Here’s your weekly roundup of the latest health and wellness news! This week, our team shares these stories:
The Surprising Origin Story of “10,000 Steps a Day”
Where did that number come from?
This might blow your mind. People are commonly advised to walk 10,000 steps a day, but the number has no medical basis. It didn’t originate in America but actually in 1960s Japan. A company created the “man-po-kei”–man translates to “10,000,” po to “step,” and kei to “meter.” (We call it a pedometer.) Ten thousand is a favorable number in Japanese culture, and therefore, a good number for man-po-kei marketing purposes.
This is fascinating, but focusing on a one-size-fits-all number of steps can hatch all sorts of problems: 1) contemporary U.S. is very different from circa-1960 Japan, and 2) as the author says, “an overly narrow focus on 10,000 doesn’t encourage an integrated approach to getting healthier.”
If you pluck someone off the street, whether in New York or Wichita or Seattle or Sacramento, and ask them how many steps people should aim for per day in order to get enough physical activity, they’ll probably tell you 10,000. In an age in which pedometers are cheaper, more accurate, and more feature-rich than ever, this number has taken on almost mythical proportions — a lofty-sounding goal (in reality, it’s approximately five miles, and a reasonably active person can pull it off fairly easily) that separates the active-lifestyle haves from the slothful have-nots. Continue reading on nymag.com…
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Connecting Free Food With People in Need
Organizations help keep perfectly good food out of the trash
One in six people don’t get enough healthy foods. So, it’s sad to imagine the tons of milk, fruit, day-old sandwiches, and produce that end up in the trash every day. This could change very soon. Next year, supermarkets in France will no longer be allowed to throw away food. In the U.S., the Northeast is leading the charge in food waste restrictions. Harvard now donates leftover food from dining halls to a nonprofit, and many major companies and grocery chains are giving away food–such as discolored fruit that can’t be sold in stores–to charities for free.
Every week during the school year, Harvard’s food service workers pack up as much as 2,500 pounds of leftovers from the undergraduate dining halls, freezing chicken and bagging steamed vegetables. Their destination? The plates of Boston’s needy families.
Until a year ago, the extra servings would have gone to the university’s compost heap. But now the food is picked up by a Cambridge nonprofit that freezes it and turns it into several thousand meals for those without. Continue reading on bostonglobe.com…
The 60-Second Mind Game
Trick yourself into working out harder
Good news! Your can make your workout seem easier tonight:
A study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that if you work out in short intervals as opposed to long stretches, it will feel easier, even if you’re doing the same amount of work overall.
This type of high intensity interval training, commonly referred to as HIIT, has been on the rise in the fitness world. Researchers have proven thebenefits of short, intense bursts of exercise: they can burn more fat, increase levels of fitness, improve blood pressure and increase muscle activity. Continue reading on time.com…
Do You Need to Fear the Full Sit-Down?
The dreaded throne
Can you get a disease from a toilet seat? This article addresses that worrisome myth.
People really do fear toilet seats. One 1991 British survey of 528 women at an ob-gyn clinic found that 85 percent said they crouched over public toilets while urinating, and 12 percent papered the seat. Only 2 percent sat all the way down. But what diseases can you really get? In theory, lots. Realistically, toilet seats are relatively low risk compared to many other surfaces. Continue reading on nytimes.com…
Infographic of the Week
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More corporate wellness stories
About our weekly news roundup
As a health promoter and educator, it’s important to keep up with the latest health and wellness news. That’s why each week, we scour the Web to bring you the best stories on health research, corporate wellness, fitness, nutrition, wearable tech, and more. Share these articles with colleagues and employees, or simply stay on the cutting edge yourself!
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