Numeracy 101: Making Sense of Numbers During COVID-19

Alt: A newscaster doodle on TV says, “Stay tuned for more daunting data points…” A doodle sitting on the couch and watching TV says, “But what do those numbers MEAN???”We’ve written before about how numeracy can impact health decisions. And we know numeracy skills tend to decline when we’re under stress — like, say, during a global pandemic! So as health communicators, we need to help our readers parse the data in the COVID conversation.Use these tips to help your audiences make sense of COVID numbers:Use numbers on a need-to-know basis. When people are bombarded by lots of numbers, they tend to tune out. So each time you use a number, ask if your reader really needs to see it. For example, in a short how-to about COVID testing, is the exact false positive rate need-to-know information? Or could that number distract from the key action step of getting tested?Define key data terms. Terms like “positive test rate” get thrown around so much these days that they start to feel familiar. But to most people, that’s still unfamiliar jargon. So instead of writing: “Your state has a 20 percent positive test rate,” try: “In the last week, 1 in 5 people in your state who got tested for COVID-19 had the disease.”Put numbers in context. Defining data-related terms is only half the battle! Readers also need context to understand why the numbers matter in the first place. So provide the relevant takeaway: “This high positive test rate means that your state isn’t testing enough people. That means lots of people in your state could have the virus and not know it.”Follow up with action steps. Turn information into action by pairing numbers with steps readers can take to keep themselves and others healthy. For example, “Right now, there are more than 500 cases of COVID-19 in your county. That’s a very high number — so it’s especially important to stay home as much as possible and wear a mask whenever you leave your home.”Help readers visualize data. Use graphics to bring the numbers to life. For example, the Covid Act Now map offers a visual snapshot of how the virus is affecting communities across the United States. These types of colorful visuals can help readers quickly grasp the level of risk in their area — and make more informed health decisions.The bottom line: Help your readers understand COVID stats and use them to make better health decisions.Tweet about it: Help your audiences make sense of stats when you #communicateCOVID! Use these #HealthLit numeracy-boosting tips from @CommunicateHlth: https://bit.ly/3kJc2fSNumeracy 101: Making Sense of Numbers During COVID-19 was originally published in wehearthealthliteracy on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Numeracy 101: Making Sense of Numbers During COVID-19
Alt: A newscaster doodle on TV says, “Stay tuned for more daunting data points…” A doodle sitting on the couch and watching TV says, “But what do those numbers MEAN???”

We’ve written before about how numeracy can impact health decisions. And we know numeracy skills tend to decline when we’re under stress — like, say, during a global pandemic! So as health communicators, we need to help our readers parse the data in the COVID conversation.

Use these tips to help your audiences make sense of COVID numbers:

  • Use numbers on a need-to-know basis. When people are bombarded by lots of numbers, they tend to tune out. So each time you use a number, ask if your reader really needs to see it. For example, in a short how-to about COVID testing, is the exact false positive rate need-to-know information? Or could that number distract from the key action step of getting tested?
  • Define key data terms. Terms like “positive test rate” get thrown around so much these days that they start to feel familiar. But to most people, that’s still unfamiliar jargon. So instead of writing: “Your state has a 20 percent positive test rate,” try: “In the last week, 1 in 5 people in your state who got tested for COVID-19 had the disease.”
  • Put numbers in context. Defining data-related terms is only half the battle! Readers also need context to understand why the numbers matter in the first place. So provide the relevant takeaway: “This high positive test rate means that your state isn’t testing enough people. That means lots of people in your state could have the virus and not know it.”
  • Follow up with action steps. Turn information into action by pairing numbers with steps readers can take to keep themselves and others healthy. For example, “Right now, there are more than 500 cases of COVID-19 in your county. That’s a very high number — so it’s especially important to stay home as much as possible and wear a mask whenever you leave your home.”
  • Help readers visualize data. Use graphics to bring the numbers to life. For example, the Covid Act Now map offers a visual snapshot of how the virus is affecting communities across the United States. These types of colorful visuals can help readers quickly grasp the level of risk in their area — and make more informed health decisions.

The bottom line: Help your readers understand COVID stats and use them to make better health decisions.

