Posts tagged with "Study Finds"

A simple ‘good morning’ ranks among top ‘good deeds’ to brighten another’s day

September 12, 2022

Three-quarters of Americans believe that, if they do a good deed, the next person will pay it forward—based on a survey of 2,000 people, in which most define a “good deed” as an action that makes someone else feel good (64%), reports Study Finds.

Moreover, nearly half of respondents say that they believe a good deed is something that benefits another individual, regardless of whether they personally know them or not (46%).

Among the good deeds that are most likely to turn the recipients day around are the following:

  • Helping someone with a task (61%),
  • Donating to somebody who is in need (59%),
  • Saying “good morning” (53%), and
  • Holding a door open for someone (53%).

Nearly nine in 10 also contribute to a charity in some way and feel better about themselves when they do so. Plus, those who give back are almost twice as likely to say they’re satisfied with their lives.

The survey was conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Walgreens. Results show that good deeds are rewarding and can have hidden mental and physical health benefits causing the people who perform them to feel happy (92%), relaxed (77%), and healthy (71%).

In fact, according to nine in ten Americans, the best reward may be the good deed itself. Respondents donate an average of $168 annually and almost all admit they donate more during the holiday season than at other times of the year. On average, people add on an extra $404 during the holidays.

The vast majority of those who donate are more likely to focus their efforts on a local group rather than a national charity or nonprofit organization (92%). Two-thirds believe this will have a bigger impact and three in five believe it’s more trustworthy.

The spirit of giving inspires some to focus on holiday-specific causes, including charities that distribute toys to children in need.

“Our data show that more than half of those who donate choose health-related charities,” says Maria Smith, Vice President of Payments & Financial Services at Walgreens, in a statement. “It’s also interesting that those same consumers prioritize their shopping at retailers that share their values and support causes they believe in.”

Eight in 10 respondents say they’re more likely to shop for a specific product or at a particular store when they believe it will benefit a cause they care about. Despite this sentiment, three in four Americans wish the companies and the products they chose made it easier to give more.

Research contact: @StudyFinds

Study: Your posture can affect how your stomach absorbs the medication in pills

August 15, 2022

Does the efficacy of medicine come down to your posture? Researchers  at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore have found that a person’s posture while taking pills can affect how his or her stomach absorbs the drugs, reports Study Finds.

Using a state-of-the-art “StomachSim”—a simulator based on the realistic anatomy of the human stomach—to analyze and quantify how effective medicines that people need to swallow, the scientists established that the bioavailability of a drug depends on the medication’s ingredients and the stomach’s dynamic environment once it reaches the gastrointestinal tract.

The researchers say that their model of the stomach is the first of its kind to couple gastric biomechanics with pill movement and drug dissolution to determine just how much of the active pharmaceuticals actually pass through the pylorus and reach the duodenum.

StomachSim also enabled the team to calculate and compare the emptying rate and the release of a dissolved pharmaceuticals into the duodenum in a variety of physiological situations.

“Oral administration is surprisingly complex despite being the most common choice for drug administration,” says co-author Rajat Mittal of Johns Hopkins University in a media release. “When the pill reaches the stomach, the motion of the stomach walls and the flow of contents inside determine the rate at which it dissolves. The properties of the pill and the stomach contents also play a major role.

“However,” Mittal notes, “current experimental or clinical procedures for assessing the dissolution of oral drugs are limited in their ability to study this, which makes it a challenge to understand how the dissolution is affected in different stomach disorders, such as gastroparesis, which slows down the emptying of the stomach.”

Mittal adds that the stomach’s contents and gastric fluid dynamics are among the factors that contribute to a drug’s bioavailability. Moreover, stomach contractions can induce pressure and generate complex pill movements in the body.

All of these factors lead to varying rates of pill dissolution and an uneven emptying of the pill into the duodenum. Researchers say these issues create several challenges for the design of oral medications, especially pills which have a delayed reaction.

