Healthy Living in the North

We did it for the gram

A collage of photos on our Instagram feed.

That’s right! Northern Health now has an Instagram account.

Why Instagram?

Instagram is the perfect place for us to show off photos of our amazing region, our super talented staff, and, of course, tons of health information. A healthier north means being as available as possible to the people around us, and Instagram provides another great way for us at Northern Health reach out to our region and beyond!

Have your say!

We’re always open to suggestions, and we’d like to know what you’d like to see more of. If you have any idea of what you would like to see come through our Instagram account, please let us know (via email at healthpromotions@northernhealth.ca or DM us!)

Give us a follow on all our channels

Although our Instagram is brand new, you can also find us on many other social media feeds. Check them all out. You never know, the health tips and information you learn today might just impact your tomorrow!

Instagram: @northernhealthbc

Facebook: Northern Health

Twitter: Northern_Health

YouTube: Northern Health BC

Thanks for following!

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Health: There’s an app for that

Nurse in a hallway holding a tablet computer.

Mobile health is creating many opportunities to use smart phones and online tools for health and wellness. With the increasing ease of sharing information, individuals need to exercise caution.

As I finish waiting in line to buy tickets for the show, I have already checked Rotten Tomatoes, read the synopsis, watched the trailer, and read user reviews. I’ve also updated my Facebook status and “checked in” at the movie theatre. Only two likes?! Maybe I should post a selfie? (#catchingaflick)

All of this information and interconnectivity is available to me at the touch of a button or a slide of a finger. These amazing devices make our lives easier and help us to communicate instantly with one another in ways that were not possible even 10 years ago. In my opinion, one of the most exciting prospects about all of this functionality in the palms of our hands is the advancement and increased access to health and wellness support, information, and tools.

A number of app designers have invested in mobile technology for wellness. You can get apps that track your mood, coach you in deep breathing, or can track your immunizations. Separately, YouTube and other social media channels are used by scholarly institutions, health authorities, and health professionals as a way of sharing wellness information that can be accessed in the privacy of your own home, from the bus, or wherever you have the desire (and the data plan) to access it.

Research is demonstrating some of the benefits of the emerging field of “mobile health.” For example, research is following individuals who are quitting smoking and receiving text message encouragements (visit quitnow.ca for details), or setting people with specific medical conditions up with education and reminders through their mobile device.

In the north, where winter roads and lengthy distances can make travel difficult, technology is emerging with some exciting options for people to promote wellness and ownership of their health. Informally, communities of like-minded individuals are gathering on sites like Reddit and Pinterest to share wellness tips and information, as well as links to pertinent research or videos. However, users need to take caution.

Not all health information, sites, or sources are created equally. With the increasing ease of information sharing, it’s important for individuals to exercise caution until an app or information found on the Internet can be verified. For information to be trusted, it should come from a credible source, like a health authority. Check with your family doctor if you are unsure.

The future is bright with touch screens and I’m optimistic we’ll continue to see the benefits and development of this area of health services in the years to come.

This article was first published in A Healthier You, a joint publication of Northern Health and the Prince George Citizen.

Nick Rempel

About Nick Rempel

Nick Rempel is the clinical educator for Mental Health and Addictions, northwest B.C. Nick has lived in northern B.C. his entire life and received his education from the University of Northern BC with a degree in nursing. He enjoys playing music, going to the gym, and watching movies in his spare time.

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Join the #healthynorth conversation!

Use the #healthynorth hashtagAt Northern Health, we are happy to be a part of your social networks, whether you read our blog, follow us on Facebook, talk to us on Twitter or re-pin us! We love to not only share our stories and tips, but to hear what you have to say about your health and wellness, and about northern BC. Now, we want to take this conversation further.

We want to encourage you to start your own conversations about health – using the #healthynorth hashtag.

What’s a hashtag?

A hashtag can be any word or phrase (no spaces) preceded by the number sign (#). When used on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social media sites, the hashtag becomes hyperlinked, and users can search by this hashtag to find all posts or conversations around its specific topic. And now we’d like to associate #healthynorth with all things related to health and wellness in northern BC.

How can you join the conversation?

Show us how you make our north healthy – for you, your family, your community, your workplace… anywhere! Posting a picture on Instagram of a great walking trail in your town? Add the hashtag #healthynorth. Sharing your healthy recipe on Facebook? Tag it. Whenever you want to share your version of a healthy north with others on social media (Twitter, Vine, Facebook, etc), tag it with #healthynorth. You can also search for the hashtag on social media platforms to see what others are saying and posting (visit our tagboard to see them all in one place!).

A teaser for you

Watch for our new contest starting Monday – you will be able to participate by using #healthynorth!

Talk to you online!

Jessica Quinn

About Jessica Quinn

Jessica Quinn is the regional manager of health promotion and community engagement for Northern Health, where she is actively involved in promoting the great work of NH staff to encourage healthy, well and active lifestyles. She also manages NH's social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc). When she's not working, Jessica stays active by exploring the beautiful outdoors around Prince George via kayak, hiking boots or snowshoes, and she has recently completed her master's degree in professional communications from Royal Roads University, with a focus on the use of social media in health care.
(NH Blog Admin)

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