Posts Tagged ‘study’

TV may not just be bad for the mind but also the heart according to a new health study.

Remember the days when your parents would yell at you as you were watching television in deep concentration,  “don’t  sit so close! You’re going to ruin your eyesight!”.   Well that has been proven as myth by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).  But just when you might think that it is safe to sit and watch TV with no health effects there is a new study that gets released to get you thinking.  This one seems a little more jarring than damaging your eyesight.  This study actually finds that TV may cut your lifespan short by way of cardiovascular disease.

According to Australian researchers, sitting and watching television for one hour per day increases the average person’s risk of premature death by cardiovascular disease by 18%.   Not only did the study look at heart disease, but it also found that the risks of early death by any other health problem fly up to  11 per cent for each hour in front of the tube and jumped up to 9 per cent for risk of developing fatal cancer.  As I read the results of this study I found myself deeply regretting those all day Star Trek marathons I watched back in the day.

Now this shouldn’t really come as a surprise, because it has long been known that lack of exercise can contribute to poor health.  When one is watching television they are generally not doing anything other than sitting, thus not getting any physical activity. This study looked at three groups of people: those who watched more than four hours of TV per day, those who caught up to four hours per day, and people who watched less than two hours per day.  The participants of the study were followed for a six year period.  People with health problems such as heart disease were not included in the study.

The end results showed that people in the first group had an 80% chance of developing fatal heart diseases and had a 46% greater chance of dying by any other causes.  To further control the research, smokers and those with other health problems were not included in the study.  Even despite the participants being healthy they were affected by prolonged periods of watching the television.

In the end it all boils down to getting active.  In today’s lifestyle there is very little physical activity involved in our jobs and day to day routines.  Most people tend to sit at work all day, then come home and sit again.  So we all need to throw in more hours of physical activity in a day and keep the hours of inactivity down.  Like anything else in life, it all boils down to moderation, even watching television.

—Matthew Casey

With files from The Toronto Star

It’s now been eighteen days since 2010 has started.  If you made a New Year’s resolution are you still at it?  Or are you like one of the many who have probably given up and are already striving to achieve it next year?  Well if you have given up on your resolution already you’re most likely not alone.   In reading an article recently I came across a study that really shed some light on why so many of us can’t keep up our resolutions.  It might not be that we fail the resolution but rather the resolution fails us.

According to a report in the UK Guardian Journal  a study by Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, people who made large and general resolutions to do things such as lose weight or quit smoking only had a 35% chance of being successful.  The study found that  people who  instead broke up their goals into stages  had about a 50% chance of being successful.  So it would appear that making a general statement is not achievable by most people.   By doing that people are setting themselves up to fail by creating a resolution that will fail them.

Also found in the study was that of the people who were 50% more likely to achieve their goals, these people kept diaries of their progress and also talked to their friends about their achievements which kept them motivated to keep at their resolution.

I can attest to this because after embarking on a goal to lose weight myself last year, I noticed that when keeping my friends informed of my progress I felt as though I had to be accountable.  I didn’t want to disappoint anyone by telling them that I had given up, so I kept on exercising and eventually achieved my goal.  Another key fact that I noticed in the study was that people who did have occasional lapses in their goals shrugged them off as “temporary setbacks” rather than getting down on themselves.   The moral of this story is to just keep going and don’t dwell on your mistakes or you will get yourself down and ultimately fail.

So if you have given up on your resolution already you can still get back into it.   Just try the steps that were outlined in the study like breaking your goal up into segments and keeping a diary of your progress so you have tangible evidence of any success.  Instead of saying “I’m going to quit smoking this year” start off by saying “I’m going to go from two packs a week to one.” Just start out small and as you make progress keep cutting back and hopefully you will be successful and won’t have to make the same resolution next year.

—Matthew Casey

To read the full article by Ian Sample visit:

If you Thought Every Other Day Was Bad!

Posted: January 18, 2010 by Matthew Casey in Articles
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Get ready for it!  The most depressing day of the year is coming! “Blue Monday” as it is being coined is supposed to be on January 25, 2010.  It is a day that is calculated to occur each year by a mathematical formula.  This day is supposed to be the most depressing one out of the entire year.  So if people seem more irritable or cranky then we ought to know why.  So how bad could this Monday be? As  if the other days weren’t bad enough with unemployment rates at all time highs, a slumping economy, and a global recession all hanging around to tell us things are bleak.

According to an article in Time Magazine, the theory and formula were developed by a Cardiff University researcher named Dr. Cliff Arnall.  His formula takes into consideration a whole bunch of different factors that lead to the conclusion of the date of the most depressing day of the year.  Arnall’s formula is based on the effects of nasty winter weather, a big hole in people’s wallets from all that holiday spending, and those pesky New Year’s resolutions that just seem to fade away after the first few weeks into the year.  All of these factors combined allow Arnall to arrive at a date that tops all others for amount of depression.

Although the article claims that many in the academic world discount this man’s theory I think we should run with it! I mean he put a lot of thought into it and it gives everyone yet another excuse to not want to get out of bed on a Monday morning.

I absolutely hate Mondays but at least out of all them,  if I am in a really particularly bad mood on this one I can blame it on what sounds like a pretty good formula that says it’s the most depressing day of the year! I like that.  I think that if this is truly the most saddest day of them all, then “Blue Monday” should be a paid holiday so that we can all get through it at home.

—Matthew Casey

To read the article  by Bill Tancer in Time Magazine visit:,8599,1704887,00.html