“In this work, we demonstrate a novel computer simulation platform that offers the potential for overcoming these limitations,” Mittal concludes. “Our models can generate biorelevant data on drug dissolution that can provide useful and unique insights into the complex physiological processes behind the oral administration of pills.”

The findings are published in the journal, Physics of Fluids.

Research contact: @StudyFinds

Splashdown: What’s’ the safest way to dive into a swimming pool?

August 3, 2022

Depending on the form and technique, diving into a swimming pool can either be poetry in motion or the aquatic equivalent of a car wreck. Now, scientists at Cornell University have used biomechanics to come up with a formula for safe diving, reports Study Finds.

After measuring the impact of head-first, hand-first, and feet-first diving, study authors put together a model for measuring the impact of different shapes as they plunge into a body of water.

For a novice, untrained diver, researchers say spinal cord and neck injuries are more likely to occur during a head-first dive of more than 26 feet. Meanwhile, collarbone injuries are more likely during a hand-first dive of roughly 40 feet, and knee injuries are likely when diving feet-first from more than 49 feet away from the water.

“Water is 1,000 times denser than air, so you are moving from a very dilute medium to a very dense medium, and you’re going to experience a huge impact,” says senior study author Sunghwan Jung, professor of Biological and Environmental Engineering in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, in a media release.

“Humans can choose how they dive, so we wanted to look at the effect of the  position of diving. We also wanted to come up with a more universal or general theory of how objects or different shape fronts dive into water, so we looked at the diving fronts of both humans in different postures and animals and measured the forces of impact of the different shapes.”

Study authors used a series of 3D-printed models depicting a near-life-sized human head and torso, torso and head with arms outstretched, and feet while diving. They also used models of a harbor porpoise head, a Northern gannet beak, and a basilisk lizard foot to conduct this research. The models allowed the research team to analyze the impact of curved, pointy, and flat shapes, respectively, on a body of water’s surface.

While throwing each model into water, scientists measured the forces acting on them and how they distributed over time. This approach facilitated the development of a theoretical model capable of describing the increase in force on the various shapes, and how those forces increased with the height of the dive.

Next, researchers plotted the maximum height and force impact human muscles, ligaments, and bones can withstand during a dive—calculating the probability of various injuries (collarbone, spine, and knee) at different heights and in different diving positions.

“In human biomechanics, there is a huge literature on the falling injury, especially in the elderly, and the sports injury, like concussions, but I don’t know of any other work on diving injuries,” Professor Jung explains.

Study authors hope their work helps people make safer diving choices. For example, a feet-first dive is safer from a higher perch.

Additionally, this project highlights how well-adapted certain plunge-diving animals are to withstanding and minimizing the impact of a dive. For instance, northern gannets have shallower beak angles. This unique feature helps them dive into water at up to 79 feet per second. Meanwhile, dolphins have shortened, fused cervical vertebrae, which support their head as they porpoise.

“As engineers, we are very good at making the airplane fly in the air. We are good at making a submarine move in the water, but crossing the interface, as you see in the animal world, is no easy task, and is something engineers are interested in—having a drone go from water to air or air to water, for example,” Professor Jung concludes. “So maybe this study can shed light on the new engineering design in the future that would allow systems to do this. For us, we try to understand the fundamental mechanics.”

The study is published in the journal, Science Advances.

 Research contact: @StudyFinds

Is dyslexia a gift? The disorder seems to have helped some of history’s greatest minds achieve success

June 28, 2022

Dyslexia has affected some of history’s greatest artists and scientists, including Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, and Professor Stephen Hawking.

Entrepreneurs Richard Branson and Steve Jobs—who went on to build billion-dollar companies—also have dealt with developmental dyslexia, a disorder in which children with normal intelligence and sensory abilities show learning deficits for reading.

Now, researchers at the University of Cambridge in Britain have discovered that people with the learning disorder actually have special skills that have enabled our species to survive, reports Study Finds.

The investigators say these individuals are better at solving problems and adapting to challenges, so much so that they could hold the key to tackling climate change. Those with the common learning disability specialize in exploring the unknown, likely to be vital in the coming decades as space exploration takes off.

