Outdoor walking groups: as good as the treadmill?

Kirsten Lawson reports on a systematic review and meta-analysis of outdoor walking groups and their impact on a range of health parameters, including blood pressure, heart rate, body fat, body mass index, cholesterol and depression.

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Does high sugar intake affect cholesterol and blood pressure?

It’s been suggested that a high-intake of dietary sugars is a cause of increased blood pressure and poor lipid profile. A recent systematic review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition investigates further.

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Evidence summary: group interventions may be better than individual advice in encouraging poorer women to be more active

vintage photo of teen girls exercising

NICE have produced a summary of new evidence on improving physical activity among socially disadvantaged women.  The full article is available as part of their regular Eyes on Evidence email newsletter. Background We know that lack of physical activity is a risk factor for chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes, and that [read the full story…]

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Passive smoking increases the risk of bacterial meningitis in children

NICE’s Eyes on Evidence newsletter reports on a meta-analysis of observational studies looking at the incidence of bacterial meningococcal disease in relation to exposure to passive smoking. Bacterial meningitis is rare, which makes it hard to study.  There are only 2 to 6 cases per 100,000 people in the UK every year, with a mortality [read the full story…]

Medicines improve your chance of quitting smoking

cigarette and pills

We’ve always got plenty to say about smoking here at the Lifestyle Elf and few things make our pointy ears prick up as fast as hearing about new, high quality evidence on what can help people quit. So we’re very pleased to see a Cochrane overview on the effectiveness and safety of medicines to help [read the full story…]

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Promoting health at work – what works?

smiling butchers at work

Health and work are intrinsically linked.  There is a strong evidence base which shows good health is associated with finding and staying in work, financial and social benefits, as well as advantages for physical and mental health and well-being.  Conversely, a strong association exists between worklessness and poorer health outcomes.  Work can be therapeutic however, [read the full story…]

Is job strain a risk factor for a physically inactive lifestyle?

It’s the beginning of another working week here in the Woodland. We’ve still got health and the workplace on the agenda today. It was a big relief to learn on Friday that work stress doesn’t increase your risk of certain cancers but guess what? It seems that job strain can be associated with a physically [read the full story…]

Does work stress increase your risk of cancer?

TGIF. It’s been a busy old week for this little Elf. How are you doing? Feeling frazzled after a long week at work? Looking forward to the weekend? Hopefully you’ve been keeping up with both the Mental and Lifestyle Elves’ blogs this week on health and the workplace. Perhaps you’ve been employing some new tactics [read the full story…]

Guest blog: Heart attacks not reduced in people taking vitamins and antioxidants

Guest blog: Today we’re kicking off National Heart Month with this guest blog, written for us by Dr Harry Boardman, who is part way through his Cardiology specialist training in Oxford. Something to think about while you are lining your vitamin and antioxidant tablets up next to the marmalade on the breakfast table tomorrow morning, [read the full story…]

Less fat in, less fat on: good evidence that lower fat intake leads to lower body weight

In shining the spotlight on body weight and diet last week, the British Medical Journal looked not just at new research on the links with sugar intake, which I blogged on Monday, but also at fat intake. Fair dos really. A research team did a systematic review and meta-analysis  to investigate the relationship between total fat intake [read the full story…]