A new report from the World Health Organization finds that our collective lack of exercise will exact a heavy toll in the years to come if nothing changes. The report estimates that there will be nearly a half-billion new cases of noncommunicable disorders like heart disease and diabetes due to physical inactivity by 2030. It also found that many countries are doing little to help people stay active, such as building safer walkable roads.
The findings come from the WHO’s first ever global status report on physical activity. It analyzes data from 194 countries on how often people are physically active and the policies put in place by countries to promote physical activity. As part of the report, the authors also calculated the potential effects on healthcare systems if people’s level of exercise stayed the same up through 2030. These latter estimates will be published in an upcoming paper but can be viewed in a preprint from the Lancet that was released last week.
Often, more than one factor contributes to a person’s heart disease or other noncommunicable disorder (NCD), and only some of these risk factors are preventable or can change for the better. But many studies have shown that any amount of exercise, no matter a person’s age, can help people stay healthier. Based on other research, the authors tried to calculate the fraction of preventable NCDs strongly tied to a lack of physical activity that would emerge over the next decade, focusing specifically on seven major conditions: heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, certain cancers, dementia, and depression.
Overall, the authors estimated that almost 500 million new cases of these conditions would occur between 2020 and 2030 worldwide. These cases would also rack up around $300 billion (USD) in direct medical costs during that time period and about $27 billion annually by 2030. Most of these cases (about 74%) would occur in low-to-middle income countries, but the economic costs would be greater in higher-income countries (about 64%).
“This study calls for urgent actions by countries to prioritize investments in interventions that reduce this modifiable risk factor,” the authors wrote.
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So far, though, it appears that most countries are falling far short of these investments. The WHO report found less than half of countries even have a national physical activity policy. Only 30% of countries have stated national physical activity guidelines for all age groups. And while most countries do have some way of tracking how active adults are, less than 30% do the same for children younger than 5. The implementation of many of these policies, such as nationally organized running or walking events, have been further disturbed by the covid-19 pandemic, the report authors note.
There are a multitude of reasons why people aren’t as physically active as they could be, and many of those are out of people’s control, such as the kind of job and working hours they have. But the report also highlights the actions that governments are failing to take to encourage a more active lifestyle for residents. Only 40% of countries, for instance, have standards for designing roads that would make walking and biking safer.
“We need more countries to scale up implementation of policies to support people to be more active through walking, cycling, sport, and other physical activity. The benefits are huge, not only for the physical and mental health of individuals, but also for societies, environments, and economies,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, in a statement announcing the report. “We hope countries and partners will use this report to build more active, healthier, and fairer societies for all.”
Some of the recommendations provided by the WHO to encourage physical activity include more public open spaces, walkable roads and other infrastructure, and more sports or gym activities in school. There’s also a need for better data collection, since there’s little known about people’s access to parks and other ways to help people become more active.
LOONA’s Chuu Opens Up About Her Unhealthy Stress Relief Methods, Pressures To Maintain Her Bright Image, And More
LOONA’s Chuu has opened up about her current concerns and unhealthy methods of stress relief with psychiatrist Oh Eun Young.
On October 7, Chuu appeared as a guest on Channel A’s “Oh Eun Young’s Golden Clinic” to speak with renowned psychiatrist Dr. Oh Eun Young about her patterns of coping with stress.
Chuu cautiously shared, “I think I went to the hospital once a month to get an IV. Because my stomach is ‘broken.’” She elaborated, “When I was stressed, for a period of time, I’d eat a ton of spicy food. It’d always be level five [for spice] or the spiciest option.”
Chuu explained that when stressed, her common relief methods were either eating spicy food or overeating. As an example, Chuu described a recent meal she ate alone, which was spicy chicken stew for two to three people with rice cakes, glass noodles, and a bowl of rice. Although she shared that this was enjoyable, Chuu added that she would often eat until she felt like she could not breathe, which occasionally led to throwing up.
Elaborating on her hospital visits, Chuu shared, “From last July to April or May of this year, I went [to the emergency room] often.” Since she’s used food as a stress reliever for awhile, Chuu explained that this had deteriorated her stomach over time. “I could never control myself,” she shared. “If I ate up to here, I also ate a lot of medicine for digestion.”
Touching on the pressures of dieting that are often enforced onto girl groups, Chuu shared, “On days where I thought I really ate too much, I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this, but there were times I’d feel nauseous [and throw up].” She continued, “Since I relieve stress by eating but then get stressed from eating and also have to promote, there was a time I took diet medicine.” However, Chuu revealed that she stopped taking them after hearing about the negative side effects they could have on mental health.
Chuu detailed how accomplished she felt when eating incredibly spicy food and that she enjoyed the way it cleared her thoughts, but Dr. Oh Eun Young explained how this method of stress relief could have aspects of self-harm. She shared that this was because spicy food is tasty in the moment and allows people to momentarily forget about their struggles, but its aggressive taste eventually harms one’s body and stomach.
