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Health crisis for Britain's middle-aged

Ouch, a very interesting international health survey, that has just been released, reports:

"Middle-aged Britons are experiencing a mid-life health crisis, according to new research from Bupa, which shows that those aged 45-54 are more likely to be obese, more likely to smoke and more likely to suffer from depression than their peers around the world.

The international Bupa Health Pulse study, which asked more than 13,000 people in 12 different countries questions about their health and lifestyles has shown that late-middle age is the toughest time health-wise for Britons. No other country in the survey - which included Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Asia and Australasia showed such a consistent range of unhealthy results for this age group.

The study, which questioned more than 2,000 people in the UK, found:

15 minutes of exercise daily reduces mortality by 14% - and each additional 15 minutes gives 4% additional mortality benefit

There has been a ripple of media interest - and rightly so - in the recent Lancet article  "Minimum amount of physical activity for reduced mortality and extended life expectancy: a prospective cohort study."  The article's abstract reads "The health benefits of leisure-time physical activity are well known, but whether less exercise than the recommended 150 min a week can have life expectancy benefits is unclear.  We assessed the health benefits of a range of volumes of physical activity in a Taiwanese population.  In this prospective cohort study, 416,175 individuals (199,265 men and 216,910 women) participated in a standard medical screening programme in Taiwan between 1996 and 2008, with an average follow-up of 8·05 years (SD 4·21).  On the basis of the amount of weekly exercise indicated in a self-administered questio

New meta-analysis tells it like it is: television viewing damages our health

A new meta-analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association tells it like it is: television viewing damages our health.  The paper's title is "Television viewing and risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality" and its abstract reads:

I: Life skills for stress, health & wellbeing, session 9

“ Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men. ” - Confucius

Yesterday was the ninth evening of this "Life skills" training.  I wrote about the eighth session last week.  The sequence of regular weekly classes now moves on to increasing gaps between sessions - so it's three weeks until the tenth, a further five weeks until the eleventh, and then an additional eleven weeks until the final twelfth session.  My hope is that we will be able to arrange occasional follow-up meetings even after that.

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