“The deficit-centered view of dyslexia isn’t telling the whole story,” lead author Dr. Helen Taylor says in a university release. “This research proposes a new framework to help us better understand the cognitive strengths of people with dyslexia.”

Estimates suggest that dyslexia could affect up to one in five people in the United States.

“We believe that the areas of difficulty experienced by people with dyslexia result from a cognitive trade-off between exploration of new information and exploitation of existing knowledge, with the upside being an explorative bias that could explain enhanced abilities observed in certain realms like discovery, invention and creativity,” Dr. Taylor adds.

The study is the first to look at dyslexia from an evolutionary perspective—providing new insights on its prevalence among the gifted and talented.

“Schools, academic institutes, and workplaces are not designed to make the most of explorative learning. But we urgently need to start nurturing this way of thinking to allow humanity to continue to adapt and solve key challenges,” Taylor says.

study is based on a theory of evolution called “complementary cognition,” which suggests that  humans evolved  to specialize in different but supportive ways of processing information. Combining these abilities enables us to act as more than the sum of our parts —increasing creativity.

At the most fundamental level, it reflects the extent to which individuals are about to exploit the unknown. The phenomenon is rooted in a well-known trade-off between exploration of new information and exploitation of existing knowledge.

For example, if you eat all the food you have, you risk starvation when it’s all gone. However, if you spend all your time exploring for food, you are wasting energy you don’t need to waste. As in any complex system, humans must ensure that they balance the need to exploit known resources and explore new resources to survive.

“Striking the balance between exploring for new opportunities and exploiting the benefits of a particular choice is key to adaptation and survival and underpins many of the decisions we make in our daily lives,” the researcher continues.

Exploration encompasses activities that involve experimentation, discovery, and innovation. In contrast, exploitation focuses on using what’s already known including refinement, efficiency, and selection.

“Considering this trade-off, an explorative specialization in people with dyslexia could help explain why they have difficulties with tasks related to exploitation, such as reading and writing,” Dr. Taylor concludes.

“It could also explain why people with dyslexia appear to gravitate toward … professions that require exploration-related abilities, such as arts, architecture, engineering, and entrepreneurship.”

The researchers add that collaboration between individuals with different abilities could help explain the exceptional capacity of our species has to adapt.

Study: Walking fast is key to a long life

April 25, 2022

A brisk walk could help add 16 years to your life, a recent study has found. Researchers at the University of Leicester in England have discovered a link between a person’s walking pace and the rate at which he or she ages, reports Study Finds.

Specifically, a lifetime of brisk walking leads to longer telomeres. These are the protective “caps” on the ends of your chromosomes—sort of like the plastic tabs on your shoelaces. Although they don’t carry genetic information, telomeres play a vital role in keeping DNA stable.

Scientists measure these end caps to calculate a person’s biological age. The longer they are, the younger a person is in terms of biological age—which can be much different from chronological age.

In an analysis of over 400,000 British adults conducted by the UK Biobank, scientists found that a faster walking pace throughout life could lead to a person being 16 years younger in terms of biological age by the time he or she reaches midlife. Importantly, the team found brisk walking alone, regardless of how much physical activity that person engages in, leads to longer telomeres.

Researchers explain that each time a cell divides, telomeres become shorter. At a certain point, telomeres get so short that the cell no longer divides. Although the link between telomere length and disease is still unclear, scientists say the buildup of senescent (elderly and dying) cells contributes to the development of age-related diseases and frailty.

Previous studies have shown how walking can provide physical, mental, and social benefits. However, the team says that this is the first time scientists have compared walking speed with genetic data tied to longevity.

“Previous research on associations between walking pace, physical activity and telomere length has been limited by inconsistent findings and a lack of high-quality data,” says lead author Dr. Paddy Dempsey in a university release.

“This research uses genetic data to provide stronger evidence for a causal link between faster walking pace and longer telomere length. Data from wrist-worn wearable activity tracking devices used to measure habitual physical activity also supported a stronger role of habitual activity intensity (e.g. faster walking) in relation to telomere length,” the lecturer and research fellow at the University of Leicester continues.

