Your Gadgets May Be Harming Your Body

Does your neck ache after gazing down at your mobile device for a long time? Do your thumbs get sore after firing off a string of emails on your smartphone?

Those are just a two of the physical ailments caused in part by technology. Sporting such names as “text neck,” “computer vision syndrome,” “Blackberry thumb,” and “iPad elbow,” these syndromes may sound phony, but they’re every bit as real — and painful — as carpal tunnel.

Here’s a look at four increasingly common ailments associated with improper or overuse of gadgets, plus recommendations for how to avoid the problems.

Condition: Text neck

 

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Text neck is usually caused by excessive use of smartphones or tablets. Due to the popularity of text messaging with teenagers, the condition is more common in adolescents and young adults, but can be seen in anyone who spends hours looking down at mobile devices.

Think of your head as a bowling ball sitting on a spring. Tilting the ball forward for an extended period of time stresses and bends the spring, says Robert Hayden, an Atlanta chiropractor. The more this happens, he says, the greater the chance of flattening the natural curvature of the neck vertebrae. Eventually, you put added pressure on the discs of the cervical spine and more strain on the muscles and ligaments of the neck.

Solution: Stop looking down.
You can prevent text neck by taking frequent breaks and using range of motion exercises. Try flexing your neck by looking side to side and putting your ears down against your shoulders, Hayden says. You also can simply try holding your device higher so you’re not angling your head down to see it.

If the problem persists, ultrasound and electrotherapy can alleviate pain. Long-term remedies include resistance exercises to rebalance the muscles.

Condition: Computer vision syndrome

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Overhead fluorescent lighting, the viewing angle of the display, and small font size can contribute to the eye pain and strain of computer vision syndrome, according to Dr. Jim Sheedy, an optometrist and director of Pacific University’s Vision Performance Institute in Forest Grove, Ore. Undiagnosed, common eye problems like presbyopia — a reduced ability to focus on objects that are near — can exacerbate the condition.

Solution: Keep your eyes in shape.
Resolving the problem involves a two-prong approach: making the task less visually demanding and taking visual breaks, Sheedy says.

For example, turning off the overhead light and using softer desk and floor lamps can help. Also, try making the top of the display level with your eyes so you’re looking down about 10 degrees when viewing it. Adjust font sizes so you can read them easily.

To keep your eyes in shape, Sheedy recommends the 20/20/20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look away to a distance of at least 20 feet for at least 20 seconds. Such frequent breaks can help because computer vision syndrome is a fatigue problem, not an injury, Sheedy says.

Condition: BlackBerry thumb

 

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Caused primarily by excessive texting, BlackBerry thumb is a strain of either the tendon that extends the thumb or the tendon that brings the thumb into the palm. The strain causes tiny tears to connective tissue.

The severity of the condition depends on how long, how fast and how hard you use a handheld device. But it doesn’t affect only those using mobile keyboards — it can result from any repeated finger motion.

“What happens when people don’t rest is they go into chronic phase because there’s so much scarring and trauma,” says Dorit Aaron, president of the American Society of Hand Therapists and an occupational therapist at Houston Hand Therapy in Texas. That means the pain might never go away.

Solution: Give your fingers a rest.
If you’re writing lots of emails on your phone or tablet, take breaks and slow down, Aaron says. Fast texters are more vulnerable because they have more repetitive motions. You also can switch to a touch screen, which may be better than a physical keyboard because it requires minimal pressure.

Condition: iPad Elbow

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A repetitive strain injury, iPad elbow can affect a variety of tendons from the wrist to the elbow, depending on how you hold your tablet. “People who are using laptops and tablets often don’t focus on the ergonomics of it,” says Christopher Morris, a Kingsport, Tenn., rheumatologist. Many tablet users curl up on a couch to get more comfortable, he says, rather than paying attention to proper posture.

Solution: Try an iPad holder.
While orthopedists are still getting a handle on this particular condition, taking breaks can help reduce the pain. “The biggest thing with any kind of repetitive activity is to listen to your body,” Morris says. “If doing something for an hour straight is going to make it hurt, don’t do it for an hour straight.”

You also can try one of the many iPad holders. For instance, PropUp ($29.99) allows users to more easily grip and tip the tablet, while GorillaMobile’s Ori case ($69.95) props up an iPad in a variety of positions that can make using it easier on the neck, eyes and arms.

