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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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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Objective evidence that active kids do better at school

Children playing football

Recent studies have suggested that physical activity helps children to do better at their studies.  Some of these studies have been hampered by difficulties with reliably measuring the amount of activity that actually goes on.  Others have been limited by a short duration or small sample size.  And all have been hampered by the possible [read the full story…]

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Unclear evidence on the cost-effectiveness of distance lifestyle counselling for weight control in the workplace

Being overweight is bad for your health, but finding the time and resources to address this can be difficult. Using distance communication technology, such as e-mail or telephone, can help make person-to-person counselling more accessible to working adults. This isn’t the first time we’ve looked at interventions of this nature at The Lifestyle Elf, but [read the full story…]

How can we get kids to be more active at school? New review highlights gaps

boy looking through hole in playground equipment

What do you remember about school break times? Did we fall into predictable groups, with boys playing football and girls walking round arm in arm, sharing gossip? It seems to me, looking back, that it was a time spent on the move, one way and another, and from a health perspective that was a Good [read the full story…]

More research needed on effective GP interventions to promote physical activity in later life

An older woman swimming

Aging may be inevitable for us all but the way in which we look after our bodies can impact dramatically on the rate at which we age. One of the key ingredients to a long and healthy lifestyle is exercise. We’re living longer than ever before and if we want to spring into our autumn [read the full story…]

Painkiller use during marathons could be a serious health risk

You’re on the starting line raring to go, the starter gun sounds and you’re off, eager and determined to give it your best. There’s a bounce in your step and a smile on your face. Twenty-six and a smidge miles later and everything won’t seem nearly so bright! The marathon will have wreaked havoc on [read the full story…]

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…]

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…]

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…]