“This suggests measures such as a habitually slower walking speed are a simple way of identifying people at greater risk of chronic disease or unhealthy aging, and that activity intensity may play an important role in optimizing interventions. For example, in addition to increasing overall walking, those who are able could aim to increase the number of steps completed in a given time (e.g. by walking faster to the bus stop). However, this requires further investigation.”

Leicester researchers have previously found that as little as ten minutes of brisk walking each day can contribute to a longer life. These individuals had a life expectancy up to 20 years longer than their slower walking peers.

The team in this study notes that they did not find a link between walking slower and telomere length growing shorter.

“Whilst we have previously shown that walking pace is a very strong predictor of health status, we have not been able to confirm that adopting a brisk walking pace actually causes better health. In this study we used information contained in each person’s genetic profile to show that a faster walking pace is indeed likely to lead to a younger biological age as measured by telomeres,” concludes Tom Yates, senior author and professor of Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior and Health at the University of Leicester.

Research contact: @StudyFinds

Coffee, tea, or water? Here’s what your go-to daily drink says about you

March 24, 2022

If a midday slump has you reaching for a pick-me-up, you might want to think twice before choosing coffee. A recent survey of 2,005 Americans focused on people’s beverage choices—and found that, while coffee lovers undoubtedly have the most drive in the morning (65%), only 29% sustain the same level of motivation going into the afternoon, reports Study Finds.

Meanwhile, 41% of those who favor tea claim they retain the same level of get-up-and-go after lunch. What’s more, people who prefer juice (81%) and water (78%) claim to remain productive throughout the day.

As an added benefit, those who mainly drink water also get the best sleep, as 60% say they get between six and eight hours of rest every night, compared to just 42% of those who mainly sip coffee.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of the tea brand, Celestial Seasonings, the survey also examined personality differences between coffee and non-coffee drinkers—uncovering that there’s a lot you can learn about someone based on what’s on their cup.

Here’s what your beverage of choice is saying about you:

  • Tea is now a popular choiceamong millennials, who comprise 60% of all Americans who prefer tea. More than one-third (34%) say they turn to tea every day.
  • People who primarily drink water over other beverages say they have lower levels of anxiety and stress (61%).
  • Those who favor tea or coffee are most likely to prioritize their overall health. Indeed, nearly all tea drinkers (93%) place high importance on their health. While 92% of coffee lovers say the same thing, nearly 40% report that their mental health is constantly weighed down by feelings of anxiety or stress (38%). Only 25% of tea drinkers say that they experience those same negative feelings.
  • Twenty-three percent of all respondents also add that tea is their beverage of choice when they want to unwind.

“Tea is having a big moment. We’re seeing a record number of consumers across age groups reach for tea because of its health advantages,” says Tim Collins, VP and general manager for Celestial Seasonings. “More fans help create more innovations like new energy teas and teas with added health benefits like melatonin and probiotics—even a new iced tea cold brew—that are giving coffee a run for its money.”

While 38% turn to energy drinks when they need a pick-me-up, the same number (38%) grab a cup of tea or coffee when they need to re-energize.

That, along with the numerous health benefits, may be the reason why roughly one in five (18%) prefer to start their morning with a cup of tea.

“Whether we’re returning to the office or working from home, we want to feel productive and energized,” Collins continues. “Millennials polled say a simple switch from coffee to tea has the potential to not only sustain that productivity, but also provide multiple benefits.”

Research contact: @StudyFinds

60% ‘couldn’t cope’ without smartphone for a day; 55% think ebbing battery is ‘nightmare scenario’

February 24, 2022

Does it feel like your smartphone never leaves your hand? You’re not alone. A new survey has found that six out of ten people “couldn’t cope” with being separated from their mobile phone for more than a day, reports Study Finds.

The survey—commissioned by HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, and conducted by OnePoll —found  that 55% of respondents believe running out of battery power is a “nightmare scenario.” One in eight people claim that a dying battery actually gives them anxiety.

