How to reverse the health risks of sitting all day

sitting in office

Sitting too much can take a serious toll on your health, even raise your risk of early death. But if you’re stuck in your chair at a desk job all day, don’t despair — a new study suggests there is something you can do to reverse the damage.

It comes down to fitting in an hour of walking or other physical activity a day. It doesn’t have to be a super-intense fitness routine to offer benefits, say the authors of a new study.

Researchers from the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences in Oslo, Norway, and the University of Cambridge in the U.K. analyzed data on more than one million people drawn from 16 different studies. Their goal was to find out how many hours of physical activity would be needed to counteract the negative health effects of sitting on your tush all day at the typical eight-hour-a-day office job.

Most of the people studied were over 45 and from the U.S., Western Europe and Australia. The scientists divvied up data on them into four groups according to how active they were, ranging from those who were in motion less than five minutes a day to those who were able to fit in 60 to 75 minutes of physical activity per day. Their activities included brisk walking (at about a 3.5 mph pace) or cycling for pleasure (at almost a 10 mph pace).

The increased risk of death linked with sitting for eight hours a day was eliminated for people who were physically active for at least one hour a day.

What’s more, the eight-hour-a-day sitters who exercised had a significantly lower risk of death compared to people who sat for fewer hours a day but weren’t active, the authors found.

Those who sat for most of the day were at the highest risk for death.

The researchers say what they found was a simple recipe for better health. “Our message is a positive one: it is possible to reduce – or even eliminate – these risks if we are active enough, even without having to take up sports or go to the gym,” the study’s lead researcher, Ulf Ekelund, of the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, said in a statement.

But he noted that, unfortunately, only 25 percent of the people in the study exercised one hour a day or more.

This is just the latest research to look at the health issues raised by sedentary lifestyles. A study out last year in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed less rosy results. It found sitting for prolonged periods of time increased the risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer and early death even in people who got half an hour to an hour of exercise a day. It found sitting for prolonged periods raised the risk of cardiovascular disease by 14 percent, cancer by 13 percent, and diabetes by a whopping 91 percent.

Another 2014 study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that prolonged sitting affected people’s fitness levels, regardless of whether they exercised or not. Two hours of sitting cancelled out the benefits of 20 minutes of exercise when it came to cardio-respiratory fitness, the authors said.

Heart expert Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a preventive cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said any exercise is good for you. It can improve cardiovascular health and help fend off health problems such as diabetes and obesity.

“Our lives have become so sedentary. Often people’s sitting time is significantly more than eight hours a day,” said Steinbaum, who noted that the size of the latest study makes its findings especially significant.

“I love this study because it really is showing that we can do something. There were a lot of people involved. It shows how relevant exercise is in our lives. It’s no longer a leisure activity, and it’s not just a treat to get a workout in, it’s not an option not to. It’s something we have to put in our lives,” she said.

Steinbaum said the study also showed that you don’t have to go to the gym and follow a hard-core fitness regimen to reap benefits; just walking at a brisk pace — enough to get your heart rate up — is an option, too.

“It’s not hanging out and window shopping, but it’s a really nice walk and it can help with stress reduction. You can go outside with a friend and get your heart rate up for one hour and talk about life and laugh,” she said.

The researchers also looked at six studies on daily television watching in half a million people and found that watching for more than three hours a day was linked with an increased risk of death in all but the most active people. The death rate was significantly higher in people who watched TV for five hours or more a day.

Study author Ekelund added, “For many people who commute to work and have office-based jobs, there is no way to escape sitting for prolonged periods of time. For these people in particular, we cannot stress enough the importance of getting exercise, whether it’s getting out for a walk at lunchtime, going for a run in the morning or cycling to work. An hour of physical activity per day is the ideal, but if this is unmanageable, then at least doing some exercise each day can help reduce the risk.”

Source :

How pepper is good for your gut revealed

A new study has revealed that pepper reduces the risk of colorectal tumors.

How pepper is good for your gut revealed

According to the study by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, the active ingredient in chili peppers – produces chronic activation of a receptor on cells lining the intestines of mice, triggering a reaction that ultimately reduces the risk of colorectal tumors.

The receptor or ion channel, called TRPV1, was originally discovered in sensory neurons, where it acts as a sentinel for heat, acidity and spicy chemicals in the environment.

