Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mental Health without Prozac

British researchers earlier this year looked at the mental state of 1200 people. This was a compilation of 10 separate studies which looked at the effect of walking, cycling, fishing, farming and gardening on mental health.
Everyone showed a benefit from adding time outdoors but the young and mentally ill saw a greater boost to their self-image. The largest benefit for all came when they exercised in the open air. The studies showed that only 5 minutes per day was all that was needed. A co-author of the study, Jo Barton, said, “There would be a large potential benefit if people were to self-medicate more with green exercise.” Areas with water such as streams or ponds showed more benefit than just green areas but there was measurable improvement in all cases.
Teenagers, with their emotional turmoil, have a tendency to go to the mall but should take up an outdoor activity such as surfing or hiking.
I love my Tai Chi (tai qi) in the park!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cell Phones Do Pose a Health Risk

June this year a study from the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer found that there is a 40% higher incidence of glioma or meningioma (2 forms of brain cancer) for heavy cell phone use. The study was on 12,000 people, some in good health, between 2000 and 2004.
The biggest thing to note was that heavy cell phone use was 30 minutes or more per day. More and more people are shifting to cell phones for everything so 30 minutes in a day is not heavy use.
No studies are out yet regarding blue tooth which does reduce the signal strength and thus the risk.
Texting looks better every day- just not while you're driving!