When asked why she’s learned to lean on food for stress relief, Chuu talked about how it was instantly gratifying and required little energy. She shared, “Last year, I didn’t have an income. So while I wanted to eat, the cost was too great, which also caused me stress. That’s why it became a habit for me to order one incredibly spicy thing to eat without sparing anything.”
Dr. Oh Eun Young evaluated that Chuu looks for quick solutions because she has a hard time dealing with stress, when it would be more helpful to take a long, hard look and identify what her stressors were. Chuu shared that besides food, crying helps relieve her stress because she’s able to let everything go on her own rather than transfer her problems onto someone else by venting.
Hearing this, Dr. Oh Eun Young added, “Crying when you’re really sad is okay. Crying is not bad. But a healthy way of relieving stress is knowing exactly what your stressor is. You have to know why it’s a stressor in order to resolve it well and you do not have to specifically do anything.”
When asked what her stressors were, Chuu shared that she has intentionally erased them from her memory and explained that she wasn’t the type to vent to others because she doesn’t like others knowing about her hardships. She then added that the more she was struggling, the harder she tried to hide her true feelings and appear even brighter.
Chuu commented, “As people view me as a bright kid, I want to protect that image of bright Chuu. If possible, I try to never cry in public.” She continued, “Ever since I was young, my dream was to become a singer and a celebrity. Thankfully, people recognize me a bit now and send love so I really want to protect that. I can develop that more but I don’t want to fall back or rest.”
Unlike her image on broadcasts, Chuu revealed that she felt incredibly sad and lonely when she was at home. Given the hardships she’s endured over time, Chuu added that she now finds it harder to smile for long periods of time on broadcasts. On set, Chuu reassured everyone by saying, “Since emotions are different everyday, if there’s a hardship, I stop and think over it. When nothing’s wrong, I want to share that I’m still someone who enjoys a bright image and talking and hanging out with other people.”
In response to Chuu feeling pressured about her bright image, Dr. Oh Eun Young comforted the star and commented, “Showing yourself as you are is showing who you are. There’s no reason to try excessively hard. I hope you will protect yourself well.”
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Review of current science indicates that an icy swim may cut ‘bad’ body fat, but further health benefits unclear.
Taking a dip in cold water may cut ‘bad’ body fat in men and decrease the risk of disorders such as diabetes. These are the findings suggested by a major scientific review published on September 22 in International Journal of Circumpolar Health, a peer-reviewed journal.
According to the authors, many of the 104 studies they analyzed demonstrated significant effects from cold water swimming including also on brown fat, also known as ‘good’ fat, which helps burn calories. They say that this may protect against obesity and cardiovascular disease.
However, the review was inconclusive overall on the health benefits of cold-water bathing, an increasingly popular hobby.
Much of the available research involved small numbers of participants, often of just one gender, and with differences in water temperature and salt composition. Additionally, it is unclear whether or not winter swimmers are naturally healthier, say the scientific expert team of review authors from UiT The Arctic University of Norway and from the University Hospital of North Norway.
“From this review, it is clear that there is increasing scientific support that voluntary exposure to cold water may have some beneficial health effects,” states lead author James Mercer, from UiT.
“Many of the studies demonstrated significant effects of cold-water immersion on various physiological and biochemical parameters. But the question as to whether these are beneficial or not for health is difficult to assess.
“Based on the results from this review, many of the health benefits claimed from regular cold exposure may not be causal. Instead, they may be explained by other factors including an active lifestyle, trained stress handling, social interactions, as well as a positive mindset.
“Without further conclusive studies, the topic will continue to be a subject of debate.”
Weight loss, increased libido, and improved mental health are among numerous health and well-being claims made by followers of regular cold-water immersion or arising from anecdotal cases.
Cold exposure appears to also increase the production of the hormone adiponectin by adipose tissue. This protein plays a key role in protecting against insulin resistance, diabetes, and other diseases.
This activity is the subject of growing interest worldwide and takes many forms such as swimming in cold water during the winter.
Determining whether voluntary exposure to cold water has health effects in humans was the primary goal of the review. The methodology involved a detailed investigation of the scientific literature.
Excluded from the review were studies where participants wore wet suits, accidental cold-water immersion, and water temperatures greater than 20 degrees centigrade.
Themes covered by the studies that were eligible for review included inflammation, immune system, adipose tissue, blood circulation, and oxidative stress.
Immersion in cold water has a major impact on the body and triggers a shock response that includes an elevated heart rate.
Evidence that cardiovascular risk factors are actually improved in swimmers who have adapted to the cold was provided by some studies. However, other research suggests the workload on the heart is still increased.
The review provided insights into positive links between cold water swimming and brown adipose tissue (BAT), a type of ‘good’ body fat that is activated by cold. BAT burns calories to maintain body temperature, unlike ‘bad’ white fat which stores energy.
Cold exposure in water – or air – appears also to increase the production of the hormone protein adiponectin by adipose tissue. It plays a key role in protecting against insulin resistance, diabetes, and other diseases.
