Here is a statistic that may or may not shock you: every cigarette a smoker smokes shortens their life by 11 minutes. Not too shocking? How about this statistic: every hour someone watches television shortens their life by 22 minutes. Think about that the next time you get annoyed with a smoker.
According to A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day. So let’s calculate it out that is 28 hours/week, which is about 2 months per year. If you calculate to the age of 65, assuming that you don’t begin watching television until you are 15, which works out to 8 1/3 years of solid television watching. This works out to shortening your lifespan by over 21 years!
Chiropractors have always understood how detrimental prolonged sitting is for the back. In fact, it’s worse for your back then prolonged standing. Muscles atrophy, discs get dehydrated and degenerate, joints stiffen and become arthritic, circulation and metabolism slow, and over all you become very deconditioned both physically and cardiovascularly.
No one is surprised that watching too much TV is bad for you and everyone knows what to do about it. I have found in my office, that simply educating myself and others can make a difference. After all, once you learn something, you can’t unlearn it. And maybe the next time you or I plop down in front of the TV we’ll think about it, hesitate, and maybe even get up and do what our mothers always told us to do “go outside and play.”
So what causes lower back pain? Is it a herniated disc? A pinched nerve? How about arthritis? And why is it I never had a problem until my mid 30’s or 40’s? Well the truth is; is that the problem really doesn’t begin at middle age. It’s just that the symptoms often don’t manifest until then. Most back problems, be a disc, nerve, or arthritis, begin at a very young age as a result of some sort of trauma. It may be an acute trauma such as a fall or an accident or a repetitive trauma such as playing baseball or practicing gymnastics. These traumas may result in a slight misalignment between the vertebrae, which over time puts stress upon the spinal joints and discs and over time result in degenerative changes and even arthritis. In fact, MRI’s have shown that degenerative changes to the spine may begin as young as 10. As you know, kids usually just take falls and bumps in stride with seemingly little or no ramifications. However, just because there is no pain does not mean that there isn’t a problem. Over time, more traumas and even typical, daily activities may accumulate and continue to place stress upon the spine, joints, and discs.
Chiropractors are the first line of defense when it comes to low back issues. As with most things, the quicker anyone gets checked out after an accident or injury, the faster the problem may be resolved. This is especially true for children.
On the wake of drug resistant bacteria showing up in hospitals (1), the AAP, American Academy of Pediatrics, has released new guidelines for the the use of antibiotics on children with ear infections. The new guidelines say specifically when NOT to prescribe antibiotics (2). Here is a summary of the information:
- the guideles are for children who do not have recurrent ear infections
- the guideliens apply to children over 6 months old
We have often heard that you shouldn’t eat late at night. If you aim is to lose weight this turns out to certainly be true.
In a small study involving 11 women, it was determined that those that snacked after 11 pm, eating 210 calories, experienced decreased fat oxidation (the rate at which fat is metabolized into energy and not stored as excess fat) and increased total and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
In another slightly larger study involving 52 individuals it was determined at that snacking in the evening or before sleeping, led to weight gain, simply because they consumed more calories. I think we can all attest to this, after all when we snack at night we don’t snack on carrot sticks; we typically turn to chips, popcorn, ice cream and cookies!
So, as a rule of thumb stop eating after dinner. This may be difficult at first, put try sipping on some herbal, caffeine-free tea to placate the hunger pangs and stay hydrated.