Eyal Raz said that these are all potentially harmful stimuli to cells, thus TRPV1 was quickly described as a molecular ‘pain receptor.’ This can be considered to be its conventional function, which all takes place in the nervous system.

The scientists discovered that TRPV1, once activated by the EGFR, initiates a direct negative feedback on the EGFR, dampening the latter to reduce the risk of unwanted growth and intestinal tumor development. They found that mice genetically modified to be TRPV1-deficient suffered higher-than-normal rates of intestinal tumor growths.

The study was published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Source: deccan chronicle

Lifestyle diseases affecting men in metros


Lifestyle diseases like diabetes and high cholesterol are now hitting more young men in metropolitan cities of India, says a new survey released here Monday on the occasion of World Men’s Health Week.

Of the 38,966 samples screened during June 9-15, 56.81 percent reported high diabetes levels. Over 41.48 percent of the samples were in the age group of 20-40, indicating an increasing trend of younger population getting hit by diabetes.

In another sample of 35,886 males, the survey found 8.21 percent with high cholesterol levels and 23.01 percent in the same age group with growing rate of cholesterol. The survey was conducted in Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai and Ahmedabad by Metropolis Healthcare Ltd.

High diabetes levels are usually associated with age, but other factors like body mass index, stress, family history of the disease, lack of physical activity etc. also significantly add to the problem. Moreover, both diabetics and high-cholesterol patients are highly risk-prone to cardiovascular diseases besides other major health problems.

The study suggested that besides regular screenings, people should go for preventive measures like reducing obesity, increasing physical activity, decreasing salt intake, among others.

Source: wonder woman

Too much computer time hits bone health in adolescents

Researchers have found that in boys, higher screen time was adversely associated to bone mineral density (BMD) at all sites even when adjusted for specific lifestyle factors.

Results of a study showed that the skeleton grows continually from birth to the end of the teenage years, reaching peak bone mass – maximum strength and size- in early adulthood. Along with nutritional factors, physical activity can also greatly impact on this process.

The Norwegian study explored the hypothesis that greater computer use at weekends is associated with lower BMD. The data was obtained from 463 girls and 484 boys aged 15-18 years in the Tromso region of Norway. The students participated in the Fit Futures study from 2010-2011 which assessed more than 90 per cent of all first year high school students in the region.

BMD at total hip, femoral neck and total body was measured by DXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry). Lifestyle variables were collected by self-administered questionnaires and interviews, including questions on time per day during weekends spent in front of the television or computer, and time spent on leisure time physical activities. The associations between BMD and screen time were analyzed in a multiple regression model that included adjustment for age, sexual maturation, BMI, leisure time physical activity, smoking, alcohol, cod liver oil and carbonated drink consumption.

Source: Business standard


Vitamin D deficiency risk to 84 % Indians: report

Changing lifestyle, increasingly odd-working hours and limited outdoor activities are leaving a bad impact on human health as 84 per cent of the country’s population was found vitamin D deficient, a recent study said here on Monday.

“In the face of present-day lifestyles, dominated by ungodly working hours and limited outdoor activities, inherent vitamin D deficiency is increasingly becoming an eyesore among a large number of people. (There is) Vitamin D deficiency risk to 84 per cent of Indians,” SRL Diagnostics said in its report.

The human body’s ideal dose of vitamin D ranges between 1,000 and 2,000 IU (International Units) per day.

“Vitamin D deficiency was found to be prevalent in around 69 per cent of the population, while 15 per cent more were found to be vitamin D insufficient, thus making around 84 per cent of Indians risk-prone to this, the study said.

The report pointed out that skin exposure to the sun is natural, intended, and most effective source of vitamin D, yet the most neglected. Tests that estimate the level of vitamin D have become increasingly common, pan-Indian.

Testing for vitamin D deficiency has been known to protect a majority of the Indian population from joint pains, muscle weakness, cardiovascular disorders and other more serious problems that could be permanently detrimental to one’s health.

While research on the impact of vitamin D on ailments is ongoing, doctors believe it is clearly associated with diabetes, high blood pressure, bone weakness, nerve-related disorders and obesity.

Doctors also point out that vitamin D directly benefits patients with diabetes and cardiovascular ailments. A sizable body of evidence proves the link between vitamin D and people with diabetes and heart ailments.

After pregnancy, women are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis due to high demands of calcium and vitamin D, it added.