Repeated cold-water immersions during the winter months significantly increased insulin sensitivity and decreased insulin concentrations, according to the review. This was for both inexperienced and experienced swimmers.
However, the researchers highlight that the profile of swimmers participating in the studies did vary. They included a broad range people from elite swimmers and established winter bathers to those with no previous winter swimming experience.
Others were not strictly ice bathers but used cold-water immersion as a treatment post-exercise.
According to the authors, education is also needed on the health risks associated with taking a dip in icy water. These include the consequences of hypothermia, and of heart and lung issues which are often related to the shock from the cold.
Reference: “Health effects of voluntary exposure to cold water – a continuing subject of debate” by Didrik Espeland, Louis de Weerd and James B. Mercer, 22 September 2022, International Journal of Circumpolar Health.
TOKYO and CENTER VALLEY, PA., Sep 30, 2022 – (JCN Newswire) – Olympus Corporation (Olympus), a global medtech company committed to making people’s lives healthier, safer, and more fulfilling, today announced the release of the THUNDERBEAT(TM) Open Fine Jaw Type X surgical energy devices for open surgery. With a new thermal shield, the THUNDERBEAT Open Fine Jaw Type X surgical energy device is designed to support safer procedures.[i] The device is available commercially in Japan. The commercial launch of the product in Europe, the U.S., and South Korea is expected in October 2022, with continued launches in other countries and regions following.
This device is part of Olympus’ THUNDERBEAT portfolio of hybrid energy devices that deliver both ultrasonic and bipolar energy simultaneously for tissue management, including hemostatic cutting and dissection, in laparoscopic surgery and open surgery. The THUNDERBEAT hybrid devices eliminate the need for multiple instruments during the surgery, contributing to efficiency in the operating room and reduced operation time.[ii]
“This latest addition to our differentiated THUNDERBEAT line of products continues to deliver on Olympus’ commitment to offering hospitals a full portfolio of Advanced Energy devices providing best-in-class functionality for numerous procedures and specialties in minimally invasive and open surgery,” said Phil Roy, Global Vice President and General Manager of the Surgical Devices Business Unit.
The THUNDERBEAT(TM) Open Fine Jaw Type X device is designed for open surgical procedures that require delicate and fine tissue dissection, such as in thyroidectomy or radical neck dissection. The new thermal shield improves the thermal profile on the grasping surface, which reduces the risk of unintended heat damage to nearby tissue, nerves and other structures.[i] The jaw design maintains a finely curved tip for precise dissection and enhanced visibility during use.[i]
– New Thermal Shield Supports Safer Procedures
The newly developed thermal shield at the distal tip slows heat transfer from the probe to the exterior surface of the jaw and reduces the risk of unintended heat damage to surrounding tissue and vessels.[i]
– Fine Shape of Distal Tip Supports Precise Procedures
The slim shape of the distal tip supports precise tissue management capabilities including fine dissection and firm grasping force, cutting and sealing to the tip of the device, and blunt dissection.[i]
– Simultaneous Output of Two Energies Enables a Variety of Operations with One Device
Delivering simultaneous bipolar and ultrasonic energy enables fast, hemostatic cutting, easy dissection, and reliable vessel sealing and division. A separate advanced bipolar[i] function enables vessel sealing and spot coagulation without cutting, when desired.
The THUNDERBEAT(TM) Open Fine Jaw Type X device is a single use hybrid ultrasonic and bipolar electrosurgical instrument intended for use in open surgery. This device should not be used for tubal sterilization or tubal coagulation for sterilization procedures. Use with caution in patients with electronic implants, such as a cardiac pacemaker, or nerve simulators, to avoid possible hazard to patients due to interference. Before use, thoroughly review the product manual and use the equipment as instructed.
The THUNDERBEAT Open Fine Jaw Type X device is manufactured by Olympus Medical Systems Corporation.
Olympus is passionate about creating customer-driven solutions for the medical, life sciences, and industrial equipment industries. For more than 100 years, Olympus has focused on making people’s lives healthier, safer and more fulfilling by helping to detect, prevent, and treat disease; furthering scientific research; and ensuring public safety. In its Therapeutic Solutions business, Olympus uses innovative capabilities in medical technology, therapeutic intervention, and precision manufacturing to help healthcare professionals deliver diagnostic, therapeutic, and minimally invasive procedures to improve clinical outcomes, reduce overall costs, and enhance the quality of life for patients. Starting with its early contributions to the development of the polypectomy snare, Olympus’ Therapeutic Solutions portfolio has grown to include a wide range of medical devices to help prevent, detect, and treat disease. For more information, visit www.olympus-global.com and follow our global Twitter account: @Olympus_Corp.
[i] Data on file with Olympus as of May 11, 2020
[ii] Data on file with Olympus as of June 26, 2015
Olympus Corp [TYO: 7733] [ADR: OCPNY] [GDR: OLYs] https://www.olympus-global.com
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