Increasing awareness of researcher mental health

Recently, there has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the mental health of researchers. Research is an activity that aims to confront the boundaries of human knowledge: it demands excellence from all researchers, who aim to publish in peer-reviewed publications, submit grant applications, achieve tenure or defend a PhD thesis. Researchers identify with and are dedicated to their work to a very great extent. A recent report noted that researchers simultaneously demonstrate high levels of job satisfaction and high levels of stress and depression. Nevertheless, hard work does not have to lead to suffering.

The secret to making family life compatible with an academic career

EuroScientist celebrates International Women’s Day 2017 by covering a study giving food for thought on the issue of work/life balance for career scientists. Germany has traditionally looked down on mothers pursuing their career in the immediate few years after their children were born. However, a new survey by the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW) shows that there are several key factors influencing researchers to stay in academia. These include the ability to self-determine their working hours, a flexible workplace and the existence of a long-term professional perspective. Clearly, respondents to the survey from both genders appear to strive for a better work/life balance. But it may take another generation for old habits to die.

Health Policy

The shift towards prevention or wellness has now been operated a few years ago in health policy. Particularly in the field of chronic diseases, which is the focus of our independent coverage in this issue and of a campaign orchestrated by the REIsearch project. This has led to a number of policy experiments over time. As yet, there is no magic bullet to entice people to try and take greater care of their health. It appears that a combination of voluntary actions by citizens, with prevention campaigns from interested groups, and regulations can help. But too much of any of these ingredients may affect the fragile dynamic between them.

Human nature thwarts wellness

As Easter is looming, some of us already know that eating large amounts of chocolate eggs will be too much of a temptation to resist. This Easter chocolate binge is symptomatic of our approach to health. And to preventing chronic diseases that may affect us later in life. Until we actually see the damage done by such often irresponsible behaviour, we are not going to change. Clearly, we are our own worst enemies, when it comes to keeping ourselves in good health and taking preventative steps.

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Diabetes prevention requires multiple concerted strategies

Diabetes is one of the largest global health emergencies of the 21st century. On a global scale, there are an estimated 415 million people aged 20-79 with diabetes. These include 193 million who are undiagnosed. A further 318 million adults with impaired glucose tolerance are also at high risk of developing the disease. In 2015 alone, diabetes and its related complications will have caused 5 million deathsand cost 12% of the global healthcare spend. How can we slow, stop, or reverse the diabetes epidemic?

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Chronic diseases: citizens’ rights and responsibilities

Despite advances in our understanding of management and prevention, chronic diseases are still on the rise. By 2030, estimates point that an additional 52 million people will die from chronic diseases. Public healthcare systems are under strain, and their budgets are getting smaller. How can we reverse the chronic disease epidemic? First and foremost, citizens can help themselves. Some governments in Europe have already tried to encourage healthier lifestyle choices. Is promoting healthy lifestyles authoritarian? Or is a government that fails to do so guilty of neglect?

Chronic disease prevention using wearable technology: not that simple

Since the last decade, wearable technology moved from developers’ drawing boards to stores, with barely a whisper of disquiet about data privacy. Yet, the implications for data privacy should not be underestimated. There is growing interest in the potential of wearables to mitigate, treat or prevent chronic conditions which put a strain on health economies–ranging from chronic back pain or physical stress injuries to mental health issues like work-related stress. EuroScientist investigates how the latest regulatory framework could secure people’s privacy as they strive to prevent chronic conditions through wearable technology.