Five Times ‘The Office’ Taught Us Important Health Lessons

The Office
The Office | NBC

Watching The Office can do even more than tickle your funny bone. Week after week Michael Scott and the Dunder Mifflin crew entertained scores of people, featuring the beloved character’s adventures and misadventures.

While millions tuned in for a good 30-minute laugh-fest, recent news showed that The Office also delivered some useful messages. Most messages were delivered with considerable humor but resonated throughout the years. Here are five ways the show taught us some very important health lessons and even helped to save a life.

Own up to head lice

Nobody wants to fess up to giving someone lice, but when you have small children, it can be a fact of life. Lice is so common, up to 12 million children get the nuisance scalp issue, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Although it is common, Pam should have come clean that CeCe was the one who transmitted it to her, which then spread to the entire office. Instead of owning up to the outbreak, Pam let everyone in the office think Meredith was the culprit. As a result, Meredith ends up shaving her head to stop the lice from spreading. Eventually, Pam is outed and Meredith was bald.

Obviously, shaving your head if you get lice is not the answer. The CDC recommends washing all fabrics you come into contact with and using special shampoos to remove the little offenders.

Visit your dermatologist

Michael Scott’s birthday is a huge deal. So much, that he can’t help being annoyed that Kevin is more focused on his skin cancer test results on Michael’s big day. In fact, no one but Dwight is concerned with Michael’s birthday and instead worried about Kevin.

When Kevin finally learns his the skin cancer test was negative, he is thrilled, but Michael is upset. Michael thinks “negative” means Kevin has skin cancer. It is a good idea to visit your dermatologist every year. More than 5.4 million nonmelanoma cases are detected each year and skin cancer is one of the most diagnosed cancers.

Look for personality changes after a head injury

When Michael burns his foot on his George Forman grill it was Dwight to the rescue in his car–which he crashes into a pole. Worried about his head injury, the rest of the office tends to Dwight and not Michael. As Michael scrambles to “prove” to his co-workers that his injury is just as serious, Pam notices a huge personality change in Dwight. Instead of being condescending and grumpy, Dwight is delightful and sweet. Very “un-Dwight like.” Eventually, Dwight goes to the hospital and Pam is sad. She knows Dwight will transform back into a grump when his head concussion is resolved.

The Office makes a good point about blunt force trauma. In addition to personality changes, you can also experience memory problems, dizziness, and vomit, according to the Mayo Clinic. Behavior changes, like what Dwight experienced, require immediate medical attention.

Don’t worry about being ‘a little stitious’

Sometimes you should listen to your gut, especially when things go so wrong. During one episode of The Office, Michael hits Meredith with his car, Pam gets a computer virus, and Angela’s cat dies. Thankfully, Michael takes Meredith to the hospital as they learn not only is her pelvis fractured, she has rabies too. At this point, Michael thinks the office is cursed even though he claims to not be superstitious (only a little stituous).

The episode ends with Michael too in the hospital due to dehydration, so it is always good to get medical treatment.  In addition to broken bones, rabies can be deadly. Although rare, rabies can be a fatal disease if left untreated, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Remember to sing ‘Staying Alive’

After Stanley has a heart attack, Michael suggests that everyone learn CPR. The episode results in a power struggle between Dwight and Michael, but one Arizona man learned something. When Michael was giving the dummy CPR he chanted the Bee Gee’s song “Staying Alive.” The catchy tune remained in Cross Scott’s head and it probably saved another motorist’s life, the Arizona Daily Star reports.

Scott never performed CPR in his life but saw an unconscious motorist. Two other drivers came to the scene and called 911. Meanwhile, Scott smashed the unconscious motorist’s window and performed CPR on her until help arrived.  He recalled The Office episode and the tune Michael used to perform it on the practice dummy. Scott sang along as he performed CPR on the unconscious woman.

Once medics arrived, the woman started breathing. The Arizona Daily Star reports the woman was shortly released from the hospital. “If you don’t do CPR, that victim will die,” Courtney Slanaker, executive director of the Red Cross Southern Arizona chapter said. “Don’t be afraid to act. Whatever you do will help that victim and hopefully prevent a death.”

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