Wellbeing

father christmas

Dear Father Christmas: your work life is harming your health

Dear Father Christmas, I was pleased to see you again at your annual health check, which we always do prior…

23 Dec 2016

Fewer illnesses, less stress: how cold water swimming can change your life

I have always swum regularly but, one summer when the pool was closed for a couple of weeks, a friend…

20 Dec 2016

Enjoying life may mean a better chance of living for longer

People who enjoy life are less likely to die prematurely, according to research at University College London. The study, published…

centenarians

Centenarians smoke, drink and eat badly. How do they get away with it?

‘The trouble with the world is not that people know too little; it’s that they know so many things that…

Poor mental health raises risk of physical diseases in later life

New research published in the online journal PLOS ONE suggests that depression raises the risk of arthritis and digestive diseases,…

probiotics

No, a yoghurt a day won’t help to beat Alzheimer’s

Probiotics found in yoghurt and supplements could improve the cognitive skills and memory in people with Alzheimer’s disease, according to…

low-carb diet

A low-carb diet may help to prevent diabetes, but this study doesn’t prove it

Eating three low-carb meals within 24 hours lowers post-meal insulin resistance by more than 30 per cent, according to a…

weightlifting

Worried about mental decline? Weightlifting can help

Light weightlifting twice a week could lead to improved memory function in older adults, according to research by the University…

nasal spray depression

A nasal spray for depression? It doesn’t pass the sniff test just yet

A nasal spray can ‘rapidly and significantly’ improve the symptoms of depression in patients who do not respond to other…

One step closer to finding the root of depression

New research has revealed the physical root of depression, according to a study published in the journal Brain. The study,…

I couldn’t escape anxiety — then I learned to run from it

Last year I went through a rough patch. I felt constantly anxious and despondent. I struggled to see the point…

20 Oct 2016

Yet more reasons not to plonk your child in front of the telly

Young children who watch too much television are at risk of social isolation and violent behaviour at the age of…

Has human lifespan reached its natural limit?

It may not be possible to extend the lifespan of humans beyond 125 years, a study published in Nature has…

Caffeine addicts are less likely to develop dementia

Caffeine is associated with reduced odds of developing dementia and cognitive impairment in women, according to a study published in…

We ought to be sceptical about the pill’s apparent link with depression

Women who take hormonal contraceptives including the pill have an increased risk of depression, according to research published in the…

The perils of a potent painkiller: my stupid run-in with Tramadol

Prescription painkillers are now more widely used in the United States than tobacco, the Washington Post reported this month. Thirty-five…

30 Sep 2016

Napping ‘linked to type-2 diabetes’. But nappers, don’t worry

Researchers at the University of Tokyo say that napping for more than an hour during the day could be an…

Laughter yoga may sound weird but here’s why you should try it

I am dancing the hokey cokey on Hampstead Heath with a giggling group of strangers and a man with a…

7 Sep 2016

Smoking cannabis ‘dampens motivation in the short term’

Smoking just one cannabis cigarette makes people less willing to work for money while under the influence of the drug,…

iPads ‘as effective as a sedative’ in calming children before surgery

New research suggests that allowing children to use iPads before surgery is at least as effective at lowering anxiety as…

Older people ‘are happier than people in their 20s and 30s’

Old people are happier than young adults, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. The research,…

Big assumptions, poor data: this time James Flynn won’t change your ideas about IQ

James Flynn’s career has always been about progress. As the first researcher who noticed that IQ scores were rising across…

11 Aug 2016

Diagnosing depression isn’t a simple matter of brain scanning

Scientists at Japan’s Centre for Life Science Technology have developed a new, non-invasive brain scanning technique that they say can…

People who go to church live longer. Here’s why

Over the last 20 years, research has gradually accumulated suggesting that religious service attendance is associated with better physical and…

Scheduling fun activities ‘just as effective as CBT’ for depression

New research claims that behavioural activation therapy — in which patients are encouraged to take part in scheduled activities —…

Fasting slows the ageing process. Sounds unlikely? Here’s the science

A drug that slowed ageing and protected the body from diseases such as cancer would no doubt cause considerable excitement…

15 Jul 2016