A Healthier U

TAKE A WALK
By PEAK Health and Fitness Staff

WalkingThe link between nature and wellbeing is becoming better understood following the work of George MacKerron and Susana Mourato. In their study, 21,947 participants were randomly asked to score their happiness on a sliding scale from zero to 100 during a six-month period. Not surprisingly, participants scored as having a greater wellbeing, or significantly happier, when outdoors versus when in urban settings.

Especially interesting are the hypotheses that MacKerron and Mourato put forth to explain why natural environments are linked to wellbeing and happiness:

  1. Biophilia: Humans are attracted to other living systems. It has been suggested that exposure to life and vitality positively affect the nervous system, reduces the stress hormone cortisol and improves focus.
  2. Natural environments are less likely to be noisy or pollution ridden.
  3. Being outdoors increases the chances of being physically active or socially engaged.

Here at the University of Utah you are so fortunate to have the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains within walking distance from our place of work. On days when you feel unfocussed or simply start to slow down, take a minute for a walk. You will not regret it.

 

References:

MacKerron G, Mourato S. Happiness is greater in natural environments. Glob Environ Change. 2013;23:992-1000.

HealthFeed

Mature woman with head in hands and eyes closed, close-up4 WAYS TO MANAGE MIGRAINES

From mild annoyance to debilitating pain, almost everyone has experienced a headache. “About 90 percent of headaches are in the migraine family,” says Kathleen Digre, M.D., chief of the headache and neuro-ophthalmology division in neurology at University of Utah Health Care. “Affecting 20 percent of women and 10 percent of men, migraines are more common than asthma and diabetes combined.”

To read the full article, click here.

For more expert health news and information, visit healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed.

NO, YOUR FITNESS TRACKER WON’T GIVE YOU CANCER
Wearable Fitness Tracker

Have you heard the claim that wearable tech devices like Fitbit and the upcoming Apple Watch may pose a cancer risk? A recent column in The New York Times raised the possibility that radiation emitted by such devices could pose a cancer risk. The writer’s basis compared wearable devices to cellphones, which some have suggested give off radiation that could lead to cancer.

Click here to read the full article on the HealthFeed blog.