NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF MEDICINE
Stair Walking Provides Energy Boost
Falling asleep on the job? A short jaunt up and down the stairs will provide a better pick-me-up than a small dose of caffeine, suggests a study in Physiology & Behavior. Sleep-deprived subjects were asked to either walk on a staircase for 10 minutes or ingest 50 milligrams of caffeine (the rough equivalent of a cola, half a cup of coffee or a cup of black tea). The stair walkers felt more energetic than those who had ingested capsules containing caffeine or a placebo.
Surgery Is the Leading Incontinence Treatment
Nearly one in 10 older men and one in five older women have urinary incontinence. When an international team reviewed the scientific literature to compare treatments, they discovered that surgery was the most effective option, with an 82 percent cure rate for people with stress UI (brought on by sneezing, etc.). Pelvic floor exercises ranked second, with a rate of 53 percent. Drugs had a 49 percent chance of curing patients with urge UI (a sudden need to urinate), while “bulking agents”—fillers injected into the area around the urethra to tighten it—worked only 37 percent of the time.
Gratitude Really Is Good for You
Expressing gratitude promotes mental and physical health, according to a recent review by University of Montana scholars. Gratitude is different from happiness, they said, because it stems from a sense of having received a gift or a benefit. Besides psychological perks, such as optimism and decreased stress and envy, being grateful also brings concrete health results (fewer illnesses and improved sleep). Finally, it strengthens relationships: one heartfelt expression of appreciation can enhance relationship quality for up to six months