New guidance on brief advice for adults undertaking exercise in primary care

Asleep at the desk

“Nudging” people to change their behaviour is one of the concepts du jour.  In the cash- and time-strapped environment of health care delivery, the idea that small scale interventions can have a big collective impact particularly appeals. NICE has recently released guidance for primary care professionals on how to deliver brief advice on undertaking exercise.  [read the full story…]

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Social media in health care: benefits, harms and the need for good quality evidence

How we communicate online has changed.  We have moved from communicating in a top-down linear fashion (coined Web 1.0) such as providing information on web-pages, to a world where producers of information are no longer separate from consumers of information (coined Web 2.0) – we are now able to collaborate, interact, create and exchange information. [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…]

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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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…]

Injury prevention apps: Are they making substantiated claims?

Staying injury-free is an important piece to living a healthy, ongoing and active lifestyle. While taking part in physical activity always puts you at greater risk of injury, research in the past two decades has helped us better understand measures we can take to both better prevent and treat injuries, potentially decreasing some of the [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…]

Schools can help to prevent kids starting smoking

“See you round the back of the bike shed at lunchtime?”  That was a familiar whisper from a rebellious bunch of elf maidens when I was at school.  To be followed by a lot of giggling and a smoke cloud rising up from the aforementioned bike shed just after the bell rang.  In those days [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…]

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…]