LinkedIn’s 20 most popular online classes of the year reflect how the pandemic has impacted our work lives

LinkedIn's 20 most popular online classes of the year reflect how the pandemic has impacted our work lives

LinkedIn Learning’s top 20 most popular courses of the year include ‘Time Management’ and ‘Strategic Thinking.’ Experts say the spike in interest in these subjects reflects workers’ desires to connect with others as they adjust to a new professional landscape. University Health Services also opens testing sites in preparation for the upcoming semester Did you give up working for your child? It’s possible, based on a new survey ANNAPOLIS, Md — As eight Navy midshipmen file into their economics class, instructor Kurtis Swope points to the antibacterial wipes on the desk. “Did you grab wipes?” he asks, then tells each one to take two, wipe down the desk when they arrive and again when they leave. “That should be your process.” Provided by
PR Newswire Enjoy the Labor Day holiday at local attractions or out shopping

The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically changed how we learn. Many schools have shifted to online instruction and many unemployed workers are attempting to re-skill remotely. The result is a surge in demand for online learning resources. 

Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of the online learning platform Coursera tells CNBC Make It the coronavirus pandemic has created “unprecedented demand” for online courses. 

According to LinkedIn, learners spent three times more hours taking courses through the site’s LinkedIn Learning platform (which costs $29.99 per month) in July 2020, compared to July 2019.

While online learning has long been seen as a tool for workers to gain specific technical skills, this year LinkedIn’s top 20 most popular courses include classes on subjects such as time management and working remotely. Mordy Golding, director of content strategy for LinkedIn Learning says the spike in interest in these subjects reflects workers’ desires to connect with others as they adjust to a new professional landscape.

“The power of online learning has never been so apparent as it has in the past year of extraordinary change,” he says. “Today’s workforce is using learning as a way to ease the transition to a new normal. It’s no surprise that we see courses like ‘Time Management: Working from Home’ and ‘Remote Work Foundations’ spiking as we adjust to a virtual world of work.”

He continues, “But we’re also seeing professionals leaning on learning to foster meaningful connections with one another.”

Golding cites internal data suggesting that because of the pandemic, 31% of workers feel less connected with their organization’s leadership, 37% feel less connected with teammates and 40% feel less connected with their friends. 

“As a result, we’ve seen a 1,100% increase in people coming together in learning groups to learn new skills and a 255% increase in courses shared by learners with their professional communities,” he says. 

While interest in technical skills such as Python and Excel remains high, Golding explains that the number of people learning soft skills online has doubled year-over-year and that some of the organization’s most popular online courses reflect the emotional interests of millions of online learners. 

Indeed, how online learners choose to spend their time provides a glimpse into the professional — and personal —priorities of workers today.

1. Time Management: Working from Home

Instructor: Dave Crenshaw

Course description: With so many demands on your time and attention, it’s a tricky balancing act to stay productive. Learn how to set up a dedicated workspace for maximum productivity, collaborate with remote coworkers, craft your daily schedule and how to use virtual meetings productively. It also offers advice for working parents and other caregivers who have to balance professional and personal responsibilities in the home.

2. Strategic Thinking 

Instructor: Dorie Clark

Course description: Strategic thinking is the ability to think on a big and small scale, long and short term, into the past and the present. This course teaches managers and leaders how to use strategic thinking to guide the direction of your teams and come up with solutions to key business problems. 

3. Remote Work Foundations

Instructor: Mike Gutman

Course description: This course shows you how to use today’s cloud-based communication and collaboration tools to get work done from anywhere, while remaining connected to your organization. Gutman reveals how you can create a productive work environment, avoid distractions, and build rapport with remote colleagues so you feel like you’re part of the team and succeed in your remote career. 

4. Learning Python

Instructor: Joe Marini

Course description: Python — the popular and highly readable object-oriented language — is both powerful and relatively easy to learn. Whether you’re new to programming or an experienced developer, this course can help you get started with Python. Senior development advocate at Google, Joe Marini, provides an overview of the installation process, basic Python syntax, and an example of how to construct and run a simple Python program. Learn to work with dates and times, read and write files, and retrieve and parse HTML, JSON, and XML data from the web.

