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Selections from What’s Trending This Week — July 24, 2015

taxes1. FINES: 7.5 Million Americans Paid ACA Penalty for 2014

This week, the Internal Revenue Service announced that about 7.5 million Americans paid an average penalty of $200 for not having health insurance in 2014 — the first year most Americans were required to have coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

The government had estimated in January that from 3 million to 6 million households would have to pay a penalty: 1 percent of their annual income or $95 per adult in 2014, whichever is greater.

In all, the IRS said it has collected $1.5 billion from the individual mandate penalty included in the health law. About 40 percent of taxpayers paid a penalty paid less than $100.


napping2. DEBTS: Can You Re-Pay Your Sleep Debts?

Is it possible to catch up on lost sleep? There’s no doubt that sleeping just four hours a night catches up to people within a few nights, leading to impairments of attention, learning and memory and worse performance in school and at work.

Sleep researchers are now saying that it might be harder than you think, suggesting that making up for lost sleep over the weekend doesn’t work. Five brief nights quickly add up to a shortfall of 20 hours, but people don’t sleep more than five to 10 extra hours to compensate for the total loss.

Chronic lack of sleep has been associated with a host of physical ailments, including heart disease, diabetes and memory loss.

So what’s the best solution? Try to get back onto a regular sleep schedule, and start getting enough sleep!


fitness3. REWARDS: How a Cardio Workout Can Improve Your Work Life

Feeling mentally, physically, or emotionally stressed when it comes to your job? A recent Australian study found that consistent sweat sessions — especially cardio-based ones — can directly reduce symptoms of burnout, like feeling psychologically stressed and emotionally exhausted.

With job burnout becoming an increasingly significant problem worldwide, it’s critical to find ways to protect the mind and body. Chronic stress, a main contributor to burnout, can negatively affect the brain, heart and immune system in a multitude of ways. According to a recent survey from the American Institute of Stress, almost half of American workers say they feel “a disabling reaction to stress on the job,” and that inability to cope with chronic stress is a key contributor to one’s overall potential for burnout.

So what are you waiting for? Throw on your sneakers, break a sweat, and cut down on your stress!