10 SURPRISING HEALTH FACTS

1. Drinking coffee can prevent depression

Many people hear about the negative effects of caffeine on our health, but it turns out that apart from waking us up in the morning, caffeine has its good points too.

Research from the Harvard School of Public Health found that women who drank a minimum of four cups of coffee per day could lower their risk of depression by 20 per cent. Earlier research also found that females who drank two or more cups per day were less likely to commit suicide.

2. Chewing gum makes you more alert

After the coffee buzz you may be suffering from that mid-afternoon slump and can’t seem to concentrate. Coventry University research suggests that chewing mint flavoured gum can dramatically reduce feelings of tiredness.

Another study on the subject found that chewing gum can improve overall cognitive ability and memory by 35 per cent, relieve stress and reduce anxiety levels.

3. Sitting at a desk could increase your risk of death by nearly 50 per cent

Office workers beware, as research from the University of Sydney found that office workers who sit for longer than 10 hours a day at their desk had a 48 per cent increase in risk of death, in comparison to people who sat for less than four hours a day.

To counteract this health risk, try to introduce five minutes of activity every hour and make sure you take regular breaks away from your workstation. Simple changes like taking the stairs instead of the lift will also make a positive difference to your health.

4. Cash Points and public toilets are equally dirty

Withdrawing money from a cash machine is something may of us do regularly, but how many of us give our hands a wash after using them?

Cleanliness tests carried out in Britain found that ATM machines were as dirty as the toilets. Specialists investigated swabs taken from the cash machine keyboards and from public toilets nearby and found both samples had the same bacteria known to lead to sickness.

5. Optimistic people tend to live longer

According to a study from Duke University Medical Center, heart patients who were more optimistic about their treatment, actually lived longer than those who were more pessimistic and had a “half empty” mind set.

Also, according to findings of a study published in the European Heart Journal, people who are optimistic have less chance of suffering from heart disease.

6. Smelling apples can prevent claustrophobia

An apple a day can do more than just keep the doctor away, it can also help with claustrophobia. Apparently smelling a green apple will relieve the stress associated with confined spaces, according to research from the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation.

Sniffing a green apple can also prevent headaches and migraines and some homeowners even use the scent to make their houses seem bigger to potential buyers.

7. If you’re tired, you should probably exercise

After a long day at work, going to gym is probably the last thing on your list of priorities but research has found that exercising actually gives you more energy.

A study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that levels of fatigue and depression improved after a 30-minute session of moderate intensity exercise. This is because exercise improves your cardiovascular health which means that more blood and oxygen flow around the body, therefore giving you more energy.

8. Sit-ups won’t give you a flat stomach

Many people fall into the trap of thinking that they can achieve a flat stomach by doing crunches. But the truth is, endless amounts of crunches won’t give you the stomach of your dreams - as the exercise only works your abs, not your core muscles.

One study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found carrying out six weeks of abdominal exercises alone was not enough to reduce abdominal fat. Eating a healthy diet is also very crucial to shredding fat.

9. To cool down, drink something hot

Though it might sound counterproductive, drinking something hot can actually cool you down.  According to a study from the University of Ottawa’s school of Human Kinetics, as the drink is hotter than your body temperature, it triggers a sweat response in the body that more than compensates for the increase.

So although it might initially make you feel hotter, a hot drink will cause you to sweat more and therefore the body effectively cools itself quicker.

10. The right amount of sleep can help you live longer

Too much or too little sleep is associated with a shorter lifespan. In a 2010 study of women ages 50 to 79, more deaths occurred in women who got less than five hours or more than six and a half hours of sleep per night.

A good amount of sleep also improves cardiovascular health along with improving stress control and blood pressure levels. 

 

If you are worried about your health, be sure to see a doctor. To see a healthcare professional in the comfort of your own home or workplace, at a time to suit you, then download the Qure app -> onelink.to/jtygac

Charlie Harington