5. Developing Your Emotional Intelligence

Instructor: Gemma Leigh Roberts

Course description: Emotional intelligence can help you build effective relationships at work. Executive coach and organizational psychologist Gemma Roberts explains what emotional intelligence is and why it’s important. She helps you become more self-aware so that you can identify triggers that may hijack your performance. She also helps you align your intentions and your impact so that you can build strong and collaborative relationships.

6. Excel 2016 Essential Training

Instructor: Dennis Taylor

Course description: Start mastering Excel, the world’s most popular and powerful spreadsheet program, with Excel expert Dennis Taylor. Learn how to best enter and organize data, perform calculations with simple functions, work with multiple worksheets, format the appearance of your data and cells, and build charts and PivotTables. Other lessons cover the powerful IF, VLOOKUP, and COUNTIF family of functions; the Goal Seek, Solver, and other data analysis tools; and automating tasks with macros. 

7. Excel Essential Training (Office 365)

Instructor: Dennis Taylor

Course description: Get up to speed with Microsoft Excel, the world’s most popular spreadsheet program. Follow along with Excel expert Dennis Taylor as he demonstrates how to efficiently manage and analyze data with this powerful program. Learn how to enter and organize data, perform calculations with simple functions, and format the appearance of rows, columns, cells, and data. 

8. Communicating with Confidence

Instructor: Jeff Ansell

Course description: Most people are afraid of speaking in public, but effective oral communication is a key skill in business. Jeff Ansell provides simple communication tools, strategies, and tips that are easy to use and produce immediate results. He’ll help you sound more confident, use body and language to better express ideas, and overcome anxiety. 

9. Cert Prep: Project Management Professional (PMP)®

Instructor: Sandra Mitchell

Course description: In today’s competitive workplace, effective project managers are critical to the bottom line. The PMP demonstrates your mastery, your experience, and your education. Discover what it takes to pass the PMP exam by following along with project manager and exam prep trainer Sandy Mitchell.

10. Project Management Foundations

Instructor: Bonnie Biafore

Course description: Project management is a set of techniques that anyone can apply to achieve goals and make projects more successful. Project management can be used to guide small, simple projects as well as complex enterprise-wide initiatives. In this course, Biafore explains the fundamentals of project management, from establishing project goals and objectives and building a project plan to managing resources and work, meeting deadlines, and closing the project. 

11. Critical Thinking

Instructor: Mike Figliuolo

Course description:  In this course, leadership trainer and expert Mike Figliuolo outlines a series of techniques to help you develop your critical thinking skills. He reveals how to define the problem you’re trying to solve and then provides a number of critical thinking tools such as blowing up the business, asking the 5 whys and the 7 so whats, exploring the 80/20 rule, and more. He also provides guidance on how to develop this skill across your whole team.

12. Learning Personal Branding

Instructor: Chelsea Krost

Course description: If you are starting a business, establishing your thought leadership, or trying to get ahead in your career, it’s a great time to start investing in the brand of you. Chelsea explains how to develop your story, craft your messaging, and define your audience. Then she walks you through building your brand presence online and off, creating a calendar that will help you stay on top of social media and keep your content fresh. Plus, get tips to monetize your personal brand and land speaking engagements and guest roles.

13. Interpersonal Communication

Instructor: Dorie Clark

Course description: Join personal branding and career expert Dorie Clark as she shares techniques for getting your message across effectively in the workplace, and explains how to tackle potential communication challenges with your colleagues and supervisor. She also discusses how to grapple with tricky situations, taking you through how to handle interruptions, respond to critical feedback, and communicate across cultures.

14. Communication Foundations

Instructor: Tatiana Kolovou and Brenda Bailey-Hughes

Course description: This course helps you communicate better in a variety of professional situations, including meetings, email messages, pitches, and presentations. Instructors Tatiana Kolovou and Brenda Bailey-Hughes introduce the four building blocks of communication—people, message, context, and listening—and show how they apply in different circumstances. Through the use of vignettes and applied tools, the course shows how to build this core competency and communicate in a way that effectively and professionally conveys your message.

15. Improving Your Listening Skills

Instructor: Dorie Clark

Course description: In this course, Clark helps uncover why it’s hard to listen well, and how to develop the mindset of a good listener. She also provides multiple listening strategies to help you manage when you’re the one not being listened to, how to keep yourself from interrupting, and how to listen to what’s not being said. 