Tweet about it: Help your audiences make sense of stats when you #communicateCOVID! Use these #HealthLit numeracy-boosting tips from @CommunicateHlth: https://bit.ly/3kJc2fS


Numeracy 101: Making Sense of Numbers During COVID-19 was originally published in wehearthealthliteracy on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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What You Should Know About Strengthening Your Immune System

What steps can you take to improve your body’s response to sickness? Here are some things you should know and keep in mind.More

What You Should Know About Strengthening Your Immune System

Written By Mikkie Mills / Reviewed By Ray Spotts

For many people, the immune system usually does a good job of protecting our bodies from disease. Unfortunately, there are those times that you do manage to catch a really bad cold or the flu, leaving you to wonder if your immune system could use some support.

Furthermore, a global pandemic has caused many folks to turn their attention to their ability to resist disease and think of ways to make their bodies more resilient. What steps can you take to improve your body’s response to sickness?

Here are some things you should know and keep in mind.

Physical Fitness To Strengthen Immune System

Although there is much more research needed to fully understand the connection between exercise and immune health, there is evidence that a consistent routine of physical activity supports a healthy immune system.

Exercise has been shown to increase the flow of blood during muscle contraction. This also increases the number of immune cells that circulate the body and detect pathogens that cause disease.

A study published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that subjects who performed aerobic exercise five days or more per week of upper respiratory tract infections over a twelve-week period. Consider getting into a regular exercise routine

Balanced Eating To Strengthen Immune System

A healthy, balanced diet helps strengthen your immune system. Eating in certain nutrients can help your body fight off infections.

Citrus fruits which tend to be high in vitamin C have a strong reputation for fortifying the immune system. Other nutrients such as vitamin A, E and antioxidants are also noted for their contributions in keeping the body healthy.

Look to increase your body’s sickness-fighting ability by creating a well-balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, grains and other high-quality meat sources. The more complete your food regimen is, the better chance you have of making sure that you’re not getting too much of certain nutrients and not enough of others.

Supplemental Nutrition To Strengthen Immune System

In spite of your best efforts, it’s difficult to get all of your recommended daily intake of nutrients through food alone. Supplements can help you fill nutritional gaps in your food intake.

While you can buy supplements that offer multivitamin benefits, you can also find products that are designed to help strengthen your system. Probiotic supplements support your system by providing certain bacteria strains that can aid in treating certain immune-related conditions.

Consider going with a product that leverages the power of organic, botanically sourced ingredients for a strong immune system.

Hydration To Strengthen Immune System

Dehydration has a negative impact on your immune system. When you’re dehydrated, the overall volume of blood and lymphatic fluids is reduced, critically affecting your body’s ability to transport nutrients and rid itself of toxins and wastes.

A strong immune system requires regular hydration through drinking of water. It’s important to have the blood volume needed to properly circulate essential nutrients to the various body parts. Consider increasing your intake of water as well as healthy foods that are high in water volume such as certain fruits and leafy vegetables.

Sleep And Rest To Strengthen Immune System

Proper rest is crucial to your body’s ability to fight infectious diseases. Research shows that people who are sleep-deprived are more likely to get sick after being exposed to viruses and bacteria.

A lack of rest also impacts your recovery time when you are sick.  As you slumber, your immune system releases cytokines which are proteins, some of which help your body fight infections.

Moreover, a lack of sleep can result in a decrease of disease-fighting antibodies. Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep. Consider if you’re not getting enough rest each night.

The immune system is an important part of your body’s ability to stay healthy. It should come as no surprise that many of the tips to boost immune health also support overall health.

Regular exercise, proper diet and nutrient intake, hydration and good sleep are all important to a lifestyle that supports immune health.

Subscribe to our  newsletter for more information about . If you are looking for more health resources make sure to check out the  

Written By:

Mikkie Mills is a freelance writer from Chicago. She is also a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on interior design, budgeting hacks and DIY. When she's not writing, she's chasing the little ones around, walking her dog, or can be found rock climbing at the local climbing gym.

Reviewed By:

Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed , a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at .

Source : Trusted Health Products More   

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