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Unhealthy Britain: half of adults walk less than a mile a day – survey

Jul 2nd, 2017 by

Poll commissioned by Cancer Research UK finds 52% of adults walk only 2,000 steps a day, figures described as ‘worrying’ and likely to increase cancer risk

Britons are being urged to take to their feet after research showed more than half of adults walk less than a mile a day.

A poll of 2,198 adults conducted by YouGov and commissioned by the charity Cancer Research UK found that on average 52% of UK adults walk a mile a day or less during the week – the equivalent of 2,000 steps – and almost a fifth (17%) walk less than a quarter of a mile.

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Air pollution linked to poor sleep, study finds

Jul 2nd, 2017 by

Exposure to nitrogen dioxide and airborne particles affects sleep efficiency, says medical professor

Air pollution might be linked to poor sleep, say researchers looking into the impact of toxic air on our slumbers.

Related: Looking tired can harm your social life, say researchers

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Could weed be used to treat period pain?

Jul 2nd, 2017 by

There are reports cannabis will be approved by New York legislators to treat period pain. The evidence is unclear, but that doesn’t mean the drug can be ruled out

According to reports this week, marijuana is about to be approved to treat period pains by legislators in New York. Cannabis is already allowed for medicinal use in 29 American states for a variety of conditions such as cancer, HIV or Aids, severe nausea, seizures and persistent muscle spasms (for example with people who have multiple sclerosis). Could period pains really be joining that list, and is there any evidence that it works?

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Do friends make you happier than family?

Jul 2nd, 2017 by

Friendships are less judgmental and and more likely to be positive. Having good friends can even make you healthier

Do you believe that blood is thicker than water? That your family relationships are more important than friends? Well, think again. Research from Michigan State University suggests that friends may make you happier and healthier than your relatives.

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Can mindfulness reduce fear of labour and postpartum depression?

Jul 2nd, 2017 by

Anxiety about labour – and what might come afterwards – causes stress for expectant mothers and increases risk in childbirth. But there could be a natural solution

Many women feel anxious about giving birth. Fear of the unknown and over-sharing by others (“I felt I was ripped apart,” one mother told my antenatal group) can make labour daunting. Being frightened of childbirth can prolong labour – by an average of 47 minutes, but it feels longer – increase the need for pain relief, make a caesarean section more likely and raise the risk of postpartum depression. Last month, a small, randomised controlled trial added to the evidence that teaching mindfulness to pregnant women could reduce these risks.

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Is it safe to take magic mushrooms?

Jul 2nd, 2017 by

Psilocybin mushrooms have been found to have minimal harmful effects and could potentially benefit those with depression. But they remain illegal, and there is a big risk if you eat the wrong type

Magic mushrooms are the safest “recreational” drug to take and those who take them are the most sensible and well prepared, according to the 2017 Global Drug Survey. Out of almost 10,000 people who took them, only 0.2% needed emergency medical treatment. But magic mushrooms, or psilocybin mushrooms, contain a compound that has been a class A drug under the UK Misuse of Drugs Act since 1971 – like heroin and crack cocaine.

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Are people who think they can multitask deluding themselves?

Jul 2nd, 2017 by

We’ve all tried to juggle several things at once. So does it work, or is it better to concentrate on just one task at a time?

You may be reading this while on a conference call, pushing your child on a swing – or both. But is multitasking really a good idea, or does it make us do everything more slowly and less well than if we were concentrating on one task at a time?

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13 Reasons Why ‘not helpful’, suicide prevention summit told

May 2nd, 2017 by

Lifeline chief says Netflix series risks presenting suicide as ‘legitimate choice’ and crosses line with depiction of means

The controversial new Netflix series 13 Reasons Why is “not helpful”, says Australia’s national suicide prevention charity as it strives to reach a cross-sector response to the issue.

Representatives from industries including finance, agribusiness, retail and sport joined suicide prevention experts and academics for the inaugural National Stop Suicide Summit in Sydney on Monday, hosted by Lifeline Australia.

How do you attack the loneliness of modern life that makes people feel this way?

Related: Yes, we jail too many Indigenous Australians – but what happens next is worse | Megan Williams

Related: Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why and the trouble with dramatising suicide

Related: 13 Reasons Why: New Zealand bans under-18s from watching suicide drama without adult

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Therapy ‘has long-term benefits for mothers with depression’

May 2nd, 2017 by

CBT has positive effects on mental health, financial empowerment and parenting skills, long-term study shows

Cognitive behavioural therapy has significant positive effects on a mother’s mental health, income, employment and parenting skills even seven years after the birth of the child, according to the first study of its kind.

The international research project into the impact of depression on pregnant mothers and their babies, led by Professor Sonia Bhalotra from the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex, could have major implications for public policy.

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Burnout, depression and anxiety – why the NHS has a problem with staff health

May 2nd, 2017 by

Despite efforts from NHS England to improve the wellbeing of its staff, progress has been inconsistent and employee ill-health remains widespread

When Laura-Jane Smith took time out of her clinical training for a PhD, she found she was constantly unhappy, and suffered from palpitations, nausea, severe headaches, and breathlessness among other physical symptoms.

The hospital doctor’s days were dominated by negative thoughts. She recalls: “I once walked for 30 minutes with ‘I hate my life. I hate my life’ on a loop of internal monologue that I feared had no end.” Eventually, Smith was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and ended up leaving the PhD.

Related: Has the public sector lost the human touch?

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