16. Microsoft Teams Essential Training

Instructor: Nick Brazzi

Course description: Discover the core features of Microsoft Teams and see how you can bring together colleagues, create conversations and content, and collaborate more effectively. Instructor Nick Brazzi walks you through the essentials of using Teams, including basic setup, how to create scheduled meetings, and more. 

17. Time Management Fundamentals

Instructor: Dave Crenshaw

Course description: Learn how to get more done in the shortest time possible and avoid the obstacles and distractions that can get in the way of good time management. Dave gives practical strategies for increasing productivity in three main areas: developing habits to be more organized and reducing clutter in your workspace; staying mentally on task and eliminate the to-dos you have floating in your head; and developing a time budget to get the most done during your workday and focus on your most valuable activities.

18. Python Essential Training

Instructor: Bill Weinman

Course description: Due to its power and simplicity, Python has become the scripting language of choice for many large organizations, including Google, Yahoo, and IBM. A thorough understanding of Python 3 will help you write more efficient and effective scripts. In this course, Bill Weinman demonstrates how to use Python 3 to create well-designed scripts and maintain existing projects.

19. Excel: Tips and Tricks

Instructor: Dennis Taylor

Course description: Want to take your Excel game to the next level? In this course, veteran Excel trainer and instructor Dennis Taylor shares powerful tips, tricks, and shortcuts that can help you leverage more of what Excel has to offer. Learn time-saving tricks for creating formulas rapidly, accelerating data entry, and navigating within worksheets efficiently. Plus, discover drag and drop techniques, formatting shortcuts, charting and PivotTable tips, and much more.

20. Online Marketing Foundations

Instructor: Brad Batesole

Course description: Learn how to promote your business effectively online and develop a targeted online marketing strategy that engages potential customers throughout the digital landscape. In this course, Brad Batesole explains today’s digital marketing techniques in simple terms, demonstrating how to build a successful online marketing campaign for all digital channels: search, video, social, email, and display.

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Author: Abigail Hess

UW researchers work to develop faster saliva test for COVID-19

UW researchers work to develop faster saliva test for COVID-19

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin’s Dave O’Connor Laboratory and The Friedrich Laboratory are working to develop a new, less invasive COVID-19 test that can return results much quicker than the traditional tests used nationwide.

Traditional tests utilized a swab deposited into the patient’s nasal passage where it eventually reaches the throat. The swab remains there for several seconds to collect the sample. The new test requires the patient to provide a saliva sample that is deposited into a test tube, collecting usable testing material without the need for a nasal swab.

Professor of Pathobiological Sciences for the UW School of Veterinary Medicine, Thomas Friedrich, said he and colleague David O’Connor, started developing the test in late February and early March. Friedrich and O’Connor started to think of alternative ways to test for the virus as a response to the supply shortages of materials used in traditional tests.

Friedrich said conventional tests use a process called polymerase chain reaction. This method of testing requires very specialized equipment that can normally only be found in certain labs, which means samples have to be sent to these labs to be properly analyzed. Friedrich said this, along with shortages in materials needed to conduct PCR tests, can contribute to the long wait times to get results back. 

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According to Friedrich, their test uses a process related to PCR called loop-mediated isothermal amplification. LAMP-based testing uses much less specialized equipment to detect the viruses in patients. Friedrich said laboratories can even be set up directly at testing sites.

“We think LAMP will make it possible to bring testing to schools or workplaces, and importantly, to communities that lack strong health infrastructure,” Friedrich said.

Senior Scientist in the UW Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Dawn Dudley, said the LAMP was developed 20 years ago as a cost-effective alternative to amplifying DNA. The LAMP method is used to detect many pathogens like malaria, tuberculosis, influenza, HIV and zika.

Dudley said the test works by first heating the sample to inactivate potential viruses. The sample then is diluted and added to the RT-LAMP reaction where the virus breaks open, releasing its genome. Dudley added the DNA is replicated using special primers which form extended strands of DNA. This process releases ions which change the reactions pH. Dudley said indicators will change the color of the solution accordingly, showing if the sample is positive or negative. 

Friedrich said LAMP is less sensitive than PCR, meaning it can not detect very low levels of the virus.

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“But we think this is okay because our approach focuses on catching people who have high, contagious amounts of virus and isolating them,” Friedrich said. “LAMP’s other strengths make it a good solution for situations where you want to do repeated testing with fast turnaround.”

