Monthly Archives: August 2016

Tips to improve your health

Wearing a fitness tracker may help you keep tabs on how many steps you take, but the devices themselves — even with the lure of a cash reward — probably won’t improve your health, according to the biggest study yet done on the trendy technology.

Scientists say that although the activity trackers may boost the number of steps people take, it probably isn’t enough to help them drop pounds or improve overall health.

“These are basically measuring devices,” said Eric Finkelstein, a professor at Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore, who led the research. “Knowing how active you are doesn’t translate into getting people to do more and the novelty of having that information wears off pretty quickly.”

Finkelstein and colleagues tested the Fitbit Zip tracker in a group of 800 adults in Singapore, by dividing them into four groups. Of those people, more than half were overweight and obese and about one third were active.

A control group got information about exercise but no tracker and a second group got the Fitbit Zip; everyone in those groups also got about $2.92 a week. Participants in the last two groups got the tracker and about $11 for every week they logged between 50,000 and 70,000 steps. One of the groups had the money donated to charity while the other kept the cash.

After six months, people with the Fitbit and who got the cash payment showed the biggest boost in physical activity. But after a year, 90 percent of participants had abandoned the device. The physical activity of the Fitbit wearers did not decline over the year as much as it did for those who were not given a tracker, but the higher activity level wasn’t enough to produce any improvements in weight or blood pressure.

Are you mistaking meningitis for a hangover

After a woman died in April when she mistook meningitis for a hangover, her parents are speaking out so the same thing doesn’t happen to anyone else.

Jennifer Gray’s mother, Edwina, told the Daily Record her daughter’s quick and confusing death is the “worst possible thing to happen to someone who has an only child.”

On April 16, Jennifer told her mother she felt sick, The Independent reports, but she thought it was just a hangover or a cold after a night out with friends. But her symptoms — a headache, sore joints, and nausea — weren’t going away, so Jennifer went to the hospital the next day. At the hospital, the Daily Record reports Jennifer’s symptoms progressed rapidly, and she died soon after.

Jennifer was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, which causes swelling of the brain. Many things cause meningitis, but the bacterial form is one of the more serious ones. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were about 4,100 cases of bacterial meningitis, including 500 deaths, each year between 2003 and 2007 in the United States. It’s spread from person to person, but most of the bacteria that cause the illness aren’t quite as contagious as viruses that cause a cold or flu. You have to get pretty close to someone with meningitis to catch it.

Symptoms of meningitis come on pretty fast, according to the CDC, and include fever, headache and a stiff neck. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, and confusion. It’s important to get immediate medical treatment if you think you have been exposed to meningitis and start experiencing these symptoms.

Because young people like her daughter are particularly susceptible to contracting meningitis (living in close quarters like dorms is a way it can spread), Edwina went public with Jennifer’s story.

“I was shocked by the condition she was in. She looked horrendous. Within that hour since I last saw her, there was a rapid increase in symptoms,” Edwina told the Daily Record. “The hospital said they hadn’t seen the illness move as fast as with Jennifer. She came in with vague symptoms and within hours, she was dead.”

If you suddenly experience the symptoms described above, it’s a good idea to call your doctor. They can tell you whether to get checked out or if you should rest.

Lets know more about launch marijuana

A college in the Atlantic Canadian province of New Brunswick plans to institute a program on marijuana cultivation so that students can be trained to work at local companies that produce the drug, a school official said on Tuesday.

The French-language College Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick will launch the course sometime next year, said Michel Doucet, executive director of continuing education and customized learning.

Canadian Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau campaigned last year on a promise to legalize recreational marijuana and the government has said it would introduce legislation by the spring of 2017.

Medical marijuana is already legal across Canada, and companies in that relatively small sector have been eyeing the larger recreational market with expansion in mind.

In August, the government of New Brunswick, where the college has five campuses, said it invested C$4 million ($3.03 million) in a medical marijuana company that will create up to 208 jobs in the region.

Doucet said the school was still determining the exact details of the program, including class size and the length and frequency at which it will be conducted.

“This is not a mainstream program,” he said. “We’re looking at training qualified employees to meet the needs of industry, versus training students at large.”

Colleges in Canada differ from universities and grant mainly diplomas instead of degrees. Doucet said the school had not yet determined whether it would be a full diploma program.

New Brunswick, with a population of roughly 750,000, has suffered from a weak economy, and westward migration has caused a brain drain and shrinking population.