Desk workers should put activity in their day
Sometimes, workers who are very busy don't rise
except when absolutely necessary, and then they get a sandwich so they
can continue to work at lunchtime.
Not a good idea. To stay healthy, desk workers need
to find ways to put activity into their work day.
It could start with parking their cars the equivalent
of a block away and walking to the front door. Regardless of how busy
they are, their bosses encourage them to take time for lunch and use 15
minutes or more to walk around.
Inactivity studies are still in their early stages,
but already they have linked sedentary lifestyle to a higher risk of
obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular problems and some cancers.
Even those who get regular exercise away from work
are at risk. Researchers say sitting 63 hours a week is very unhealthy,
regardless of which hours are at work and which are watching television.
The hours do add up, but researchers say injecting even a minute or two
of walking into work and TV time, several times a day, decreases health
Sitting for a couple of hours causes the
calorie-burning rate to drop, enzymes responsible for ridding the
bloodstream of fat to plunge and insulin effectiveness to be reduced.
Doctors at the Mayo Clinic say there are ways to keep
on the move, including pacing while talking on the phone, standing up
while talking, walking to the water fountain, cooking, climbing stairs
and doing chair exercises.
Some offices have adjustable height work stations so
computer users can stand up for part of the day.
Personalized' cancer treatment is promising
There is a growing conviction among researchers that
the secret to treating tumors lies not in the part of the body they
occur, but in genetic glitches that drive tumor growth.
The new strategy is to match the mutation in any part of the body with a
drug that targets the underlying gene mutation, such as Pfizer's Xalkori,
which is used in adults with lung cancer.
now showing promise against childhood cancers. All children who were
cured with Xalkori had defects in a gene known as ALK, the same gene
that Xalkori targets in adult lung cancer.
eradicated cancer in eight out of 10 kids with lymphoma and two children
with deadly neuroblastoma.
Though these numbers are
small, they are a milestone in cancer treatment.
Vitamin D could be a factor in diabetes prevention
People diagnosed with prediabetes have always
searched for ways to prevent the condition from moving to full-blown
type 2 diabetes.
Doctors at Tufts University could
have a partial answer for them. Their new study, Diabetes Care, shows
that high-risk patients with the highest levels of vitamin D were 28
percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with the
While they say the study has promising
results, the doctors don't recommend vitamin D supplements across the
board for prediabetes patients. Cautiously, they say this study finding
may not apply to all patients.
Still, one part of
their study showed that in comparing 608 women newly diagnosed with
diabetes to 559 women without the condition, after adjusting for other
factors, those with the highest vitamin D levels were 48 percent less
likely to have developed the disease than those with the lowest levels.
In another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
in 2011, Tufts researchers found overweight prediabetes patients who
took a 2,000 IU vitamin D supplement for 10 weeks had a 26 percent
improvement in functioning of the pancreas cells that produce insulin.
More applause for raisins
Research reported in Duke University Health News
shows that high potassium levels in raisins can help to lower blood
pressure, but raisins can do more.
They are high in
the antioxidants that help protect body cells. They contain the mineral
boron, which is associated with increased bone health and prevention of
Raisins are rich in iron and copper,
both of which are necessary in the formation of red blood cells.
Raisins help correct iron deficiency anemia, and they promote blood
clotting during wound healing. Other components in raisins protect