A physically active child scores better grades
While your may be persuading you child to study hard and score better in school, you might as well convince them to step out and work out a little.
According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Magazine, school students who take part in physical activities like long jumps and running during lessons have better cognitive skills than their peers who have sedentary style of learning. This type of learning has been adopted by schools in West without reducing the learning time. It’s typically about making learning fun. For instance, jumping on the spot to answer true or false activity in class. The study goes on to say that the incorporating physical activity with learning has significant effect on educational outcomes with improved attention span, thehealthsite.com wrote.
This could take a little time and experience for schools in India to adopt. The crux is to make children interested in physical activities and it shouldn’t be ignored. It does make a child’s mind sharper. Children who break the shackles of sedentary life and step put to exercise feel fresh and rejuvenated. Experts believe that this makes their brain healthy, rids them of stress and tension to grasp more in a much better way.
Sedentary life and children
Once the child starts his formal school, he’s exposed to six to eight hours of classroom sitting. Adding to it is the craze for digital world where children are hooked to social media and video games. In totality, if you look at it, there’s hardly anytime when the child is getting involved in a physical activity. This lifestyle could be one of the major contributors to childhood obesity and related diseases later in life. It means dull cognitive power and performance in classroom.
Demand for physical activity among children
Depending on the age and current exposure to physical activity, children require 60 minutes of workout time on an average. This could be moderate or high-intensity workout depending what suits child the best. The best idea is to enroll the child in an activity in his school. School provides a formal environment for kids to learn. This also becomes crucial in teaching them participation, team spirit and even leadership qualities under proper guidance.
In India, schools are often under great pressure to perform better in academically. Institutes and schools are pressed for time to complete syllabus in time. Therefore, the only way out they could think of is cutting on extracurricular activities such as sports to allocate extra time for studies.
Physical activity and cognitive power
There have been powerful evidences that prove that children who are
physically active and have an exercise routine are better at maths and learning words and spellings. Physical activity is strongly linked with brain’s region that’s responsible for cognitive tasks. Thus, it shows improved results when the tasks are taken with proper exercise routine.
Experts also believe that this link between physical activity and cognition is highest for executive functioning. Executive functioning means higher-order cognitive functions. Thus, a physically active body has higher ability to achieve these goals. These functions involve improved memory, concentration and reflexes. These three factors are important for performing better in school. It has been found that executive functioning among less active children is less developed this their grades in school are lower.
How cognition is linked with physical activity?
In simple terms, it’s because of physiological reasons. Moderate intensity workout like brisk walking, running, etc. make physiological changes in body and in brain. They make flow of oxygenated blood to brain better resulting in better performance. In the long run, continuing with exercise can make structural and functional change to the brain. For instance, it may result in stronger brain connections.
On the other hand, physical activity also puts cognition skills at work. For instance, if the child plays football, he may need to apply his mind in strategizing the game plan, precision required to score a goal or dealing with counterparts to stop them for scoring. All these movements require stronger brain at work. Even a simple exercise like walking needs brain to control body’s movement. Thus, these activities also help strengthen brain’s cognitive power. With this, experts also believe that rather than the time spent in physical activities, it’s more important to see what activities are involved. In simpler terms, qualitative aspect of activities matters more.
There have studies which show that activities that include complex rules, or are high-intensity, or involve a lot of movement, are the most beneficial in bettering child’s cognitive skills.
What to do?
In case you fall under the category of parents who believe academics is everything, this may be an eye opener for you. Today, children need to have every skill, from better scores in schools to sports experience. Even for better grades, you need to give your child a vent to rejuvenate his grasping cells to perform better. So, in a way he may score better as per your expectation if he has optimal physical activity.
Convince your child to step out and play more than sitting indoors. Enrol him in game club of his choice. You may want to give him a fix slot where he must go out and play. Physical activity also boosts metabolism, increases immunity against infections and diseases and thus result in reduced absenteeism in school.
Some gut bacteria may increase bowel cancer risk, research suggests
Bacteria in the gut might influence the chance of developing bowel cancer, research suggests, in the latest study to link human health to the microbes within.
The gut microbiome — the collection of fungi, bacteria and viruses within our gut — is a booming topic of research, with scientists suggesting certain microbial makeups could be linked to conditions ranging from anxiety to obesity, theguardian.com reported.
But tinkering with this collection of microbes can also be beneficial: There has been growing interest in using fecal transplants to treat certain cases of Clostridium difficile.
“We are trying to do a lot in terms of cancer prevention. Despite the fact the microbiome could be at play there is a lot more that is needed, and interdisciplinary research that is needed, to try and help in that field,” said Dr. Kaitlin Wade, a researcher at the University of Bristol who is presenting the findings at the National Cancer Research Institute’s cancer conference in Glasgow.
The study — yet to be published or peer
reviewed — involved Wade and colleagues looking at the genetic and gut microbiome data of about 4,000 people across three European projects and exploring whether there were genetic variants linked to the presence of certain gut bacteria. As such genetic variants are randomly spread throughout the population, the approach is a type of natural experiment.