Friedrich said the LAMP method’s fast turnaround is an important tool to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. According to Friedrich, half of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs before the onset of symptoms.

The ability to get rapid results back to a patient so they can quarantine themselves before they spread the virus is crucial.  

The goal is to be able to test people who show no symptoms twice per week. Friechrich said their studies are looking into how they can accomplish this goal.

According to Dudley, the frequency is important to catch people at schools or workplace before they widely transmit the virus.

“A test is a snapshot in time, and people can be negative on one day and one day later become positive enough for detection,” Dudley said. “People often need to be infected for several days before there is enough virus to detect.”

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According to Dudley, right now the test is not considered diagnostic. This means they cannot say whether individuals have COVID-19 or not. The test is considered research and can return results that individuals could be infected and may need a diagnostic test.

Friedrich said researchers are frustrated from the lack of a coordinated response from the Food and Drug Administration. Getting tests approved for widespread use can be a long process of proving the tests are safe and accurate. The National Health Institutes’ Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics program has helped fund the project and is working on getting government approvals.

Along with COVID-19 testing research, University Health Services is planning on increasing their testing capacity this fall. 

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Health Communications Specialist for UHS, Kelsey Anderson, said there will be four testing sites in total. The Ogg Hall and Holt testing sites will be reserved for students in university housing for required scheduled testing. The site at Henry Mall and the Fluno Center will be open to all UW employees and students. 

Anderson said testing is open to all who wish to be tested but is encouraged for people of certain groups. These groups include those who have symptoms for COVID-19, those who were in contact with someone who’s tested positive for COVID-19 and those whose job puts them at high risk of coming in contact with COVID-19.

Anderson said the testing is to occur for as long as necessary. For now test results are expected to be back within 72 hours. Once the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab begins processing tests, people can expect results within 24 hours. The testing sites have a capacity of 6,000 tests per week.

According to Anderson, UHS is implementing contract tracing in addition to opening test sites.

“We established a contact tracing process earlier this summer and hired new employees as part of this effort,” Anderson said. “Contact tracers work to identify anyone who may be at increased risk of exposure and will notify those individuals when that is the case.”


Author: by
Joseph Mitchell

Your child likely cost you some work hours

Your child likely cost you some work hours

A new survey found that nearly a quarter of Americans parents had to scale back their work hours to help their children with remote learning.

Parents are taking time off of work to help their children learn online now that virtual and remote learning remains possible in the coronavirus pandemic, CNBC reports.

  • 7% of parents had to leave their jobs altogether.
  • “Parents are being forced to make financial decisions that were not a part of their plan before the pandemic hit. Now, they’re faced with the possibility of leaving a job or reducing their work hours to home-school or help their kids with remote learning, which can have a major financial impact on their household.” — Troy Frerichs,vice president at Country Financial.

    Parents reported it costs more for them to have their children learn from home, too. Those surveyed said they spend up to $500 extra a month on groceries, computers and technology upgrades, CNBC reports.

    Parents remain in a tough spot — juggling child care, remote learning, their jobs and the coronavirus pandemic all at once, USA Today reports.

    One parent, Traci Wells, told USA Today she’s unsure how long she can keep up with everything, especially since her husband works and her children are doing online school.

    • “I was like, I cannot do six more months of this. I don’t know how we’re going to be on all the calls and get the work done when we have these responsibilities. It’s just really, really hard.’’


    Author: Herb Scribner

    Learning to lead amid uncertainty, adversity

    Learning to lead amid uncertainty, adversity

    ANNAPOLIS, Md — As eight Navy midshipmen file into their economics class, instructor Kurtis Swope points to the antibacterial wipes on the desk. “Did you grab wipes?” he asks, then tells each one to take two, wipe down the desk when they arrive and again when they leave. “That should be your process.”

    As chairman of Naval Academy’s economics department, Swope broke his class into two sections, so every student could attend in person. Down the hall another instructor, flanked by chemistry equipment, stands in front of two computers teaching in an empty classroom. And another instructor sits in her office, talking to a grid of camo-clad students on her laptop.

    Under the siege of the coronavirus pandemic, classes have begun at the Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. But unlike at many colleges around the country, most students are on campus and many will attend classes in person.

