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Health

If you sit all day at a desk, please get up and walk around now and then!
May 1, 2015 08:21 AM - Universtiy of Utah

A new study suggests that engaging in low intensity activities such as standing may not be enough to offset the health hazards of sitting for long periods of time. On the bright side, adding two minutes of walking each hour to your routine just might do the trick. These findings were published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN).

Numerous studies have shown that sitting for extended periods of time each day leads to increased risk for early death, as well as heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions. Considering that 80 percent of Americans fall short of completing the recommended amount of exercise, 2.5 hours of moderate activity each week, it seems unrealistic to expect that people will replace sitting with even more exercise.

Reducing impaired-driving crashes proves good for the economy too
April 30, 2015 06:35 AM - Journal Injury Prevention via EurekAlert.

The halving of alcohol-fuelled car crashes since the mid-1980s boosted US economic output by $20 billion, increased national income by $6.5 billion, and created 215,000 jobs in 2010, reveals an analysis of the economic impact of drink-driving, published online in the journal Injury Prevention.

In a bid to estimate the impact of alcohol-fuelled car crashes on the US economy in 2010, the researchers calculated the economic gains (and losses) resulting from the substantial fall in this type of road traffic collision since 1984-6 and the monetary costs directly incurred by employers and consumers in 2010.

Climate warming leads to earlier tick season
April 28, 2015 08:46 AM - Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

The month of May brings many things, among them Mother’s Day, tulips, and Lyme Disease Awareness campaigns. But according to Dr. Richard S. Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, NY, if we want to get a leg up on tick-borne illness we need to become vigilant earlier in the season.

How to help your brain age more slowly
April 25, 2015 08:16 AM - Laura Kurtzman, University of California San Francisco

Brains age, just like the rest of the body, even for those don't get neurological disease, according to an Institute of Medicine.

"Some of the changes that one observes doesn't mean that it's all over, gloom and doom," the committee’s vice chair, Kristine Yaffe, MD, told the Washington Post.

”‹While aging does more damage to some than others, most people can take steps to improve their health, according to Yaffe, the Roy and Marie Scola Endowed Chair and professor of psychiatry, neurology, and epidemiology at UCSF and chief of geriatric psychiatry and director of the Memory Disorders Clinic at the San Francisco VA Medical Center.

Cleaner buses could result in fewer school absences
April 23, 2015 12:32 PM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen

The use of clean fuels and updated pollution control measures in the school buses 25 million children ride every day in the United States could result in 14 million fewer absences from school a year, based on a study by the University of Michigan and the University of Washington. In research believed to be the first to measure the individual impact on children of the federal mandate to reduce diesel emissions, researchers found improved health and less absenteeism, especially among asthmatic children.

Side effects of Statin drugs may be underestimated in elderly patients
April 21, 2015 07:30 AM - Elizabeth Fernandez, University of California San Francisco

A new study by UC San Francisco has found that statins can help prevent disease in older adults but must be weighed against potentially serious side effects.

Amid a projected cost of almost $900 billion for cardiovascular disease over the next decade in the U.S., statins are used by nearly half the elderly population in the nation. But in spite of the widespread use, there has been little systematic scrutiny of the potential risks of the drugs in older adults and whether those side effects could offset cardiovascular and other health benefits.

Lake Mead water levels continuing to drop
April 19, 2015 07:45 AM - Kirk Siegler/NPR

The historic four-year drought in California has been grabbing the headlines lately, but there's a much bigger problem facing the West: the now 14-year drought gripping the Colorado River basin.

One of the most stunning places to see its impact is at the nation's largest reservoir, Lake Mead, near Las Vegas. At about 40 percent of capacity, it's the lowest it's been since it was built in the 1930s.

The color of light and our daily rhythms
April 18, 2015 08:00 AM - PLOS Biology via EurekAlert!

Research by scientists at The University of Manchester has revealed that the colour of light has a major impact on how the brain clock measures time of day and on how the animals' physiology and behavior adjust accordingly. The study, for the first time, provides a neuronal mechanism for how our internal clock can measure changes in light colour that accompany dawn and dusk. 

In research publishing on April 17th in the Open Access journal PLOS Biology, the researchers looked at the change in light around dawn and dusk to analyze whether colour could be used to determine time of day. Besides the well-known changes in light intensity that occur as the sun rises and sets, the scientists found that during twilight light is reliably bluer than during the day.

Human sweat conveys our emotional state!
April 16, 2015 06:50 AM - ASSOCIATION FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE via EurekAlert.

Humans may be able to communicate positive emotions like happiness through the smell of our sweat, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The research indicates that we produce chemical compounds, or chemosignals, when we experience happiness that are detectable by others who smell our sweat. 

While previous research has shown that negative emotions related to fear and disgust are communicated via detectable regularities in the chemical composition of sweat, few studies have examined whether the same communicative function holds for positive emotions.

What lead is doing to our students
April 14, 2015 04:15 PM - Jasmine Garsd, NPR

Every child's ability to succeed in school is influenced by lots of external factors: teacher quality, parenting, poverty, geography, to name a few. But far less attention has been paid to the power of a child's bedroom walls. Or, rather, the paint that's on them and the lead that may be in that paint. A new study published in the Harvard Educational Review suggests that efforts to reduce kids' lead exposure have led to tangible academic gains in Massachusetts.

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