Older people who exercise are twice as likely to enjoy good health as inactive people

An eight-year cohort study has found a strong association between physical activity and healthy ageing in later life. The study recruited a sample of older adults and followed them over time.   They measured the participants’ levels of physical activity and health every two years. Other studies have already shown an association between activity and exercise.  [read the full story…]

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One in ten women report having had sex against their will

woman lying down

This is the stark headline of the latest British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (NATSAL). It’s the first time this regular ten-year survey, now in its third cycle, has looked at non-volitional sex. They also report a huge range of data about the prevalence of sexual activities and attitudes.  So the Lifestyle Elf [read the full story…]

Smoking when pregnant may harm your child’s brain: evidence from MRI scans

Smoking in pregnancy

There is an abundance of observational evidence that smoking during pregnancy is harmful to the unborn child. Previous studies have seen an association between prenatal smoking and a range of behavioural and psychiatric problems in childhood and beyond.  A new cohort study used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study the brains of children whose mothers [read the full story…]

Promoting physical activity in patients with Parkinson’s disease

What do Mohammad Ali, Michael J. Fox, Bob Hoskins, Salvador Dali, Francisco Franco and Adolf Hitler all have in common? That was question 3 in our Woodland quiz last night. Almost all the elves got it right and the title of this blog no doubt gives it away but yes, they did indeed all suffer [read the full story…]

Shingles vaccination for older people: effective, but can they get it?

We Lifestyle Elves are pretty keen on encouraging people to do all those things we know are good for health and reduce our risk of illness and disease. We particularly like tackling those ‘modifiable risk factors’, things we can choose to do something about for the benefit of our health, so we’re always banging on about [read the full story…]

A home-based program improves physical activity and nutritional behaviour in older people

What a busy morning I’ve had spending quality time with the Elders in the Woodland. We started off with a spot of tai chi in amongst the snowdrops, followed by a pot of Rosy Lee reclining on the toadstools. I’ve been nagging them all to get up and be more active since reading more about [read the full story…]

Exploring suicidal thoughts in the very elderly: a Swedish study

The Elf Mother has just passed 80 and she’s not too impressed with old age. Another Elder Elf in this bit of the woodland disagrees. “It has its advantages”, she was telling me; “all those things you don’t have to do, and people you don’t have to see!” Elf Mother did concede she has a [read the full story…]

Helping older people in care homes and hospitals to avoid falls: new Cochrane evidence

We all know that falls can have very serious consequences for older people, and there are around three times as many falls amongst the over 65s in care homes and hospitals than out in the community. Back in the summer, I blogged about a Cochrane review on strategies to prevent falls in this population and this has [read the full story…]

Your life, your health – researchers invite you to share what they know about how life gets under your skin

I’m really excited today as I’ve been looking at a wonderful example of research that’s relevant to us all, presented in an accessible way. The team at the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) know they have really interesting findings and want to share them with everyone. They also want your feedback and encourage anyone who’s [read the full story…]

New Cochrane review has strong evidence that some interventions can reduce falls in older people

The Elf Mother is worried about falling, as well she might be, for a fall can have serious consequences in later life and may mean that a person who had been living independently is no longer able to do so. Around 30% of people aged over 65 and living in the community fall each year. Today’s new [read the full story…]