    This is largely due to advantages the military schools have. They’re small, each with about 4,500 students who know that joining the military means they’re subject to more control and expected to follow orders. Their military leaders, meanwhile, are treating the virus like an enemy that must be detected, deterred and defeated. They view the students as the next generation of commanders who must learn to lead troops through any crisis, including this one.

    “If you look at covid as a threat, it helps you frame it in a way that I think you can then conduct action against it,” said Brig. Gen. Curtis Buzzard, West Point’s commandant. The cadets, he said, are getting lessons in “leading through uncertainty and adversity. I’ve had to do that throughout my career in the Army, particularly in combat, and they’re getting a little dose of it.”

    The virus outbreak sent most academy students home to finish spring semester online. Air Force seniors stayed and graduated early.

    Now students have returned, and 1% to 2% tested covid-19 positive on arrival and went into isolation. Since then, officials say they’ve seen few new cases. The Navy and Air Force will randomly test 15% of students weekly; West Point will test 15% to 20% monthly.

    Because they need dozens of on-campus rooms to potentially isolate covid students or quarantine those who come in contact with infected persons, the Navy and Air Force academies are renting space off-site for healthy students. The Navy, in Annapolis, Md., is putting 375 students at St. John’s College and the Air Force, in Colorado Springs, Colo., will put 400 in three local hotels.

    “We know that with this population that about 90% of this age group is asymptomatic,” said Brig. Gen. Linell A. Letendre, Air Force Academy dean. “That’s what’s really scary about this disease. How do we find those individuals who have it when they don’t even know they have it.”

    To limit any spread, the academies made physical and academic changes. At the Navy’s Michelson Hall, blue tape marks seats that must remain empty, red tape forms large arrows on the floor showing students which way to go, and stairways are designated up or down. Signs remind students about social distancing. Library books borrowed online sit in paper bags for pick-up.

    The Navy has the smallest campus, but two large tents were wedged next to the dorm for dining. The Air Force and Army, however, have been able to create large outdoor classrooms and meeting areas.

    “I wanted outdoor classrooms for a long time, and we’re finally getting them,” said Letendre. “I never waste a good crisis.”

    At West Point, instructors tested their classroom air quality. They added time between classes for cleaning. And faculty walk the halls to ensure students follow health procedures.

    The Army and Navy academies will limit students’ movements off campus. That may be difficult, since the tourist-filled restaurants and bars of Annapolis’ waterfront are nearby. Air Force leaders said they’ll let students go to stores or take-out restaurants initially but will clamp down if there are covid cases.

    “I don’t know that anyone else can demand the same things we do with respect to self-discipline. That’s just part of being in an academy,” said Col. Matthew Dabkowski, director of West Point’s systems engineering program. “There’s a level of control with respect to the staff and faculty and the cadets that, I think, is helpful.”

    Academy officials said roughly 50% of their classes will be in-person, the rest will be online or a mix. Some students will attend in person more often if they have lab work.

    Students attending academies also need hands-on military experience. The virus made some of that impossible this year, and some students missed critical time in military units or on ships.

    “You can do academic course work online. We can teach online,” said Andrew Phillips, Naval Academy provost. “But the professional experiences they missed this summer are very hard to make up.”

    Phillips said most juniors who must pick their service specialty now didn’t get out to active-duty units but will, he hopes, choose wisely. Navy students heading to the Marine Corps, however, got a shortened summer experience because Marine leaders felt strongly about seeing them in person.

    “You want an individual who is a good fit for the Marine Corps, whose attitude is right,” Phillips said. “And you really only can judge that face to face.”

    Technology is also a challenge, with thousands online for classes. Many instructors want students to have their cameras on, which requires more bandwidth.

    Swope, for example, has one computer set up showing his online students; his iPhone camera faces the class, so they are visible online, and his iPad displays his lessons.

    Instructors have to be ready to provide online classes to students in isolation and also be prepared to teach from home if they’re quarantined. Celeste Luning started her junior leadership class at the Naval Academy seeking volunteers to set up the computers if she’s not there.

    “Have you had in-person classes yet?” Luning asks. Amid the chorus of “no,” she turns to her computer to address those online: “Can you see your classmates?”

    One voice from the computer sums it up. “It’s pretty weird,” he said.


