Technology

Industries Collide for the Future of Health

Industries Collide for the Future of Health

Up until a few years ago, fitness wasn’t something I consciously concerned myself with – I’d been an athlete in my younger years and remained relatively healthy riding on the continued benefits of my youthful athletic pursuits well into my late thirties and early forties. However, after some shoulder surgery and a decade of back pain, I realized I needed to get more proactive with my physical fitness and take charge of my health. Ultimately, I credit my revamped perspective on health and fitness to my supporting and very participatory family, my butt-kicking personal trainer, Leandro Carvalho along with the entirely thorough and accessible platform of the most well known and reputable fitness and nutrition company in the county for over 15 years at Beachbody. The emergence of fitness and health tracking technology has helped in ways no one could have imagined in my youth!

Since my fitness re-awakening, not only have I lost thirty five pounds, but I’ve also gained some much appreciated energy and stamina. That said, change didn’t happen overnight, and while initially recovering from decade long injuries and a dash of mid life aging, the first few steps were quite small. Starting out with a Fitbit and my family group, I actually began tracking my steps as a fun way to stay connected with my family. Nonetheless, I soon found myself competing with my sister and trying to keep up with the kids’ step counts by walking instead of hopping on the train, taking longer routes between meetings, and pushing myself to get out and be more active.

As a tech enthusiast, these initially small yet ultimately significant life changes sparked my increased fascination in the intersection of technology with fitness and health – specifically the ways in which biotech innovation is creating real, powerful impacts on the way people view their personal health. Predicted by tech mogul Steve Jobs, as he laid dying of pancreatic cancer he passionately pronounced, “I think the biggest innovations of the 21st century will be at the intersection of biology and technology. A new era is beginning.” To this point, Jobs could not have been more accurate.

Amazon’s New Parental Leave Expansion Is Smart PR Before Holiday Shopping Season

Amazon’s New Parental Leave Expansion Is Smart PR Before Holiday Shopping Season

In an internal email this past Monday, Amazon announced a new parental leave plan that provides paid paternity leave and extends paid maternity leave, to take effect on January 1st. Markedly, in addition to extending paid maternity leave to up to 20 weeks for birth mothers, the revamped policy adds six weeks of paid time-off for new parents – who have worked for the company for at least a year – regardless of gender, allowing new fathers paid time-off following the birth or adoption of a child for the first time in the e-commerce superpower’s 21-year-long history.

Following similar policy updates from Yahoo, Netflix, Microsoft, and Adobe, Amazon’s new plan brings the Seattle-based e-commerce giant up to speed with a growing group of tech companies that are working to improve family leave for their employees.

In reality, we have a very long way to go in securing the rights for working parents – the US is the only developed country that doesn’t guarantee paid parental leave, with the UK guaranteeing 39 weeks paid maternal leave, Australia 18 weeks, and Mexico 12. Moreover, Amazon’s new plan is restricted to full-time employees and does not apply to contract or temporary workers, which are becoming far more prevalent in today’s on-demand economy. Additionally, one should keep in mind that just because a policy is adopted, that does not necessarily mean workers will have easy, unfettered, and encouraged access to it.

All of that said, the emerging trend is nonetheless an encouraging move toward workplace equality for both new mothers and fathers and is indicative of the longstanding demand for advancements in the rights of working families and ultimately a better work-life balance.