re already poised to take the reins. With such a large pool of talent to choose from, many employers have already begun wondering: do I need to tailor employee benefits for Millennials, and what sort of benefits will attract them?

This week, Pacific Prime discusses Millennial insurance matters. We’re looking at what the size of Gen Y workers will be, whether the insurance industry currently appeals to Millennial values, and what your business can do with your employee benefits to ensure that the best of this group see your company as an attractive employer.

Millennial demographics: just how big are they really?

The age definitions for generations can vary depending on who you ask, though generally Millennials are those born between 1981 and 1997 (making the youngest age 20 and the oldest 36 in 2016). Those before them, the Gen Xers, are usually smaller in number owing to their smaller year range of 1965 to 1980, while the largest generation by far has been the Baby Boomers; those born between 1946 to 1964.

According to US census data interpreted by think tank, Pew Research, the population dynamics between the generations are set for a massive shift in the next 30-odd years: 

Chart showing US population figures by generation, with Millennials holding the highest through to 2050

Why should I care about attracting Millennials?

All these figures go to show that if you haven’t already started hiring Millennials, you might want to start soon. The common belief is that Millennials are “job-hoppers”, and lack any sense of commitment and loyalty to an employer. However, businesses should consider the times in which Gen Y have been entering the workforce. According to Morgan McKinley, Millennials have endured a number of recessions in their lifetimes already; 1998, 2001-2002, and the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) in 2008-2009, meaning much of their working lives have been marred by uncertainty and downturns.

A PriceWaterhouseCooper (PwC) report indicated that more than half of Millennials chose to make compromises when looking for work in such turbulent times. For many, the GFC in 2008 struck as many were graduating university and entering the labor market. They saw their elders being laid off in redundancies, watched friends and peers being rejected for jobs their education years had promised they would find, and many learned to lower their expectations in terms salary and benefits.

What Morgan McKinley have found, in contrast to common misconceptions, is that Millennials are extremely loyal and committed workers. The flip-side to this is that business owners and employers have to work much harder than any generation before them to earn that loyalty and trust. The past few decades have proven that loyalty and hard work can still result in layoffs, so being agile and resilient in the workplace is key to their survival.

Time, however, is wearing upon Millennials and young workers are beginning to prioritize job security much higher than before. As their wealth and assets accumulate, many are seen to be pessimistic about finding new job opportunities. That said, businesses still have time to secure Gen Y workers who come with the sort of resilience, adaptability, and pragmatic skills that can help your company weather disruptive business and economic environments over the next few decades.

Millennial girl with an iced coffee and her mobile phone, displaying some characteristics of Gen Y

Gen Y characteristics: understanding the Millennial

Attracting Millennials with employee benefits and insurance packages can be a difficult task; young people have been notoriously profiled for having little interest in even working in the industry. In general, marketing of insurance products and benefits to Millennials has been slow to adapt to their potential billion dollar buying power. Finding the best way to pitch employee benefits for Millennials should start with understanding who they are. In short, Millennials are:

  • Tech savvy: Gen Y are full of digital natives who were raised in a digital, media-saturated world, are able to adapt quickly to new technologies, and can be incredibly judgmental of products and services with poor customer and user experiences.
  • Social: Millennials are more likely to contribute thoughts, opinions, and experiences via the internet, engage more with businesses and organizations through social media, and participate in social action and community events.
  • Educated: In 2015, 1-in-4 Millennials held a university degree. This may seem strange to those who think of this generation as coffee technicians at your local fair trade cafe, but there is evidence that show that some Millennials are indeed underemployed; working in unskilled jobs or unpaid internships for employment experience while they search for better opportunities.
  • Debt-laden: Due to the high cost of tertiary education, many Gen Y graduates are saddled with high debt before they even start working. This has led to a trend for younger workers to get married and start families later in life, as well as holding back on deciding to own their own home. According to another PwC report, the median age of first-time US home buyers reached the highest age it has been since measures began in 1970; 35 years old.

Furthermore, you can also expect Millennials to prefer to engage with services and products better if they support a public good, or provide a positive social impact. Like other generations, Gen Y can be mistrustful of the insurance industry for the fact that it’s an area where it can be accepted that both sides game the system. Younger workers are highly aware of their own social responsibilities, so you can expect them to turn off from services or organizations that are perceived to cause others harm.

Male Millennial in a suit searches through a crowded street

Attracting the best young talent with employee benefits for Millennials

Tailoring your employee benefits plan to better align with the nature and goals of Millennials will be key to ensuring your business gets their choice of the generation’s top talent. As benefits plans can be different, here are a number of key considerations to understand when developing your workplace package:

1. Go digital

As digital natives, it’s important that Millennials have access to information and services easily and instantly. This can be as simple as providing documentation in a digital format, to leveraging well-designed online platforms such as HR or integrated insurance portals, mobile device applications, or a service provider with a good online user experience. Employee benefits for Millennials should be as digital as possible; no one likes fluffing around with paperwork these days.

2. Push preventative coverage elements

For all of their concerns, their immediate health is often not something most young workers think to consider yet. However, many Millennials are in the stage of their life where embedding good health habits and taking care of their wellbeing is important. Attracting Millennials with robust preventative elements (such as vaccinations, gym memberships, nutritional advice) and explaining their benefits can go a long way in presenting them with the view that you care about your employees.

