Talking About Exercise...
- Researchers from University of Sydney in Australia have determined that playing outside is good for kids’ eyes; it helps prevent myopia or short-sightedness—published in Ophthalmology. The Hindustan Times reports:
In the study, 2367 12-year-old Australian school children underwent eye examinations and completed questionnaires about their daily activities.
The lowest rates of myopia were associated with the highest rates of outdoor activity, irrespective of how much near work, such as reading, the children did.
The children with the worst eyesight did lots of near work and spent very little time outside. Interestingly, the study found no benefit from playing sports indoors.
"The crucial factor was being outdoors. Time spent outdoors, as a protective factor, now appears to be the strongest environmental factor that has yet been documented,” Kathryn Rose of the University of Sydney in Australia said.
- A new study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows immigrant children aren’t getting as much exercise as white U.S.-born children—it appears in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Via Reuters:
The researchers, led by Dr. Gopal K. Singh of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, report the findings in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
Past studies, the researchers note, have shown that immigrants to the U.S. often have certain "health advantages" over natives that tend to fade as they become more assimilated: traditional diets are replaced by fast food, leisure time is increasingly devoted to TV and computers.
The reverse seems to be true when it comes to physical activity. Research has suggested that immigrant adults tend to exercise more as they become more acculturated.
A similar pattern emerged in the current study. Singh's team found that rates of inactivity were highest among children who were foreign- born or had two foreign-born parents (18 percent and 15 percent, respectively); but children with one foreign-born parent were similar to children whose parents were both born in the U.S. (between 10 percent and 11 percent were inactive).
- According to researchers at the Division of Population Science at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania, exercise lowers the risk of colon cancer—printed in Patient Education and Counseling. More from Robert Preidt of HealthDay News:
Their analysis of survey data from 1,932 adults who answered questions about colon cancer risk found that only 15 percent said they used physical activity as a way of reducing their colon cancer risk. The findings were published in the August issue of Patient Education and Counseling.
Several factors may contribute to this lack of knowledge about the link between exercise and colon cancer risk.
"Patients may not be learning this information from their health-care providers and information regarding colon cancer prevention is not as well publicized as it could be," study co-author Elliott Coups said in a new release from the Center for the Advancement of Health.
Doctors may find it easier to tell patients about the general health benefits of exercise, rather than specifically referring to colon cancer, even if a patient has a family history of colon cancer or other risk factors for the disease.
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