There are diagnostic tests to determine vitamin D levels in the body. It is extremely essential to keep a check on the levels of deficiency in the body as it helps retain calcium,” SRL Diagnostics President-Research & Innovation, Dr B R Das said.

“Sufficient vitamin D levels assist the body in reducing bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol, besides helping in the essential repair and maintenance activities in the body. It is directly linked to knee pains and osteoporosis,” Das said.

The study reveals that the differences between deficiency and insufficiency are conspicuous. Vitamin D deficiency manifests itself as a bone disease, which is mostly either rickets or osteomalacia. Whereas insufficiency may be associated with milder disease outcomes, including muscle weakness and fatigue.

Another outcome of this study draws attention to males between the ages of 30 and 60, while adolescent girls and women of child-bearing age (those belonging to the 16-30 age group) are more likely to develop vitamin D deficiency, as they require vitamin D in the form of extra supplements for growth, it said.

Source: Deccan chronicle

Reverse signs of ageing with healthy lifestyle


Wrinkles, hyper pigmentation and greying hair add decades to your chronological age. Though many cosmetic companies assure you of reversing the signs of early ageing, are they enough to compensate for the wear-and-tear of the cells caused by years of living a sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle and exposure to ultraviolet rays and pollutants?

What is premature ageing?
Ageing is a natural phenomenon occurring due to the interplay between genetic, metabolic and environmental factors. The rate of ageing is an actively regulated metabolic process and so is not fixed. Premature ageing refers to the unnatural acceleration of the natural process of ageing. Possession of certain unfavorable genetic variants and/or an unhealthy lifestyle can become the cause of premature ageing, reflecting the importance of your well being both from the inside and the outside.

What are the factors that speed up the process?
Skin health correlates with the genetic makeup and metabolic condition, and is influenced by environmental and lifestyle-related factors like nutrition, exercise, personal habits and stress. Our body cells are exposed to the damage provoked by external and internal stressors including heat, radiation, pollution, genetic variations, excess glucose, oxygen free radicals, and collagen breakdown among others. The rate at which we age is determined by the ability of our body cells to cope with this damage.

What are the lifestyle changes that can help delay the ageing process?
A healthy lifestyle can postpone the visible signs of skin ageing and favorably influence the longevity of the skin. So focus on a balanced diet, drink lots of natural fluids and make sure that your day doesn’t end without an adequate intake of fruits and vegetables. A simple pranayama or yoga for a few minutes can relax your mind, while easy floor exercises and brisk walking can contribute to your fitness level. Indeed, the inside of the body must always be made to work in tandem with the outside of the body.

How does one understand that the body is ageing faster compared to the chronological age?
Skin changes are amongst the most visible signs of ageing. Skin ageing is evidenced by wrinkles, age spots, dryness and sagging. Ageing skin appears thinner, less plump, more pale, and translucent; and it repairs itself more slowly than younger skin. Overt signs of premature ageing as noticed by one’s self, or by comments on our appearance from others, tell a lot about our ageing tendency. But a genetic assessment on age-regulating genes can provide strong insights on ageing rate.

What is the role of gender in the ageing process? Do women age faster than men?
Dermis (the skin layer lodging skin-firmness protein, collagen) in men is much thicker than in women, hence men have a higher collagen density. As collagen relates to skin ageing signs, assumedly a woman’s skin appears about 15 years older than a man of the same age. Men seldom use sunscreens; hence UV damage negates the benefits of slowed intrinsic ageing in men, shadowing the noticeable difference.

How can understanding genetics help age better?
You are unique, so is your skin. Though the human genome sequence is 99.6% identical in all people, a small genetic change, or variation, that occurs within a person`s DNA sequence can have an impact on his/her health. Genetic assessment will give you a clear picture of your genetic information in relation to your health condition and ageing pattern. The skin might exhibit similar signs of ageing from the outside, but from the inside its genetic and metabolic regulations stand unique. Managing genetic risks for premature ageing by appropriate lifestyle changes can help us age better.

Source: Zee news

Children’s weight affected by bedroom TVs, active gaming

Children’s weight is influenced by whether they have active video games and if there is a television in the bedroom, according to the results of two new studies.The studies, done separately and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, had different outcomes: children who had television sets in their bedrooms gained weight, while children provided active video games along with information about weight management and nutrition lost weight.

