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Health scan

A snapshot of the current thinking in medicine, fitness and lifestyle trends that impact your life.

health and fitness Updated: Nov 24, 2012 22:33 IST

A snapshot of the current thinking in medicine, fitness and lifestyle trends that impact your life.

Take care of your knees
Rising obesity, internet overuse and desk-based jobs across age groups is triggering an epidemic of painful knees, with people over the age of 55 suffering the most. A UK study found one in four of 1,600 workers aged 16 to 65 surveyed said they have been living with pain for up to two years. One in 10 people surveyed saying they are in constant pain. A sedentary lifestyle has led to a huge surge in people with knee pain, with obesity adding to the problem.

Arty teens angsty, sporty ones the happiest
Creative teenagers may live up to the angst-ridden stereotype after scientists found students who enjoy the arts are more likely to feel depressed. The study is the first to link interest in music, drama and art with symptoms depression.

While girls reported somewhat higher rates of depression than boys, the study found that both boys and girls involved in arts reported experiencing low mood more often than their peers. Depressive symptoms include mood swings, poor appetite, difficulty concentrating, downcast mood, lack of energy or motivation, restless sleep and sadness. Teens involved exclusively in sports are the least likely to report depressive symptoms, shows research by the American Psychological Association using data from the US Longitudinal Survey of Youth from 2002-2010.

Happy youngsters become wealthy adults
Happiness is the best investment for your child’s future, as a new study has found that happy youngsters grow up to be wealthy adults. The first in-depth investigation of whether youthful happiness leads to greater wealth in later life shows, even allowing for other influences, happy adolescents are likely to earn more as adults.

They are more likely to get a degree, find work and promoted quicker than their gloomy counterparts. Meditation too had a good effect on people feeling happier.

Children who swim become smarter sooner
Children who learn how to swim at a young age reach many developmental milestones earlier than the norm, irrespective of their socio-economic background. Many of these skills, which include puzzles, reading and counting, help them make transition from playschool to formal learning.
Swimmers also have better visual-motor skills such as cutting paper, colouring in and drawing lines and shapes, and mathematical tasks. They also speak and express themselves better.

Asparagus helps in controlling diabetes
Asparagus could be a powerful new culinary weapon in the fight against diabetes, with regular intake keeping blood sugar levels under control and boosting the production of insulin — the hormone that helps it to absorb glucose.

The results, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, showed low levels of the asparagus suppress blood sugar levels but do not improve insulin output. In high doses, however, the vegetable had a significant effect on insulin production by the pancreas, the organ which releases the hormone into the bloodstream. The findings support earlier studies that asparagus increases the glucose uptake by 81%.

Singing good for the unborn child
Grandmoms have been telling this since generations, now even scientists have proved that singing to the baby bump can help would-be mum’s relax by releasing the ‘happy hormone’ called serotonin. It also helps mothers form a special bond with their unborn child as it helps the baby recognise the mother’s voice.

Researchers claim singing increases levels of endorphins and serotonin. Using those techniques to breathe deeply and slowly in labour can calm your muscles and body. A baby’s hearing develops very early in pregnancy, and one can use same songs when the baby is born. If they’re upset or agitated they will be calmed by songs they recognise.