Away from the Office

Away from the Office 

Compiled by Jason Dehart

HEALTH Online with the Doc

Next time you feel sick, try reaching for the mouse instead of the phone. While many doctors have been slow to embrace e-mail as a way to connect with patients, it still might be worth checking into, according to writer Allison Van Dusen.

“A new Deloitte Center for Health Solutions online survey of more than 3,000 adults shows that nearly 80 percent of health care consumers would like to be able to e-mail with their physicians,” Van Dusen wrote. “What’s more, 23 percent said they’d be willing to pay for it. Yet … only one-third of the more than 1,300 physicians surveyed by health care market research firm Manhattan Research said they used e-mail to communicate with patients in the first quarter of 2007.”

If you’re lucky enough to have a doctor so open-minded and e-mail-savvy, Van Dusen suggests taking the following steps when trying to connect to your doctor via e-mail:

1.    Check your doctor’s Web site.
2.    Know privacy issues.
3.    Understand the limits.
4.    Get your prescription.
5.    Schedule time to talk.
6.    Be realistic about response time.
7.    Be brief and to the point.
8.    Know when it’s time to arrange an actual office visit.

For more information, visit

FITNESS Something You Learned in Kindergarten

Remember lying down for the afternoon nap? How refreshing it was, and how recharged you felt? Turns out, a quick power nap in the afternoon – say 15 to 20 minutes – may be good for you as an adult, too.

Dr. Sara Mednick, of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., indicates that a nap helps cells repair themselves, benefits heart function and is good for hormonal maintenance. Even NASA has taken notice; space scientists say that while naps don’t aid alertness, they do help your memory. Research at the Salk Institute suggests that with a nap, you have higher brain activity during the day – but without one, brain activity declines.

Overall, studies say a midday nap reduces stress, increases reaction time and efficiency, and may even help productivity. Business executives, pilots, athletes and even soldiers in combat take catnaps before taking to the field.

Now, if only the boss could arrange for some fingerpainting in the break room.


TECHNOLOGYDown with Dog-ear

All hail the Reader Digital Book from Sony. Billed as an “innovative reading experience,” this futuristic gadget features a high-contrast, high-resolution 6-inch screen visible even in bright sunshine. Weighing in at just 9 ounces and only a half-inch thick, this “ebook” can hold up to 160 digital books. More than 7,000 pages can be read on one charge. Costs start at just under $300. See the Reader Digital Book at; books can be downloaded from Sony’s eBook Store at

Light Your Fire – Anywhere

If you’ve ever tried – and failed – to light up that Montecristo cigar in the middle of a 60-mile-an-hour gale, here’s the gadget for you. The Windmill Delta is a powerful 21st-century butane lighter encased in an advanced elastomer armor that is impervious to the elements. Its 2,000-degree-Farenheit flame can be counted on to light you up in the coldest weather and at high altitude. For around $50, it’s hard to beat. Take a look at