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Showing posts from March, 2018

Lusting for That Standing Desk? Researchers Say Think Twice

Standing desks are the rage. Star coders demand a standing desk, along with a truckload of stock options, to change jobs. TV commercials show these lean, obviously high-achiever types using their stand-up desks. Can’t wait to get one? Think twice. A team at the University of Toronto School of Public Health did a study. Here’s the punch line: Prolonged standing at work doubles heart attack risk. Peter M. Smith, MD, PhD led the study of over 7,000 individuals. The research goal was to get real-world measurement of standing versus sitting in a business setting. They divided the individuals into four groups: mostly standing, mostly sitting, stand and walk, mix of positions like crouching and kneeling. Those who stood the most head a greater risk of heart disease. Importantly, most of the tests were done in a factory setting where workers had less opportunity to move, stretch or sit. Overall conclusion – move around some. If your job allows, sit when you get tired of standing. Link to a r…

Tiger Mom Had This Right For Sure

Parents and Grandparents- Read This! The University of Southern California hosts a Brain and Creativity Institute. It just reported the results of a five-year study on the effect of learning to play a musical instrument on brain development of children. If you’ve reading our newsletters for a while, you won’t be surprised with the results. The young musicians, who practiced an average of seven hours per week, had accelerated brain development in the areas of the brain associated with speech, reading skills, sound perception and more. Remember the PR around Amy Chua’s book The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother that popularized the term “Tiger Mom”? Sounds (get it, sounds?) like she got the music education part right. Link to a research summary here. We’ve previously noted that learning to play a musical instrument at any age is a great brain builder and is one of the steps we can take to prevent dementia.
We Promised In our last newsletter, we said we’ll revisit alcohol and brain health a…
SuperAgers Live Longer & Retain Better Memory Function The Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Northwestern’s University Feinberg School of Medicine has been tracking a group of older adults. They’ve found some of the group have remarkably better memory skills than others. To the extent that their memory and recall is as good or better than most people 20 or more years younger. Northwestern has labeled those individuals “SuperAgers” and has been busy trying to identify characteristics that might explain how they’ve maintained their cognition. Emily Rogalski, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences has led some of these research efforts. Here’s some of the scientific findings: ·SuperAgers had greater thickness of the anterior cingulate gyrus. Evolutionary theory postulates that the anterior cingulate was one of the later evolutionary developments. The anterior cingulate is involved in decision-making, ethics, emotion, and perhaps self-contro…