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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Diet and dying: people who ate more fruit and veg were less likely to die

shopping basket with fruit and veg

This recent systematic review in the BMJ found that more fruit and veg in the diet was associated with a reduced risk of death from cancer, cardiovascular disease and other causes.

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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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Quitting smoking is the easy part, staying quit is hard

During 2010/11 there were 1.53 million hospital admissions for illnesses directly attributable to smoking in the UK. These admissions, along with other smoking-related expenses, cost the NHS approximately £5 billion pounds per year. Fortunately, the NHS is spending £88.2 million per year on cessation treatments, many of which have been repeatedly demonstrated to be highly [read the full story…]

Review of how (and how not) to help poorer people improve their diet and do more exercise

Shouting with a megaphone

We know that type 2 diabetes is more prevalent in groups with lower socioeconomic status, and we know that improving diet and taking exercise can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.  So how can we help poorer people to act on diet and exercise advice? A recent mixed methods systematic review looked at the [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…]

Perineal massage cuts risk of needing stitches after giving birth

woman cuddling her new baby

Listen up all you pregnant women out there, for I have good news for you today. Unless you are about to give birth any day now, that is, in which case best of luck with that! When I was pregnant, more than a decade ago, it was all yoga and perineal massage in my bit [read the full story…]

From back pain to bird bites: can workplace interventions reduce sickness absence ?

We’re continuing our focus on health in the workplace with a look at some of the most novel excuses for not turning up, but first the serious bit – a recent systematic review on interventions to reduce sickness absence, carried out by a research team in Norway. They looked for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of [read the full story…]

Games for health professionals – a Cochrane review investigates

Having looked at whether a board game can help smokers, in Monday’s blog, I’m now turning my attention to educational games for health professionals – going to work has never been so much fun! This was the unlikely topic of a Cochrane systematic review which has now been updated. There are lots of reasons why [read the full story…]