In the first study, researchers from Temple University in Philadelphia, the UnitedHealth Group of Minnesota and the University of Queensland in Australia, conducted a 16-week clinical trial of children from YMCAs and schools in Texas, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

The study involved 75 children who were deemed overweight or obese with a body mass index (BMI) averaging 2.15 and ranged in age from 10 to 12 years old. Children on medications that might contribute to their weight loss or gain were excluded from the study.

The children were split into two groups: one was provided a game console, motion capture device (such as Xbox and Kinect) and active sports games, while the other group was given the same hardware but less active games.

Both groups were also provided information about how to manage their weight and weekly goals for their diet, including nutrition advice. During the course of the study, their height and weight were measured at the start and at weeks 8 and 16 of the program.

Participants in the active gaming group were given a motion sensor to wear during their waking hours. The motion sensors provided researchers with information about the intensity of each child’s physical activity during those 16 weeks.

At the end of the study, researchers discovered the group that didn’t get the active games “exhibited little or no change in physical activity” and had lost little weight.

Source: CBC news

Body Shape Index is Better Predictor of Mortality

In 2012, Nir Krakauer, an assistant professor of civil engineering in City College of New York’s Grove School of Engineering, and his father, Jesse Krakauer, developed a new method to quantify the risk specifically associated with abdominal obesity.

A follow-up study, published in PLoS ONE, supports their contention that the technique, known as A Body Shape Index (ABSI), is a more effective predictor of mortality than Body Mass Index (BMI), the most common measure used to define obesity.

The team analyzed data for 7,011 adults, 18+, who participated in the first Health and Lifestyle Survey (HALS1), conducted in Great Britain in the mid-1980s, and a follow-up survey seven years later (HALS2). The sample was broadly representative of the British population in terms of region, employment status, national origin and age. They used National Health Service records through 2009 to identify deaths and cancer cases: 2,203 deaths were recorded among the sample population.

Then, they compared all-cause mortality from the HALS sample with ABSI and other variables, including BMI, waist circumference, waist – hip ratio and waist – height ratio.

The analysis found ABSI to be a strong indicator of mortality hazard among the HALS population. Death rates increased by a factor of 1.13 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.09–1.16) for each standard deviation increase in ABSI. Persons with ABSI in the top 20 percent were found to have death rates 61 percent than those with ABSI in the bottom 20 percent.

The results tracked closely with the earlier study, which used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), conducted in the U.S. between 1999 and 2004. This provides stronger evidence that ABSI is a valid indicator of the risk of premature death across different populations. Further, they showed that ABSI outperformed commonly used measures of abdominal obesity, including waist circumference, waist – hip ratio and waist – height ratio.

Also, because the data came from two surveys seven years apart, the researchers were able to assess the effect of change in ABSI on mortality. The found an increase in ABSI correlated with increased risk of death, and that the more recent ABSI measurement was a more reliable predictor. Noting this, the researchers contend that further investigation is warranted into whether lifestyle or other interventions could reduce ABSI and help people live longer.

Source: laboratory equipment

How often should you wash your bed sheets?

The majority of people are aware of the importance of personal hygiene, although many people may not be aware of how important it is to wash your sheets regularly.

Think of it this way, would you wear the same clothes for several weeks unwashed? We may spend more time in our sheets than we do in our clothes, yet we wouldn’t wear the same clothes everyday as that would be considered not hygienic.

Imagine what happens every night to your sheets as you rest on your most sanction of places. While you sleep your body sheds dead skin cells, you secrete oils from your skin, your body sweats and to top it off you may often leave small amounts of fluids from our groin region. On top of all of that, if you’re in a healthy relationship, it’s likely you have sex in your sheets every week which leaves behind even more stuff.

How does this affect our health?

Dust mites
These microscopic creatures thrive off of your dead skin. They live, eat, reproduce and die right in your bed and pillows; leaving behind their own rotting bodies. The average bed has anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million dust mites living there. Your health is greatly affected by these creatures if not properly kept under control. You may develop severe allergies and have a lowered immune system.

Many people suffer from allergies and may not be aware that you can prevent them by properly cleaning your living space, especially your bedding. If you wake up with allergy symptoms this may be due to your sleeping environment.

Many kinds of bacteria and germs live on your dirty sheets. This can cause you numerous health problems if your sheets remain unwashed.

How often should you wash your sheets?

At least once every two weeks will keep your resting place hygienic. Every week would be ideal and any less than once a month would affect your health.