“Smartphones offer so much, it’s unsurprising that we’re dependent, making the common complaints around battery life a real issue,” says Petri Hayrynen of HMD Global.

“There are other ways we can preserve our phone battery and offset that angst,” Hayrynen adds. “From using network connections selectively to muting unnecessary sounds and stopping apps from running in the background, these all help the cause and keep you switched on for longer.”

Surprisingly, the poll of 2,000 smartphone users found that only 30% of respondents never leave their house without their phone. When they do bring their phones along, however, most people are completely dependent on them for help.

Two in three (68%) rely on their phones to take photos, while 64% use their phones to check the time, and 62% are constantly looking up weather forecasts. Another 13% confess they can’t even find their way to work without a phone showing them a map!

And speaking of traveling, 27% of respondents admit they’re completely reliant on their smartphone for directions. One in three add they’ve never used a printed map in their lives.

Finally, when it comes to what’s most important to people these days, the poll finds nothing would be more upsetting than losing a smartphone. Nearly half the survey (48%) say it would be very upsetting if they lost their phone. That’s more than the number who would stress out over losing their bank card (46%), their car keys (40%), or even their wedding ring (25%).

Overall, the average respondent checks his or her mobile device 20 times a day. Respondents also spend two full hours looking at their phone screen over a 24-hour period.

Research contact: @StudyFinds

Sibling rivalry: 1 in 2 adults still argues and competes with brothers and sisters

February 18, 2022

Sibling rivalries are common among children, but a new survey finds that most people continue to measure themselves against their brothers and sisters well into adulthood, reports Study Finds.

A poll of 2,000 adults who have at least one sibling— conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by NOW— has found that 51% still have a competitive relationship with their brothers and sisters. Many can’t help but compete over career goals (26%) and even home ownership (22%).

Meanwhile, another 20% still argue over who is their parent’s “favorite” in the family. The same percentage constantly strive to outdo their sibling in the kitchen.

Other areas brothers and sisters keep battling over include their vacation destinations, who drives a nicer car, and their skills as a parent.

For many adults, this is nothing new. Just under one in five (17%) report they’ve had a rivalry with their siblings at every stage of their lives. Interestingly, though, even more (43%) believe this competition heightens each year around big gift-giving holidays like birthdays and Mother’s Day.

The survey also has found that older siblings tend to be both more competitive and more successful. Notably older sisters are even more competitive than older brothers. In fact, 15% told researchers that they’re sibling rivalry  motivated them to achieve more in their careers, with 23% actually achieving that goal.

“Sibling rivalry never goes away, with many of us competing with our brothers or sisters long after we have left home,” Jamie Schwartz from NOW says in a statement.

On average, siblings usually argue twice a month over things such as politics or what to watch on TV. One-third admit that they’ve stopped talking to a brother or sister for a period of time over a disagreement.

For what it’s worth, 25% of respondents believe competition is a healthy aspect of any sibling relationship. Nearly 20% believe their personal sibling rivalries have helped them achieve more in life.

Research contact: @StudyFinds

All mammals take 12 seconds to poop, study reveals

February 14, 2022

Not only does everybody poop—but everybody poops in the same amount of time, apparently. Yep, there’s a study for this: Research reveals that all mammals take 12 seconds to poop. (And that includes you.)

Indeed, Study Finds reports, researchers at Georgia Tech have found that—although an elephant’s rectum, at 40 centimeters long (about 16 inches), is ten times the length of a cat’s—they both “do their business” in 12 seconds flat.

And the key to this productivity? Mucus.

The slimy substance covers the lining of the large intestine, the team discovered, and in larger animals they found there’s a much thicker layer of mucus to help move the feces through the body than in smaller animals. So while it still winds up taking larger animals 12 seconds to complete the process (and even though animals use the same amount of pressure to squeeze), their excrement is actually moving faster.

The researchers compare the process to “a sled sliding through a chute.”

The researchers say this is important because it’s entirely possible that without this newly-discovered mucus lining, pooping might not be possible.

