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Just for Fun: Naming Body Parts

The early scholars named body parts after what they looked like!

Have you ever wondered why bones and organs and muscles are named the way they are? In most cases the names were chosen so they could easily be remembered--in early Greek or Latin. For instance, the hole at the bottom of the skull is named the "foramen magnum." Very impressive? It simply means a "really big hole." 

PositiveTip: Have a little fun this holiday season by educating yourself on the naming of body parts--then share this new knowledge with your guests!

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Obesity and Teen Screen Time

Five or more hours per day of screen time significantly associated with obesity in teens.

The Center for Disease Control's Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System collects data from grades 9-12 yearly. When looking at the self-reported data on the amount of screen time outside of school work, researchers found 20% were spending 5 plus hours per day of screen time and this was associated with 272% greater odds of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption compared to those who did not watch TV.

PositiveTip: Help your teens limit the amount of screen time to lower their risk of obesity.

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Preventing "Holiday Heart Syndrome"

Habitual moderate drinking and binge drinking predisposes people to atrial fibrillation.

Holiday revelers be warned: it is well known that heavy drinking, even in the occasional binge, leads to atrial fibrillation (AF). Now in a sobering review, Australian scientists report even though small amounts of alcohol are considered by many to be cardioprotective, these benefits do not extend to AF.

PositiveTip: This holiday season stay safe and healthy by avoiding all alcoholic drinks.

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A Web-based Strategy for Insomnia

Improved sleep may be available without human support on the internet.

Close to 20% of the population struggle with insomnia. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is considered the best first-line treatment, yet there are very few therapists with appropriate training. A randomized year-long clinical trial of a web-based CBT insomnia intervention shows promise of filling this gap. More than half (56.6% of those participating in the Sleep Healthy Using the Internet (SHUTi) program achieved remission with 67% experiencing improved sleep outcomes. 

PositiveTip: Trouble sleeping? Internet-based CBT might be a very cost effective treatment for insomnia. 

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Medical Apps Still Wanting

Caution is still necessary when depending on even the best medical apps.

Even the best smartphone apps have been found deficient, especially in an emergency. A review of medical apps by a research team found problems. For instance when doctor reviewers entered information that should have produced warnings--like entering an extremely abnormal blood sugar. Only 28 of the 121 apps responded appropriately. Another issue found was the safeguarding of personal medical information--often sending reports by text or email.

PositiveTip; Don't depend on apps until their safety, accuracy, and privacy have been improved.

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Common Cigarette Misunderstandings

Additives do not make tobacco dangerous--it is inherently dangerous on its own.

Adults and teens in the U.S. hold misperceptions about inhaling cigarette smoke into their lungs. Many survey participants indicated they did not know that the inhaled chemicals from burning cigarettes are the main source of harm. This data suggests the dangers of allowing the sale of cigarettes labeled natural" or "additive-free".

PositiveTip: All cigarettes--even if labeled as "natural"--should be avoided to reduce the serious health risks.

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Exposure to Loud Noise Levels Damages Ears

WHO recommends limiting audio device use to under an hour a day.

The WHO estimates 1.1 billion teens and young adults are putting their hearing at risk by exposing themselves to damaging sound levels from personal audio devices, bars, nightclubs, and other entertainment venues. Exposure to noise levels of 100 dB for longer than 15 minutes is not safe. Hair blow dryers and subway trains are associated with those levels! Even half of children's noise-restricting headphones don't limit volumes as advertised.

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No Safe Level of Cigarette Smoking

Even a single cigarette each day increases mortality risk by 64%.

Many smokers believe very light smoking or not smoking every day may reduce their health risks. In a study of 290,000 middle-age and older smokers, researcher found long-time, low-volume smokers had significantly higher mortality risks compared with those who had never smoked or quit. Those who reported consistently smoking 1-10 cigarettes a day had an 87% greater chance of dying prematurely. These associations were similar for men and women.

PositiveTip: All smokers--even light smokers--can benefit from smoking cessation.

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Sleep Matters!

Lack of adequate sleep costs the U.S. $411 billion annually.

Lack of sleep among the U.S. working population is costing 2.28% of the GDP because of lower productivity levels and a higher risk of mortality. Each year employees lose 1.2 million working days a year, and experience 13% increased risk of mortality. Researchers estimated that increasing nightly sleep by 1-1-1/2 hours per night could add $226.4 billion to the U.S. economy.

PositiveTip: Are you sleeping enough? Daily physical activity, set bedtimes, and limited use of electronic devices before bed can help.

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Life's Simple 7

People adhering well to Life's Simple 7 experience 41% less atrial fibrillation!

The American Heart Association's My Life Check(r) is built around 7 simple health habits: blood pressure, body-mass index, smoking, diet, cholesterol, blood sugar and exercise. A study of over 6000 adults found those with the best scores were 41% less likely than those with the lowest scores to develop atrial fibrillation.

PositiveTip: What is your score? Find out by taking the quiz at My Life Check!