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Posted at: May 26, 2018, 12:53 AM; last updated: May 26, 2018, 12:53 AM (IST)HEALTH CAPSULES

How to undo perils of too much screen time

Researchers have found that the amount of leisure time spent watching a television or computer screen almost doubles the impact on the risk of mortality, cardiovascular disease and cancer in people with low-grip strength or low fitness levels than on participants who have the highest levels of fitness and grip strength. Increasing strength and fitness may offset the adverse health consequences of spending a large proportion of leisure time sitting down and watching a screen, according to experts. The study shows that the risks associated with sedentary behaviour are not the same for everyone; individuals with low physical activity experience the greatest adverse effects. The researchers suggested that measuring grip strength could be an efficient way to target individuals that may benefit most from public health interventions to reduce screen time. The study analysed data from 391,089 participants. It has been published in the journal BMC Medicine.

Smoking is bad for your muscles also  

Cigarette smoke is directly damaging the muscles in your body, finds a study. The research indicates that smoking decreases the number of small blood vessels that bring oxygen and nutrients to muscles in the legs. It is known that smoking limits a person's ability to exercise because it makes their muscles weaker. It was widely believed this muscle weakness is because the lungs become inflamed and eventually destroyed by habitual smoking, therefore limiting activity and exercise. However, the findings of this study suggest that cigarette smoke directly damages muscles by reducing the number of blood vessels in leg muscles, thereby reducing the amount of oxygen and nutrients they can receive. This can impact metabolism and activity levels, both of which are risk factors for many chronic diseases including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and diabetes. The study appears in the Journal of Physiology.

Childhood obesity, school performance linked 

Being obese early in life has an impact on children's learning and memory, claimed a study. The study also indicated that IQ scores may be lower for higher-weight children. Obesity, which can deregulate hormones that act in multiple brain regions, is associated with lower cognition in adults, the researchers said. For the study, researchers focused on a group of children whose weight, relative to their height or length, was known at age one and/or age two, and who later underwent a series of cognitive tests that assessed their general cognitive abilities, memory, attention and impulsivity. The researchers found that weight status had three significant impacts. Excess early-life adiposity was associated with lower IQ, perceptual reasoning and working memory scores at school-age. The study has been published in the journal Obesity. 

— Agencies

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