The team found 13 genetic variants each linked to variations in a different type of gut bacteria. They then looked at another set of data from about 2,000 people to see whether those with the genetic variants had a greater tendency of developing bowel cancer.
The results reveal those whose genes
increased the likelihood of having a type of Bacteroidales bacteria had a two percent to 15 percent increased risk of the disease. The team said the findings back up previous research suggesting bacteria are more common in those with bowel cancer.
But since genetic makeup is set at the start of life, the study suggests these bacteria could be playing a role in actually causing bowel cancer.
Many questions remain, including whether the genetic variants linked to the gut bacteria are directly driving the increased risk of bowel cancer. “The actual genetic changes [themselves] could be associated with the disease first and foremost which then drives variation in the bacteria,” said Wade.
It could also be that these variants drive a preference for a certain diet, which could directly affect the risk of bowel cancer, or influence the makeup of the microbiome, affecting the chance of developing the disease.
Wade said the team now needed to pin down the exact species of Bacteroidales that appear to be linked to bowel cancer, and added that further research was needed to explore whether changing levels of these microbes could reduce bowel cancer risk — and whether such an approach could have unintended consequences.
Three quarters of dementia patients in Britain suffer from other major health issues
Three quarters of those living with dementia also suffer from other debilitating health conditions, an official report reveals.
Analysis by Public Health England lays bare the huge challenge facing the country’s broken social care system.
More than 850,000 patients in Britain have dementia and the new research suggests 77 percent of these — roughly 654,000 — are also coping with health problems such as heart disease or the aftermath of a stroke, or conditions such as epilepsy, diabetes or mental illness, dailymail.co.uk reported.
Many have three or more health conditions — making providing care for them more and more difficult.
Anyone with more than £23,250 in savings — including the value of their home — is ineligible for state-funded social care.
This means many families have to sell their loved one’s home in order to pay for care.
The Daily Mail is campaigning to end this scandal —particularly for people with dementia, who make up two-thirds of those in care.
Public Health England’s report marks the first time it has attempted to calculate the true scale of the impact of dementia by assessing patients’ other major health problems, or ‘co-morbidities’.
Officials assessed ten specific conditions which those with dementia commonly live with — or which have a known association with dementia.
The authors found those with dementia are twice as likely as other people of the same age to have suffered a stroke or have epilepsy, severe mental illness or depression.
They are nearly twice as likely to have three or more other specific health conditions than the rest of the population, and four times more likely to have five other specific health conditions.
Officials also warned that many with dementia have had these other conditions missed by doctors.
Julia Verne, head of clinical epidemiology at Public Health England, said: “People with dementia are more vulnerable to other health conditions, especially as they get older.
“They may have unmet needs that could, if left unchecked, lead to preventable health outcomes such as emergency hospital admissions.”
It is feared that the number of people living with dementia in the UK could rise from 850,000 to more than a million by 2021.
Canadian teens who visit emergency department for self-harm at increased risk of suicide
Canadian teens who visit the emergency department for self-harm injuries are at significant risk of repeat self-harm and suicide, and of incurring increased health costs over the following five years, according to a new study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
Youth who self-harmed were five times more likely to have repeat visits to the emergency department, three times more likely to die from any cause and eight times more likely to die from suicide than youth who did not self-harm and who were matched on sex, age, and psychiatric and medical diagnoses, eurekalert.org reported.
“Among adolescents who presented after self-harm, and who later had recurrent admissions for self-harm, serious and complex mental conditions were common, most prominently anxiety and mood disorders, as well as substance abuse issues, and concussion or traumatic brain injury,” wrote Dr. William Gardner, CHEO Research Institute and the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, with coauthors.
The study included data on 403,805 youth aged 13-17 years who visited emergency departments in Ontario, Canada’s largest province, between 2011 and 2013. Of the total number of youth, 5,832 visited the emergency department following self-harm, and 5,661 of them were matched with 10,731 control participants who visited the emergency department for other reasons. Youth who presented with self-harm, were older (by about a year) than controls and more likely to be female (79 percent vs. 48 percent).
Emergency department visits for self-harm have more than doubled in Ontario, Canada, over the last 10 years — a worrying trend.
“Over and above an elevated suicide risk, having an emergency department visit related to self-harm is a predictor for recurrent visits to the emergency department and greater use of health services,” write the authors.
Almost one-third of the adolescents with visits for self-harm were either readmitted to hospital or had subsequent emergency department visits, which resulted in higher costs to the system. The adolescents with self-harm had $11 000 higher health system costs over five years than the matched control patients. The authors noted that this was a conservative estimate on the cost difference.
“Our results suggest that adolescents who present at the emergency department after self-harm would benefit from assessment for mental health or substance misuse disorders,” wrote the authors.
Although youth with self-harm were more likely to die by suicide, suicide was nevertheless an uncommon outcome (occurring in less than one percent of adolescents who presented to the emergency department following self-harm).
The authors call for research into better ways to assess mental health in the emergency department and to connect emergency departments with community mental health services.
The National Health Service in Scotland is to receive £10 million to help cope with the “particular pressures” of winter, the health secretary has announced, BBC wrote.