News from the World of Medicine
Many Seniors Wear Ill-Fitting Shoes
Supporting the body takes a toll: with age, feet tend to get flatter, wider and longer. Two studies from the University of A Coruña in Spain suggest that older people pay a price when they don’t adapt their footwear to these changes. The first study looked at a sample of 100 seniors and found that 83 were wearing the wrong shoe size. The second determined that a poor fit leads to foot problems such as bunions and toenail malformations—problems that can ultimately affect walking, balance and independence.
Drink Temperature Matters
When heat and activity have you sweating, both the amount of water you drink and its temperature make a big difference. University of Montana scientists monitored people walking briskly on a treadmill for three hours while the air was 31°C. Some refreshed themselves with ice-water slushie while others drank lukewarm water. It took twice as much of the warmer water to maintain the same heart rate, physiological strain level and skin temperature. In other words, icecold liquids go a lot further towards helping the body regulate itself.
Drowsy Driving Doubles Crash Risk
Drivers who are running on only four to five hours of sleep are just as dangerous as drunk drivers, statistically speaking. Another finding from a December 2016 report by the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety: if you’ve got just five to six hours of sleep under your belt, you’re doubling your risk of a crash. The researchers recommended that drivers not rely on how tired they feel to gauge whether or not they should get behind the wheel. Instead, aim to have at least seven hours of shut-eye.