Health research and tips: Standing desks could boost productivity, what to put on your grocery list
A team of researchers from the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health compared the differences in productivity between two groups of call centre employees over a six-month period. They discovered that those with desks that could be raised and lowered – to enable sitting and standing – were 46 per cent more productive than those who used traditional desks.
“We hope this work will show companies that although there might be some costs involved in providing stand-capable workstations, increased productivity over time will more than offset these initial expenses,” said Mark Benden, associate professor at Texas A&M School of Public Health and one of the authors of the study, which was published in the journal IIE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors.
Benden said that the differences between the two groups became more noticeable from the second month, once participants became used to their standing desks.
Standing desks are gaining popularity for their health benefits, particularly in weight management.
A link in heart-attack survival
A healthy diet and regular exercise are known to reduce the risk of heart disease, but new research suggests the likelihood of surviving a heart attack is greatly improved by being married. Researchers from Aston Medical School and the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom found that married people were 14 per cent less likely to die after a heart attack than single people, and were more likely to be discharged from hospital earlier.
Although the reasons are unclear, they believe it may be linked to physical and emotional support. Dr Nicholas D Gollop, clinical research fellow in cardiology and presenting author from the University of East Anglia, stressed that the results shouldn’t be a cause for concern for single people, “but they should be a reminder to the medical community of the importance of considering the support a heart-attack survivor will get once they’re discharged”.
Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, added: “These findings suggest the support offered by a spouse can have a beneficial effect on heart-attack survivors.”
The seven foods that should be on your shopping list
Fitness First’s nutrition fitness manager Banin Shahine shares seven foods that should be on your shopping list.
Yogurt: A good source of protein, calcium, vitamins B2 and B12, potassium and magnesium. Yogurt is also a natural probiotic, which helps with gut health.
Almonds: One of the healthiest nuts, it’s high in unsaturated fats and protein and is also a good source of calcium, vitamin E, riboflavin and niacin.
Green, leafy vegetables: Spinach, kale and arugula are high in folate, vitamin C, potassium and magnesium.
Fish: Loaded with protein and vitamin D, it’s the best source of omega-3 – which benefits the brain, hair, skin, joints and heart.
Avocado: Its good fat helps decrease LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol), while also being high in fibre, potassium, vitamins E and C and folate.
Eggs: A great source of protein, vitamins B2, B6, B12 and D, selenium, zinc, iron and copper.
Quinoa: It is one of the few plant foods with all essential amino acids, is gluten-free and high in fibre, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and antioxidants.