3. Keep it simple

The downside to being a generation bombarded with various media and distractions every minute of the day means that anything that takes a long time can be a turn off. When it comes to building your employee benefits for Millennials, ensure the benefits and services are easy to use. This can be as simple as using health providers with wide networks and direct billing, to selecting services that use gamification to engage consumers in otherwise tedious matters.

4. Allow flexibility and customization

If possible, you can hook Millennials in by allowing them to personalize the employee benefits you offer. This doesn’t mean creating a new package for every employee; attracting Millennials can be as easy as providing a package of main benefits (such as health insurance) to all employees, and then giving staff the option to pick additional coverage (such as increased dental, extra days off, or personal development tuition support). Providing employees with new options at certain milestones can also be a good way of securing long-term commitment and loyalty.

Getting help with employee benefits for Millennials

Maybe your business is getting ready for a significant change in the makeup of your employees, or you’re an HR expert looking to get one up on your competitors when searching for new talent. When it comes to attracting Millennials, the best decision you’ll make will be to engage with an experienced employee benefits broker. Our team are constantly reviewing and redesigning the employment packages of many professional clients, helping them to find the best benefits solutions for their current and future staff.

To learn more about how Pacific Prime can help with your corporate solutions, check out our website here or contact our staff directly today!

Transgender Health Care and Insurance

Across international news, we’ve been hearing the word ‘transgender’ a lot more. Some states in America are passing transgender bathroom bills to make public facilities more (or less) inclusive. The Amazon series Transparent picked up its first Golden Globe, and in March even Pope Francis set aside some time to meet with Diego Neria Lejárraga, a Catholic man rejected from his local church after sex reassignment surgery.

Transgender means a person’s gender expression doesn’t match their biological sex. Diego Neria Lejárraga (who, by the way, was welcomed into the Catholic church with open arms by Pope Francis) was born a woman. People who are transgender usually say that while growing up, they never identified with their sex, often experiencing a feeling of having been born into the wrong body. When the choice becomes available, many opt to take hormones or undergo sexual reassignment surgery in order to change their sex. The problem is, any reassignment surgery can be expensive. Many who turn to insurance for coverage may find some roadblocks.

Continue Reading…

Oral Hygiene: Getting to The Mouth of the Problem

oral hygiene

Most of us have grown up being instructed over and over by our parents, dentists and teachers to brush our teeth twice a day, to floss daily and that sweets will rot our teeth. We probably took that advice with a grain of salt (or perhaps ignored it completely in our youth) but we can agree that this is all sound advice to foster healthy teeth and gums. What most of us may not know is just how much the health of our teeth affects the rest of our body and overall health. Everyone wants their teeth to look and feel nice but they are also important to speaking, eating and avoiding bad breath and pain. And it’s not just our teeth. Gum, tongue and overall mouth health are equally important. Here we’ll let you know the risks of letting your oral hygiene suffer and what you can do to prevent it. Continue Reading…

5 Summer Activities to Keep the Whole Family Busy

summer fun

Ah, the lazy days of summer! Crisp mornings, balmy evenings and long afternoons of sunshine and smiles in between – until boredom sets in, that is. To keep kids and parents entertained, try these summer activities. Educational and exciting, healthy for the body and brain alike, these five ideas for family fun are sure to make the season a little brighter. Continue Reading…

Calling All Couch Potatoes! 5 Surprising Benefits of Football

football

The biggest tournament in the world’s most popular sport has finally arrived. The build-up to the World Cup finals in Brazil has been dogged by controversy and protests, but now that the tournament is finally underway, billions of people are tuning in each day and night to watch football’s biggest stars do battle for the coveted crown of world champions. With three games each day for the next two weeks or so, it is an ideal time to be a lazy armchair football fan. Or is it?

As we all know, lounging around the living room every evening and watching TV is not exactly conducive to a healthy lifestyle, so we tip our hat to those who are currently feeling the urge to blow the dust off their football boots and go out for a kick-around. Football offers many health benefits, and here are five that may surprise you. Continue Reading…

6 of the Worst: Football Injuries and How Much They Really Cost

football injuries As the world turns its attention to Brazil for the FIFA World Cup, it seems football is on the collective minds of the entire planet. Streamed live in 204 countries, the FIFA World Cup is the world’s most widely viewed sporting event with an estimated 715.1 million viewers tuning in across the month long sporting extravaganza. Mercifully there have been few major injuries this World Cup, but history is littered with ghastly physical afflictions on the football pitch.There are countless times when a replay of the footage is enough to make your stomach turn and your insides cringe. The times where you know instantly that the only way that player is coming off the field is on a stretcher.Thankfully these players have access to some of the best medical treatment available and in many cases are able to make full recoveries without the burden of medical costs, but in the real world sport injuries can be quite a different story. In no particular order (that would be far too macabre), we present six of the worst injuries to occur on the football field and an estimate of what the surgical costs could potentially be for those of us that don’t happen to be football superstars. Continue Reading…

Exercise Like the X-Men: 7 Steps to Personal Fitness

x-men Superheroes are smart, strong and powerful – and so are you. This summer, get your exercise regimen off the ground with these seven, superhero-worthy steps. The days of your fitness future await. Continue Reading…

The Dairy-Lovers Guide to Paleo

dairy

Following the Paleo diet is no small feat. Learning the ins and outs of what you can and cannot eat as a Paleo takes no small amount of research and resolve. For the dairy-lover, sticking to the rules is a Herculean achievement.

If you’re new to Paleo, this diet is modelled around that of our Paleolithic ancestors. Anything they ate, you can eat (including canned tuna and coconut flour cupcakes). Here’s how it works: Continue Reading…