To keep your bed in the best condition you should wash your sheets every two weeks in hot soapy water and dry them completely through in the dryer. Washing your pillow every month is also important to disinfect and wash away the dust mites. You can purchase dust mite proof covers for your mattress and pillows which will help in controlling the dust mites. Wash your bedding more often if there is reason to do so

Source: love lifestyle

Tech startups create virtual farmers markets

Sara Pasquinelli doesn’t shop at the grocery store much anymore. The busy mother of two young boys buys nearly all her food from a new online service that delivers to her front door _ but it doesn’t bring just any food.

The emerging tech startup specializes in dropping off items that Pasquinelli probably would only be able to find at her local farmers market.

Minutes after her weekly order arrived at her San Francisco home, Pasquinelli unpacked bags and boxes of finger limes, organic whole milk, kiwi fruit, beef short ribs, Dungeness crab and pastured eggs.

“I don’t even remember the last time I went to the store for anything other than bananas and string cheese,” said Pasquinelli, an attorney who started using the service about a year ago.

The San Francisco-based Good Eggs is among a new crop of startups using technology to bolster the market for locally produced foods that backers say are better for consumer health, farmworkers, livestock and the environment. These online marketplaces are beginning to change the way people buy groceries and create new markets for small farmers and food makers.

“It’s a new way of connecting producers with consumers,” said Claire Kremen, a conservation biology professor at the University of California, Berkeley. “The more alternatives people have access to for buying food outside the industrial agricultural regime, the better it can be.”

The Good Eggs website features attractive photos of offerings such as Hachiya persimmons, chanterelle mushrooms, grass-fed beef steaks, pureed baby food and gluten-free poppy seed baguettes. It also has pictures and descriptions of the farmers and food makers. Prices are similar to what shoppers pay at a farmers market, and customers can pick up their orders at designated locations or have them delivered for $3.99 _ usually two days after they’re placed.

“There’s this wave of entrepreneurship and creativity happening in the food world, and Good Eggs is all about bringing that high-quality production right to your door,” said CEO Rob Spiro, who co-founded the startup after he sold his last company, a social search service called Aardvark, to Google Inc. for $50 million in 2010.

Good Eggs offers more varieties of fruits and vegetables than most supermarkets, but the selection is limited to what can be grown and made locally, so you can’t buy bananas in San Francisco in December.

The service started in the San Francisco Bay Area last year and recently launched in New York, Los Angeles and New Orleans. There are plans to expand into more markets next year.

The founders, Silicon Valley engineers, say they want to grow the market for local food that’s led to the proliferation of farmers markets and community-supported agriculture programs that deliver boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables.

“There are a lot of people out there who want to eat locally, who want to support their local community, who want to support the producers who are doing things right, but it’s just not very convenient,” said Chief Technology Officer Alon Salant, who ran a software consulting firm before starting Good Eggs with Spiro.

The company is entering an increasingly competitive market for online grocery delivery. Major retailers such as Walmart and Safeway deliver groceries and Amazon launched its AmazonFresh service in San Francisco this month. Another San Francisco startup called Instacart allows customers to order groceries from local supermarkets and delivers in as little as an hour.

Good Eggs currently sells food from about 400 local producers that meet the company’s standards for environmental sustainability, workplace conditions and transparent sourcing of ingredients. Produce is usually picked one or two days before it’s delivered.

The startup is helping farmers such as Ryan Casey, who runs a small organic farm that grows more than 50 types of fruits, vegetables and flowers. His Blue House Farm in Pescadero, about 45 miles south of San Francisco, mainly sells its produce at farmers markets and through community agriculture programs, but Good Eggs makes up a growing share of business.

“They’re really good at marketing and finding people and connecting people with the food, which leaves me more time to do the growing,” said Casey, standing in a field of leafy greens.

Good Eggs has attracted enthusiastic foodies like Shelley Mainzer, who does nearly all her grocery shopping on the website and often emails producers with questions and comments.

After her weekly order arrived at her downtown San Francisco office, she pulled out organic cauliflower and Romanesco broccoli she bought from Blue House Farm.

“I can’t eat store-bought food anymore because it just doesn’t taste the same,” said Mainzer, who works as an executive assistant at a small investment bank. “You basically remember what things are supposed to taste like when you eat these fresh vegetables and fruits.”

Source: Journal Times