“Talking about, let alone studying, defecation is taboo. But that’s to the detriment of our society because we don’t have a good physical understanding of digestion or defecation,” one of the study’s co-authors, Dr. David Hu, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering and Biology, and adjunct associate professor of Physics, points out in a statement, adding,  “As clinicians, I think we underappreciate the role of mucus within the intestinal tract. We know it’s there, but few studies have paid much attention to it. This study demonstrates a physical, and mathematical, reason why it’s there.”

Hu says the mucus discovery could be quite beneficial in studying and better understanding related illnesses.

“If mucus plays a role in normal physiology of defecation, which this study shows, then abnormalities in mucus may play a role in abnormal physiology. This possibility is intriguing and could expand our current understanding of how gastrointestinal disorders, like constipation or infectious colitis, may occur,” he says.

He points to constipation as one example. When a person experiences the painful condition, it signals that the individual is actually showing a deficiency in the mucus found in tract.

“If we think that mucus is playing a role, then could we develop new treatment strategies based on medications, including enemas or oral agents, that more closely resemble mucus? These possibilities would be novel,” he says.

In 2015, Hu and his lab earned a Nobel Prize for Improbable Research after discovering that all mammals urinate in the same length of time.

The study has been published in the journal Soft Matter.

Research contact: @StudyFinds

Study: Doctors are becoming overwhelmed by constant visits from ‘frequent attenders’

December 23, 2021

Is there such a thing as going to the doctor too much? A new study by reearchers at the University of Manchester in England finds that family doctors are being overwhelmed by “frequent attenders”—who, they estimate, visit their practices five times more often than other patients, reports Study Finds.

Based on the recent study, these individuals make up around 40% of consultations. This isn’t a new trend either. The proportion of medical “regulars” has soared over the past two decades, years before the emergence of COVID-19.

“A relatively small number of patients are accounting for a large proportion of GP workload including face-to-face consultations,” says corresponding author Professor Evangelos Kontopantelis in a media release.

“Frequent attenders appear to be a major driver for the increase in consultations that have contributed to perceptions of increased workload in general practice,” the study author adds. “GPs should be looking at this group of patients more closely to understand who they are and why they are consulting more frequently.”

The findings come from an analysis of nearly 1.7 billion doctor’s appointments involving just 12.3 million patients over 20 years. The results also come after the pandemic has caused severe disruptions to medical practices over the last two years.

GPs have repeatedly sounded the alarm on the increasing pressures of an aging population, the complexity of care, and initiatives to shift treatment from hospitals into the community. A poll earlier this year found that doctors were working 11 hours a day on average and seeing 37 patients — a third more than what experts consider safe.

In-person care rose from an average of 38% between 2000 and 2001, to 43% between 2018 and 2019—and from an average of 38% to 40% for all practice staff.

The Manchester team drew on anonymized information in the Clinical Practice Research Database. It covered 845 surgeries across the U.K. between April 2000 and March 2019, with 113 contributing doctor’s offices throughout the entire period. Frequent attenders show up for an examination around five times as frequently as the average patient.

“While many of these patients may have comorbidities and may need to be seen regularly, research suggest that they have wider social and psychological needs,” the researchers write in the journal BMJ Open.

Who are the most frequent attenders? The evidence across Europe reveals that frequent attenders are more likely to be female, older, and have more social and psychiatric problems. They are also more likely to be taking drugs for mental illness, have more medically unexplainable symptoms, and more long-term conditions.

Among frequent attenders, all types of consultations with GPs rose from an average of 13 to 21 a year during the study. However, those consultations with other practice staff rose from an average of 27 a year to 60 between April 2000 and March 2019.

There was relatively little regional variation across the entire United Kingdom in any of the trends, but face-to-face consultations with GPs and all staff were highest in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Typically, frequent attenders visit their family doctor between 20 to 40 times a year. Researchers note this is an observational study and can’t determine the exact cause of this trend, but health officials believe loneliness may be part of the issue.

Research contact: @StudyFinds