 (Source – www.entrepreneur.com )

Reasons Why Dancing Is Good For You

There are so many reasons why dancing is good for you, I am writing down my experience of SALSA, I had a great time while learning it in soul salsa (Noida branch). It’s great fun and good for the body as well as the mind. Besides being a good form of exercise and having a truly positive impact on our health, a recent study actually showed that it also makes us smarter (something to do with remembering the dance steps, thus exercising the brain).

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So, why is it good for you to dance? Here are the top 10 reasons:

1) Great way to exercise and stay in shape

Dance is a great way to stay in shape. If you don’t like the gym, dancing can bring fun back into the exercise.

2) Burn calories and lose fat

Dancing is all about moving your body and moving your body is a great way to burn calories. How many will you burn depends on how vigorously you dance. In an one-hour session you can burn from 250 to 400 calories. Yes, losing weight can be fun and enjoyable.

3) Improved health

Dance can effectively promote good health by improving cardiovascular fitness, strengthening the muscles, increasing circulation, decreasing blood pressure, lowering the risk of coronary heart disease, reducing stress, and many other positive benefits.

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4) Greater Coordination

Great for improving control over your body, timing and coordination skills. You will learn how to move with grace and poise.

5) Good for bones and joints

Dance is a weight-bearing activity, meaning it’s great for your bones. Weight-bearing exercises has been proven to increase bone density and help reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

6) Build confidence

Dance builds confidence by giving you a sense of success and achievement when you master it.

7) Great way to meet new people

Dancing provides a natural icebreaker and is a great way to meet new people and make new friends.

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8) Lifts your mood

Any exercise can raise your spirits by raising the endorphins or so called feel good chemicals. This can lighten your mood and reduce the risk of depression.

9) Good for your Mind

Dancing will keep your mind active. It will improve circulation to the brain and help stimulate the memory by remembering all the steps. Great mental exercise.

10) Improved overall well-being

Dance has an outstanding positive effect on both physical and psychological well-being.

 

Smoking Cuts Life Expectancy By 10 Years.

Smoking cuts life expectancy by 10 years, not four as previously thought, which can be avoided if one gives up the habit, preferably before 35 years, warn experts.

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This new report, from researchers in Oxford University and Japan, investigates the impact of smoking on mortality in a large group of Japanese living in Hiroshima or Nagasaki in 1950.

The findings are, however, nothing to do with radiation exposure from the bombs.

The Life Span Study (LSS) was initiated in 1950 to investigate the effects of radiation, tracking over 100,000 people. However, most received minimal radiation exposure, and can therefore provide useful information about other risk factors, reported the journal bmj.com

Previous studies in Japan suggested smoking reduced life expectancy by only a few years compared with about 10 years in UK and the US, according to an Oxford statement.

Surveys carried out later obtained smoking information for 68,000 men and women, who have now been followed for an average of 23 years to relate smoking habits to survival.

The younger a person was when they started smoking the higher the risk in later life. Older generations did not usually start to smoke until well into adult life, and usually smoked only a few cigarettes per day.

In contrast, Japanese born more recently (1920-45) usually started to smoke in early adult life, much as smokers in Britain and the US.

Smokers born before 1920 lost just a few years. Conversely, men born later (1920-45) who started to smoke before 20 years lost nearly a decade of life expectancy, and had more than double the death rate of lifelong non-smokers, suggesting that more than half of these smokers will eventually die from their habit.

Results on the few women who had smoked since before age 20 were similar. This explains why the risks of smoking seemed low.

Nowadays, however, young Japanese smokers tend to smoke more cigarettes per day and to start at a younger age, so their risks will be higher. (Source- http://lifestyle.in.msn.com)

Music Found To Be Soothing In Surgery

Music therapy helps soothe patients before, during and after surgery, besides reducing pain and speeding up recovery time, says a study.

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A review by the University of Kentucky examined the use of music in the pre-operative, operative and post-operative stages of surgery, and music was shown to have positive results in all three stages.

Calm, slow, gentle music was shown to produce the most positive results and facilitate relaxation and pain reduction in patients.

Data proposes that music could be beneficial in reducing cost and length of stay in intensive care units, the Southern Medical Journal reported.

Patients were less anxious before the procedure and recovered more quickly and satisfactorily after being exposed to music during surgery and post-operation phase. They also required less sedation and reported better satisfaction with their medical experience, according to a Kentucky statement.

“Here at UK (University of Kentucky), our music therapists regularly use music-based interventions to help patients manage both pain and anxiety,” said Lori Gooding, Kentucky director of music therapy, who led the review.

Music that is selected by trained personnel is preferred because specific guidelines for music selection should be followed in order to maximize its positive effect on patients, though the patient’s musical tastes should still be considered.

