Health Headlines of the Week: July 23-27

Healthy Living
on July 27, 2012


Catching Clients Where They Are

For the many Americans who spend hours on end at the computer instead of at the gym, citing no time or money as the reasons, guess what—the gig is up! Wello launched this week as the first online pool of personal trainers waiting for you to log on and work out. The two-way video chat service features more than 150 trainers in a variety of disciplines including yoga, strength training, Pilates and more, who coach you remotely, working you out via cyberspace. By catching folks where they are—at the computer—Wello’s is a no-excuse approach to getting people active and, hopefully, healthier. Desktop computer owners may have a little bit of excuse negotiating room—limited space, etc. But if you’re a laptop owner? The Wello website says it all. “Place it on a couch, desk or picnic bench.” The message? Get moving.

His Legacy Walks On

For anyone who has ever worked out on a treadmill (or used one at home as a clothes hanger), take pause. William Staub, who made the treadmill a mass-market, consumer-level workout option, died this week. A mechanical engineer, Staub had the notion that an indoor running option that people could use in the comfort of home would sell like hotcakes, and eventually, after a slow start, it did. The PaceMaster was sold under Staub’s company, Aerobics, Inc., which he sold to his sons in the 1990s; the company closed in 2010. Staub died of undisclosed causes at home in Clifton, New Jersey. He was 96. And just FYI, he reportedly last used a treadmill as recently as two months ago. Walk on!

OK, Seriously. Unplug.

A bad night’s sleep got you down? Perhaps your Ambien and Tempurpedic aren’t what’s failing you. New studies suggest your nightlight could be to blame. Or your TV. Or iPad, iPhone, or any other dim lighting that’s infringing on the darkness. In an Ohio State University Medical Center study, hamsters were exposed to continual dim lighting throughout the night-time hours, and within only a few weeks of this exposure, they began showing signs of depression. Yes, we realize humans are not hamsters, but lead study author Tracy Bedrosian confirms that the findings are in line with what researchers already know about depression in people. The upside? Unplug. Turn off. Separate day from night. By reacquainting your body to its natural circadian rhythms, you can help improve signs of depression and get a better night’s sleep.

Have a Seat, Doc

It’s beginning to feel a lot like the 21st Century! Corindus Vascular Robotics’ CorPath 200 has been deemed worthy by the FDA as a means to assist cardiologists in their angioplasty surgeries. Till now, surgeons were required to wear lead vests during angioplasties to protect them from the X-rays that are required to navigate the patient’s arteries. The radiation exposure as well as time spent on their feet made surgeons cry foul for less-than-ideal working conditions. The CorPath 200, however, has revolutionized not only working conditions but the success rate and safety for all parties involved. Trials showed a 97 percent success rate with the CorPath—surgeons are now able to navigate the patient’s arteries remotely and with millimeter-by-millimeter precision. And being able to do it all from the comfort of a lead-lined “cockpit” and a chair? Priceless.

A Mere 63?

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg divided the masses a few weeks back when he proposed a ban on “big” sodas–that is, any soda size sold in cups or bottles that exceeds 16 ounces. A radical move, indeed. But how effective? Well, research shows that the soda ban would only save folks 63 calories per visit to a fast food restaurant or convenience store. Worth it? We say if you’re going for it, then pull the plug on the hot dogs on a roller too! And then let’s chat about the breakfast biscuits under the hot lamps. And what about that junk food aisle?!

Found in: Healthy Living