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4 things you might not know
about picking lights for your desk
(BPT) Look at your desk. Chances are you have
at least two screens in front of you.
From smartphones to multiple monitors and
even tablets, backlit screens constantly demand
attention during the workday, but that quality
of light could have a negative impact on health,
comfort and productivity.
For a quick fix, add a task light. Proper task
lighting is an easy hack that can significantly
improve your overall wellbeing and productivity
at the workspace.
Did you know?
1) Light affects your health
It can be easy to forget the impact light has on
our daily lives, but quality light is vital to keep-
ing us healthy, alert and functioning at our best.
It affects not only the biological circadian
rhythm, but also emotions and overall sense of
2) Lighting needs vary based on age
According to Jonathan Puleio, a Certified Profes-
sional Ergonomist (CPE) with Humanscale, ¡°Indi-
vidual lighting requirements vary based on age.¡±
He explains, ¡°By the time we reach our 60s, we
require more than 250 percent more contrast to
view the same documents we did when we were
in our 20s.
Compounding the issue is that monitors emit
light whereas paper reflects light. This means
that monitors and paper-based documents have
completely different lighting requirements.
Task lighting helps to address both issues, al-
lowing users to adjust their individual light levels
according to their task and their respective age.
For these reasons, proper lighting has been
shown to reduce visual symptoms and improve
3) Features make a difference
If you¡¯re ready to invest in a quality task light,
here are a few key features to prioritize: quality
of lighting, adjustability and footprint.
Look for task lights with the latest LED technol-
ogy, which provides superior light quality. If
designed correctly, LED lights minimize glare,
create a uniform footprint of light and cast a
single shadow. Many task lights create multiple
shadows on the work surface, adding visual
complexities that can lead to ocular fatigue.
Although you may not notice it, a task light that
casts only a single shadow will significantly en-
hance your comfort.
LED lights not only produce higher quality light-
ing, but they also are better for the environment
and last longer too.
4) The light¡¯s reach is also important
A well-designed task light should also offer a
wide range of light output so you can find the
best brightness level to illuminate your work
Adjustability of the light¡¯s reach is just as crucial
so it can allow you to position the light where
you most need it.
And finally, a large footprint of light helps you
shine high-quality light on more space, eliminat-
ing the reliance on subpar overhead lights.
Humanscale just released the Nova and the
of the vitamin D
as 20-year-olds
after exposure to
the same amount
of sunlight
with only 400
IU of vitamin D
does not prevent
the deficiencies
observed in win-
Research in the
last decade has
shown that vita-
min D helps our
immune system
fight microbes
by increasing
the activity and
killing power of
certain white
2019 February/March
Pg 6 - The Sunshine Express
Health & Nurturing
blood cells, as well as increasing the amount of in-
ternally generated antibodies that fight microbes,
including viruses such as influenza.
Vitamin D and Respiratory Illnesses
People in Norway have very little seasonal varia-
tion in vitamin D levels due to high intake of
vitamin D in fish and cod liver oil, while people in
Britain have marked vitamin D deficiency in the
winter. Excess wintertime mortality is twice as
high in Great Britain as in Norway.
Melanin pigment in the skin limits the ability to
make vitamin D. African-American adults have
much lower vitamin D levels than Caucasians and
their mortality from influenza is much higher, while
African-American children have twice the pneumo-
nia mortality of white children.
Similar correlations lead me to suspect that vita-
min D may be responsible for many things, includ-
ing why:
Children exposed to sunlight are less likely to
get colds
Cod liver oil intake reduces the likelihood of get-
ting viral infections
Using UVB lamps in factories and schools leads
to reduced colds and flu
Children given high doses of vitamin D have less
What to do to prevent the flu?
Avoid transmission of the flu by using alcohol
based hand sanitizers, cover the cough, and if
possible stay home from work or public gatherings
during the peak flu season. And, perhaps most
important, get your vitamin D level checked!
During the winter months, from the fall to spring
equinoxes, my children get 2000 IU of vitamin D3
daily while I increase my usual 3500 IU daily up
to 5,000 IU. Normal blood levels of vitamin D are
30-80 (ng/ml), with 10 the minimum to prevent
rickets, 34 the minimum to absorb calcium, and
up to 50 associated with greater neuro-muscular
While the pharmacologic potential and exact
mechanisms of vitamin D are just beginning to
be explored, from what I can determine it makes
sense to keep your winter-time vitamin D level
above 50 ng/ml, which is consistent with a natural
summer-time level.
There are instances in medicine when a certain
disease is found primarily in correlation with
another underlying disease. For example, Pneu-
mocystis pneumonia and a rare cancer called
Kaposi¡¯s sarcoma, occur so exclusively in AIDS
patients that they are considered ¡°AIDS defining
Perhaps a similar analogy can be made between
influenza and vitamin D deficiency, such that
some day influenza may be considered a ¡°Vita-
min D deficiency defining illness¡±.
(Scott Rollins, MD, is Board Certified with the
American Board of Family Practice and the
American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative
Medicine. He specializes in bioidentical hormone
replacement for men and women, thyroid and
adrenal disorders, fibromyalgia and other com-
plex medical conditions.
He is founder and medical director of the Inte-
grative Medicine Center of Western Colorado
( and Bellezza Laser Aesthetics
( Call 970.245.6911 for
an appt or more information.)
In Harmony
by Scott Rollins, M.D.
Influenza: A Symptom of
Vitamin D Deficiency
Could the remarkable association between
influenza epidemics and the winter season be
explained by the well known deficiency of vi-
tamin D that occurs when the sun dips so low
in the sky that humans can no longer make
vitamin D in the skin?
I think so, and science is just starting to un-
ravel this connection.
British physician Robert Edgar Hope-Simpson
was the first to propose a connection be-
tween influenza epidemics and the season.
He documented the fact that influenza out-
breaks all around the world peak just after the
winter solstice, are worse at higher latitudes,
and less severe at the equator except for the
rainy season when people were indoors. He
theorized a ¡°seasonal stimulus¡± related to the
direct solar radiation in the summer months
that protected us against influenza.
The influenza virus is present year round and
can be found in about 2% of humans at any
given time. Why is it, then, that influenza re-
lated illness occurs suddenly in about 15% of
the population right around the winter solstice
and virtually disappear during the summer
months? There is mounting evidence that
vitamin D deficiency might be the underlying
Vitamin D is made in the skin upon exposure
to UVB rays in direct sunlight. Multiple aspects
about vitamin D support it being the ¡°seasonal
stimulus¡± that Dr Hope-Simpson¡¯s theory pro-
Vitamin D has profound and multiple effects
on human immunity
Serum levels of vitamin D are low in many
people who live in temperate latitudes, espe-
cially in the winter
Inadequate vitamin D nutrition is common
in the elderly who also only make about 25%
Light Up For Health