May 18, 2010
By: Alvaro Fernandez
Now that we are preparing our 2010 market report we are analyzing in depth a number of important recent developments. A major one, whose implications haven’t yet been properly digested, was the publication in the UK of a fantastic series of policy, scientific and technology reports by the Foresight Project on Mental Capital and Wellbeing. If you want to have a stimulating and substantial read, you can download the Executive Summary (and most other reports) for free.
I was thinking about their main recommendation (the need to focus more attention, as a society and as individuals, on building mental capital and wellbeing trajectories along the lifecourse), as I came across these apparently completely separate news. Doesn’t the lifelong mental capital framework add new light on these articles?
Study Sees Gains In Good Child Care (Wall Street Journal)
A study released Friday found that benefits associated with child-care providers and preschool programs that encourage such activities as language, reading and game-playing last well into adolescence. In particular, teenagers who had such child-care performed significantly better academically than those given low-quality or no care outside the home.
High-quality care was defined as an environment in which care-givers or teachers were warm, engaged and sensitive to a child’s needs, and provided cognitive stimulation through activities that would promote language, such as reading, conversation and game-playing.
Time to Review Workplace Reviews? (New York Times)
The focus on workplace health comes as worker satisfaction in the United States appears to be at an all-time low. The Conference Board reported recently that just 45 percent of workers are satisfied with their jobs, down from 61 percent in 1987. The findings, based on a survey of 5,000 households, show that the decline goes well beyond concerns about job security. Employees are unhappy about the design of their jobs, the health of their organizations and the quality of their managers.
Dr. Sutton, whose new book “Good Boss, Bad Boss” (coming from Business Plus) argues that good bosses are essential to workplace success, said skyrocketing health care costs should motivate businesses to focus on ways to lower stress.
Alzheimer’s Prevention or Cognitive Enhancement (blog post based on NIH independent panel)
“Firm conclusions cannot be drawn about the association of modifiable risk factors with cognitive decline or Alzheimer’s disease.”
(Note: which is true, but, as we discussed previously, this is being misunderstood to mean “there is nothing we can do to maintain if not enhance our cognitive and self-regulation capacities,” which couldn’t be further from truth, based on the very simple facts of lifelong neurogenesis and neuroplasticity.)