    National Study Confirms It's Safe To Work Out At The Gym: Current Data Shows No Evidence of COVID-19 Spread in Gyms

    National Study Confirms It’s Safe To Work Out At The Gym: Current Data Shows No Evidence of COVID-19 Spread in Gyms

    PR Newswire

    BOSTON, Sept. 2, 2020

    BOSTON, Sept. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — After analyzing millions of member check-in data across 2,873 gyms, sports clubs and boutique fitness centers over the course of three months, The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) and MXM, a technology and knowledge transfer company specializing in member tracking within the fitness industry, conclusively found that fitness facilities are safe and are not contributing to the spread of COVID-19.

    From May 1 through August 6, 2020, IHRSA and MXM closely examined and compared member check-in data (number of gym visits) from a number of fitness facilities – such as Planet Fitness, Anytime Fitness, Life Time, and Orangetheory – across the country with self-reported infection rates. After nearly 50 million check-ins over that three-month period, the study found that a nominal 0.0023 percent tested positive for COVID-19. Gyms nationwide have robust COVID-19 safety measures in place and there is zero evidence that the positive cases originated in gyms themselves.

    “As recently as a few months ago, the data correlating fitness facility visits and mitigating risk was practically nonexistent. All that’s changed – and for the better,” said MXM CEO Blair McHaney. “It’s become abundantly clear that the safety measures gyms, sports clubs and boutique fitness centers have in place are not only incredibly effective at keeping their membership safe, but also curbing any potential spread of COVID-19 during a time when we all need access to exercise facilities to stay healthy.”

    The fitness industry’s only trade association, IHRSA, along with MXM, invited all health and fitness clubs in the United States to participate in the long-form study. Over the course of the study, fitness centers provided their total check-ins and number of locations across all states in which they have a presence as well as self-reported on the total number of positive COVID-19 cases documented between employees and members who have been in the club. MXM previously conducted a study surrounding the lack of concentrated outbreaks in fitness facilities with affirming results just last month.

    “The check-in data proves that health clubs – when following strict cleaning and safety protocols – are safe,” said Brent Darden, IHRSA interim President and CEO. “At IHRSA, we have a responsibility to educate and inform people that they should feel comfortable and confident going into fitness facilities throughout the country right now. The data shows that, with proper sanitization protocols in place, people can safely return to their workout routines. Working out has never been more important to help boost immunity and improve mental health. It’s time to acknowledge that gyms are safe.”

    Access to fitness centers is key to keeping Americans healthy. Physical activity plays an important role in not only maintaining a healthy immune system, but reducing COVID-19 risk factors such as obesity, heart disease, lung disease and diabetes. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that 42.4 percent of U.S. adults1 and approximately 18.5 percent of children and adolescents2 in America are considered obese. Physical fitness has long-term mental health benefits as well, including reducing the risk of stress and depression. Notably, one in five Americans experience mental health illness3, and people with mental illness have 40 percent higher risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases than the general population4.

    “Fitness centers are needed now more than ever to help us stay active and maintain a healthy immune system,” added Robert Sallis, M.D. with Kaiser Permanente. “COVID-19 risk factors haven’t changed since the pandemic began – obesity, heart disease, lung disease and diabetes put you at much higher risk for both short- and long-term complications. It’s imperative that we all make real change now to stay healthy given that exercise is an essential part of life.”

    For additional details on the study and how the fitness industry is committed to keeping its members safe, healthy and moving, visit

    1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Adult Obesity Facts
    2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Childhood Obesity Facts
    3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Mental Health Basics
    4 National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – Mental Health By the Numbers

    About IHRSA

    IHRSA, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, is a not-for-profit trade association representing the global fitness industry of over 200,000 health and fitness facilities and their suppliers.

    IHRSA maintains a leadership role in advancing physical activity, which is critical to peak health and the battle against obesity and chronic lifestyle disease. As one of the world’s leading authorities on the commercial health club industry, IHRSA’s mission is to grow, promote, and protect the health and fitness industry, while providing its members with benefits and resources. IHRSA and its members are devoted to making the world happier, healthier, and more prosperous through regular exercise and activity promotion.

    About MXM

    MXM is the world’s leading experts on Operational Member Experience Management and the only company that solely focuses on the Fitness/Wellness Industry. The MXM product combines years of global leadership in CEM technology through Medallia, extensive experience in health club operations, and advanced knowledge of fitness-specific customer experience management operations.

