Latest News & Research: 27 February 2018

This week: Gently does it (if moderate-to-intense isn’t possible); Time to lose the clicker down the back of the sofa; Turn on, tune in, work out…

Turn on, tune in, work out…

We all know tuning in to music that makes you feel good is a popular motivational technique for many of us, our clients and members included, when it comes to working out.

Now a new study has added more credence to this. Researchers from Brunel University in London used electroencephalography (EEG) to monitor the response of the brain to music while participants undertook physical activity.

In the study of 24 participants, the beta waves of those who listened to music while completing a walking-based activity showed that they experienced 28% higher enjoyment than those who didn’t listen to anything, and 13% higher enjoyment than another group that listened to a TEDTalk podcast.

Study co-author Marcelo Bigliassi said ‘We showed that music has the potential to increase beta waves and elicit a more positive emotional state. This can be capitalized upon during other forms of exercise and render a given activity more pleasurable.’

Gently does it (if moderate-to-intense isn’t possible)

Research from the UK has found that even very small amounts of activity helps older people to stay alive longer.

As we know, the recommended amounts of exercise are generally not followed by most people, and older people are no exception. But rather than dismissing exercise out of hand as too hard and unpleasant, it seems that even a few minutes a day of activity can benefit health and wellbeing.

A study of over 1,100 older men, average age 78, found that total physical activity correlated with a lower all-cause death risk. Even light activity such as gardening and dog walking correlated with reduced mortality risk.

The researchers, led by Dr Barbara Jefferis of the Department of Primary Care and Population Health at University College London, commented ‘The finding that [low-intensity physical activity] is associated with lower risk of mortality is especially important among older men, as most of their daily physical activity is of light intensity.’

Time to lose the clicker down the back of the sofa

It may be a golden age of great quality TV, but endless nights bingeing on seasons of must-watch shows could be doing us damage which even exercise can’t undo, according to research from the US.

The study of over 15,000 US adults found that those who spent a lot of time watching television had over 1.7 times the risk of developing potentially fatal blood clots known as venous thrombosis (VTE), compared to individuals who rarely engaged in this form of sedentary activity. Interestingly, the risk remained high in those who watched lots of TV but also exercised and were not overweight.

The findings led study author Yasuhiko Kubota of the University of Minnesota to  conclude that ‘even individuals who regularly engage in physical activity should not ignore the potential harms of prolonged sedentary behaviours such as TV viewing. Avoiding frequent TV viewing, increasing physical activity and controlling body weight might be beneficial to prevent VTE.’