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Reducing TV time helps adults burn more calories, study finds

According to a new study, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine revealed that overweight people who spend less time before television can help burn calories. The study is published in the December 14/28 issue of Achieves of Internal Medicine one of the JAMA/Achieves Journals. During the course of the study, an electronic lock-out system was engaged in an effort to reduce the time spent before the television to half without changing the calorie intake of those adults who watched television for five hours. The results of the study revealed that during this period more energy was exhausted throughout the three-week study period. The study highlighted on how time spent watching television affects calorie intake, energy used, and time spent on sleeping, and activity in obese and obese adults. Before this study various random studies had focused on modifying diet and physical activities only in an effort to reduce the obesity. But this study has adopted new strategies by inclusion of sedentary behaviors like watching television.

According to Jennifer Otten, PhD, postdoctoral scholar at the Stanford Prevention Research Center and lead author of the study, conducted at the University of Vermont, “reducing the time spent watching television has the potential to improve a person’s activity levels.” On an average, an American adult watch around five hours watching television in a day, the third most time-consuming activity after work and sleep. A good amount of time spent watching the television programs could result in wide array of conditions like obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, Otten added.

The study involved 36 adults who weighed above the healthy range; watched the television for five hours daily. After the three observation weeks half of the participants watched 50 percent less television for three weeks, after the last week period, participants answered surveys about their diet. The group who watched 50 percent less television but didn’t reduce the calorie intake burnt 120 more calories as compared to the first group who watched television for five hours at a stretch. Otten informed, “The energy burned is equivalent to walking more than a mile. We don’t know how the short term changes will take into effect, but during longer term study, it could prevent the weight gain”. While Tom Robinson, MD, the Irving Schulman Endowed Professor in Child Health at Stanford’s School of Medicine, who was not involved in the study but has conducted TV studies in children said, “We are aware that as far as children were concerned one of the most valuable ways to prevent weight gain is to reducing time spent before television, so it is great to see the study like this involving adults.” The researchers concluded reducing television viewing ought to be further investigated as a method to reduce and avert obesity in adults.

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Repeatedly going to work when ill significantly boosts the chances of having to take long term sick leave later on, reveals a research

Workaholics may beware. A recent research published ahead of print in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health has revealed that people who are ill and repeatedly carry on their work can significantly enhance their chances of taking long term leave later on.
This phenomenon of doing work during illness is known as “sickness presence”. Before the research little is known about its long term impact on the behavior of the persons involved, but the study has opened the Pandora box. During the study, researchers randomly selected 12,000 Danes of working age, who were doing the job continuously for one year. They were asked to answer questions relating to their attitude to work, understanding to be absent when ill and general well being. They were also encouraged to reveal how many times they joined their work during illness, when they should have been resting at home. Their response was matched up with the official records which showed the periods in which sick leave for a period lasting at least a fortnight for the next 18 months.

The research focused on the causes of illness during which the leave was applied but the incumbent was present in the office despite their sickness: a heavy workload, poor general health, work-family life conflicts, obesity, holding a senior level post, a good level of social support.

Those incumbents who turn up to office despite their illness at least half a dozen times were 53% more likely end up taking sickness leave for two more weeks, and 74% more likely to take more than two months leave, as against those workers who did not come to the office during illness. Authors conclude by saying that during short period breaks workers could cope better with stresses of a hectic task and all in all the employment is good for health. But they warned that long term sick leave is associated with problems finding work. Another research which was printed ahead of printing the same Journal revealed that taking a week or more of sick leave for mental health problem drastically increases the chances of early death. In the study researchers considered sick leave records from the French GAZEL study which involved 20,000 employees in the age group of 37 to 51.

Causes of Illness
According to traditional Chinese medicine the causes of illness can be determined by way of a number of factors. The external factors responsible for illness relate to: cold, heat, wind, dryness, summer heat and dampness. While internal cause of illness could be due to emotions like anger, sadness, worry, fear, pensiveness and shock. Other factors include diet, lifestyle and accidents etc.

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