Characteristics of the music are also important in effective music therapy. Among other features, the tempo, rhythm and volume of the music can be carefully controlled in order to maximize the positive effect that music can have.

Gooding and colleague Olivia Yinger will be presenting these findings in Sweden in 2013. (Source- http://lifestyle.in.msn.com)

Ideas To Maintain Indoor Potted Plants

Here are some rules to maintain potted plants at home

Most plants that are sold over the counter are very easy to maintain. Read on…

– Don’t over or under water them. Most plants don’t want to have their roots submerged in a damp swamp.

– Indoor plants like a constant temperature, so keep them in an area that does not become too cold or too hot.

– They don’t like draughts or any sudden moves and they like some feeding because they have no access to nutrients beyond their pot or container.

– Many indoor plants will like a moist environment, in other words, humid air.

– You’ll find there are indoor plants suitable for the bathroom, ones that are almost indestructible and some that are pure delights — flowering or fruiting plants that are easy to tempt into dazzling displays a few times a year.

– If you’re growing a foliage species that is cleaned and pampered by a rainy climate, you can mimic that situation by a simple applied mist.

– For wonderful impact in a bright and sunny room, try something with flowers or berries.

– Oh, and you can forget air fresheners — indoor plants will purify the air.

How To Use Networking Websites To Find Love

1. Monitor the time you spend on sites
You are not necessarily going to find love, just because you are always logged on to some social networking website all the time. In fact it’s likely to frustrate you and turn you into a social recluse. According to research, two hours a day are enough to help you network online.

2. Don’t move only in the same groups
So you love your friends and don’t miss out on an opportunity to bond with them. But if you are just going to move in the same circles how will you get to know more people and make new acquaintance.

3. Don’t be too obsessed with privacy settings
The many stories about people misusing the pictures that you post online can scare anyone, but be practical before blocking the world from any kind of access to your profile.

4. Don’t expect every new acquaintance to be a prospective partner 
When you make a new friend, don’t just go asking him/her about his relationship status. You don’t want to come across as someone who is desperate.

5. Think before you type
The way you introduce yourself to the world is what will draw people towards your profile. Make sure you are writing stuff that’s not incorrect. Think before you type is the new think before you speak.

6. Don’t be cyber stalker 
If you are interested in a guy/girl don’t leave a hundred messages on his or her profile. That is certified stalker behavior!

7. Don’t be closed to people around you
Today, people log on to their social profiles from almost all places. Be it a party, a grocery store or while commuting, we can’t wait to tell the world that we are having a great time. Are you missing out on looking at people around you to find love online? Take a step back and see if you are so obsessed in finding love in the virtual world, that you aren’t giving the people in your real world an opportunity to woo you. (Compiled by Harshada Rege)

Pamper Your Face With A Face Massage

Face massage is something that you must indulge in as it has multiple benefits. For a glowing skin, it is essential to get a face massage done at least twice a month.

Health benefits

Massaging techniques can be traced back to ancient civilizations of India, China, Egypt, Rome, Greece and Mesopotamia. However, it has evolved over time to offer more benefits.

Face massage comes with an array of exhilarating health benefits as it helps to reduce stress, increase blood circulation and also helps to cure sinusitis and headaches. The lymph nodes present in the chin and jaw line areas need stimulation to release lymph fluid that can detoxify the facial area.

Indulging in the luxury of a face massage is a stress-buster and alleviates the mood. A good massage, which ideally lasts up to 20 minutes, can also help strained facial muscles to loosen up and relax, thereby reducing wrinkles.

How is it done?

A face massage involves forehead, eyes, nose, ears, mouth, chin, jaw lines, neck, behind the ears and, at times, scalp too. Since facial skin is delicate, massage your face by applying soft strokes. Use the index, middle and ring finger to massage, especially for feather strokes. Additionally, make sure you do the strokes in an upward motion, which can revitalize the facial muscles.

Exfoliate your face with a good exfoliating pack and cleanse it before starting the massage. Start with eyebrows, followed by nose, cheekbones, under the eyes and nose bridge. Make sure you run and pat your fingers in a circular motion. Next, work on ears and behind the ears, and finally the neck.

Before you start off

Firstly, you need to set up an ambience where you can fully enjoy the massage. Dim and soft lights with soothing music in the background can make the experience all the more relaxing. Aromatic oils such as avocado oil, evening primrose oil, rose geranium oil, lavender oil or German chamomile oil are the best choice. Massaging using a good moisturizer can hydrate the skin and can also act as a good lubricant while working on the face.(source-timesofindia)