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…]

How does UK healthcare perform and compare to other nations?

It’s hard to imagine what life was like in the UK before the National Health Service. It was a time when healthcare was unreliable and of course treatment had to be paid for. Now the UK has a free, state-run NHS. Funded by taxpayers and with a budget of more than £100 billion, it’s the [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…]

How effective is a personality-targeted prevention program for adolescent alcohol misuse?

Prevention is better than cure, or so the old saying goes. So, following on with the alcohol theme this week I decided to turn our attention to alcohol abuse in young people. More specifically the idea that effective preventative intervention can involve more than just increasing adolescent knowledge about the harms of alcohol misuse. Research has [read the full story…]

Measures to encourage people to walk or cycle more: new NICE guidance

walking and cycling

Help, we’re only in the second week of December and I have already eaten 24 mince pies and 12 sausage rolls! ‘Tis the season to be jolly and to lose all self control, or so it seems. Finding ways to burn off those extra calories is the answer if you want to avoid total body [read the full story…]

The ugly truth about England’s health: the Chief Medical Officer reports

We’ve got something a bit different for you this week, as we stand back and take a look at how we’re doing as a nation in terms of our health and wellbeing and also, individually, at different stages of our lives. I’m kicking this off today by flagging up volume one of the first annual report from [read the full story…]

Can antibiotics be effective in preventing travellers’ diarrhoea?

There’s nothing more exciting than packing your bags and jetting off to some far flung destination for a bit of adventure. I’m even thinking of taking my-elf off to the Woodland beyond the cornfield next year – it’s Woodland but not as we know it. A little part of me is a bit concerned about [read the full story…]

Department of Health’s new Start4Life pack to help mums-to-be stop smoking

Smoking in pregnancy

Smoking in pregnancy increases the risk of serious health problems, including lower birth weight, pre-term birth, problems with the placenta and even death of the baby. It is also one of the few risk factors that can be changed. The Department of Health has published a report about women’s smoking status at time of delivery, [read the full story…]

England sees a drop in unhealthy lifestyle behaviours but a widening gap between different groups

Fewer people are engaging in multiple unhealthy lifestyle behaviours, according to a new report from The King’s Fund, which looked at data from the Health Survey for England from 2003 to 2008. This is the first study of its kind in the English population. They examined the clustering of four key behaviours: smoking, excessive drinking, [read the full story…]

The Olympics, sport, health and you

The countdown to The Games is over and it seems that hosting the Olympics has messed with the British ‘can’t do’, ‘doesn’t matter if you don’t win as long as you do your best,’ attitude. We’re all potential Olympians now. The NHS Live well website asks the surprising question ‘Which Olympian are you like?‘ I [read the full story…]