    The MXM system collects real-time feedback from customers, combines that with advanced data integration to get deeper understanding of customer segments, and empowers club operators to make the right spending decisions and drive employee engagement while generating leads and greatly increasing online review quantity and quality. Learn more at

    Media Contact:
    Meredith Poppler

    View original content to download multimedia:

    SOURCE International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA)


    You don't have to put in a lot of work to enjoy these Labor Day deals around Nashville

    You don’t have to put in a lot of work to enjoy these Labor Day deals around Nashville

    This is Labor Day weekend. Surely there are some fun things to do or good sales to enjoy as summer winds down.

    Here is what I have found:

    Nashville Zoo has extended its half-price online admission promotion and free carousel rides deal through the end of September.

    Zoo admission with online ticketing is half-price starting at 1 p.m. daily. The reduced admission will be $8.50 for adults and $6.50 for children (2-12) on Mondays through Thursdays and $9.50 for adults and $7.50 for children on Fridays through Sundays. The zoo is also offering free rides on the Wild Animal Carousel all day on Wednesdays in September and is offering a $1 discount on a large Dippin’ Dots ice cream daily throughout the month. (It’s normally $7.)

    In other zoo news, the amphitheater shows are back on, the Backstage Pass program has been restored, and the Kangaroo Kickabout area is reopening this week. (Zoo officials say there are four joeys (baby kangaroos) and six more on the way.)

    The other good zoo deal is the Kroger Safari Fridays where guests can present their Kroger Plus Card at the zoo’s ticket building to get half-price admission all day. This Friday promotion cannot be combined with “Deal Days.” 


    The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. is offering locals a $10 discount on its Total Access Pass in hopes of encouraging locals to visit some of our hometown attractions in these COVID-19 days when tourism is at a low.  

    The Total Access Pass is a combo ticket that provides admission to your choice of four of Nashville’s most popular attractions, plus the Parthenon and Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. It also provides discounts on tours and gifts at select attractions.

    CVC spokesperson Bonna Johnson said the Total Access Pass discounted price of $89 (instead of $99) is good through Sept. 14. You can purchase online and pick up at the visitor center or purchase directly at the Nashville Visitor Center, which is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

    The CVC has also curated some deals from Nashville restaurants, hotels and attractions for locals to take advantage of. The Love Thy Neighborhoods program offers deals at

    “Since we are not marketing for visitors to come to Nashville, we are hoping to encourage Nashvillians to support local restaurants, shops, attractions, etc.,” Johnson said.

    ThriftSmart is having a storewide Labor Day sale Monday with everything in the store half-off. The nonprofit store is at 4890 Nolensville Road.

    Uptown Cheapskate,the new franchise resale shop in Murfreesboro for men’s and women’s clothing and accessories, is now open for buying and selling. After several months of purchasing clothing from sellers, the store opened at 1960 Old Fort Parkway.

    Also open now is the new Play It Again Sports store, which buys and sells gently used sports and fitness equipment.The new franchised store is at 7631 Highway 70 S. in the Staples shopping center in Bellevue. Owner Robert McAlhaney, who opened a couple of weeks ago, said the two hottest categories for buying and selling are golf and fitness equipment.

    Details: 615-747-6767 or

    More:If you have things to sell, new resale shops are eager to buy

    One of the things I am often willing to splurge on is comfortable shoes, so when I see an 80%-90% off sale at the Green Hills area Cute & Comfy Shoes, it gets my attention.

    Owner Darcy Bomar calls the Friday and Saturday tent sale outside her 4121 Hillsboro Road store a “Peace Out” sale. She said the tents will be filled with a large selection of summer clearance shoes and clothing, all priced at $18.31, or $20 with tax. Most of these items were originally $100 or more. The sale is in store only.

    Although the programming at Warner Park Nature Center is virtually all virtual these days, with Zoom events and YouTube offerings, you can also go to the park for a hike or to play in the creek or to sit on the spacious porch and watch the dozens of hummingbirds that fly in every late August and early September.

    The park’s YouTube channel has lots of interesting nature videos, including a bunch that offer fun insights into the fascinating little hummingbirds.

    Reach Ms. Cheap at 615-259-8282 or Follow her on Facebook at, and at, and on Twitter @Ms_Cheap, and catch her every Thursday at 11 a.m. on WTVF-Channel 5’s “Talk of the Town.”


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