Untitled Document
24 Nov 2017 Health Club Management Handbook
 

HOME
VIEW DIGITAL EDITION
CONTENTS
PROFILES
BUY HANDBOOK
JOBS
NEWS
BLOG
PRODUCTS
ADVERTISE
CONTACT US
Sign up for FREE ezine
Current issue
Health Club Handbook
Current issue

View this issue online
Buy print edition
Download PDF

Previous issues
Health club Handbook
2016 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Download PDF
Health club Handbook
2015 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Download PDF
Health club Handbook
2014 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Download PDF
Health club Handbook
2013 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Download PDF
Health club Handbook
2012 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Health club Handbook
2011 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Health club Handbook
2010 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Health club Handbook
2009 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Health Club Management Handbook - Science snapshots

Research round-up

From Health Club Handbook 2017 issue 1
Science snapshots


We round up some of the latest research in the area of health, fitness and wellbeing

TAKE THE STAIRS

New research shows that taking the stairs improves your brain’s health – as does the number of years a person spends in education.

Researchers found the more flights of stairs climbed and the more years of school a person completes, the “younger” their brain physically appears: brain age decreases by 0.95 years per year of education and by 0.58 years per daily flight of stairs climbed.

Non-invasive MRIs measured the volume of grey matter in the brains of 331 healthy adults aged 19-79 – its decline, caused by neural shrinkage and neuronal loss, is a very visible indicator of the chronological ageing process. Brain volume was then compared with each adult’s reported number of flights of stairs climbed and years of schooling completed. The results were clear: the more flights climbed and the more schooling, the younger the brain.

Steffener, J et al. Neurobiology of Aging, Vol. 40, April 2016

 


Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Researchers found that brain age decreases by 0.58 years for every daily flight of stairs climbed
HIITING THE MARK

A recent study has found that short bursts of vigorous exercise are best for battling Type 2 diabetes.

Scientists found that brief HIIT sessions (working at 85 per cent of target heart rate) has a more significant impact on cholesterol, blood sugar and weight among Type 2 diabetics than 30 minutes of sustained, lower-intensity exercise (working at 65 per cent of target heart rate).

Three months of HIIT exercise in 10-minute bursts three times a day, five days a week led to an average 0.82 per cent decrease in blood sugar patterns. Whereas subjects who exercised at a lower intensity five times a week attained only a 0.25 per cent decrease.

Although it’s unclear why – one theory suggests HIIT uses energy differently – the finding is important because diabetes management programmes have focused on low-intensity, sustained exercise.

Pandey, AK et al. Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, October 2015

 



Short bursts of HIIT have a bigger impact on Type 2 diabetes than longer bouts of steady exercise
BORN TO RUN

Female mice that voluntarily exercise during pregnancy have offspring which are more physically active as adults.

Female mice that enjoyed running were divided into two groups: one group was allowed access to running wheels before and during pregnancy, whereas the other was not. During early pregnancy, those with access ran 10km every night, and by the beginning of their third trimester still ran (or walked) 3km every night. Mice born to these mothers were about 50 per cent more physically active than those born to the mothers that didn’t exercise. Importantly, their increased levels of activity continued into adulthood and improved their ability to lose fat during a voluntary exercise programme.

The study supports the idea that movement during human pregnancy influences foetal brain development, ensuring that offspring tend to be more physically active throughout life.

Waterland, RA et al. FASEB, March 2016

 


Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Obese people see distances as farther and hills as steeper
JUDGEMENT CALL

New research has found that obesity causes people to see distances as farther and hills steeper than they actually are.

Researchers carried out tests on 66 random volunteers. In one experiment, the volunteers were asked to judge the distance of a cone located 25m away. A 21-stone person saw the distance as 30m, whereas a 9-stone person saw that same distance as 15m.

In another test, the volunteers were asked how steep they thought a nearby hill was. The heavier people thought the incline was greater than their slimmer counterparts – which may help explain why heavier people are often more likely to take a lift than the stairs.

The phenomenon is thought to stem from a survival mechanism in early humans, designed to quickly evaluate our ability to tackle testing situations. However, the reflex appears to be counterproductive in persuading overweight people to be more active.

Exercise professionals should take note: if an activity is perceived as more challenging as a person’s weight increases, this could be factored into a client’s fitness sessions and targets. The researchers suggest setting easier targets for obese people who are starting out on exercise regimes, to avoid early discouragement.

Witt, J et al. Acta Psychologica, Vol. 165, March 2016

 


Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Women who are active during pregnancy may have children who are more physically active throughout life
MIND THE GAP

Our brain naturally shrinks with age, but scientists are increasingly recognising that obesity may affect its onset and progression.

A study found that, from middle-age, the brains of obese people display differences in white matter similar to those in lean individuals 10 years senior. White matter connects areas of the brain so information can be communicated between regions.

A cohort of 473 adults aged 20-87 were studied to find out whether obesity is associated with brain changes characteristic of ageing. Data were divided into ‘lean’ and ‘overweight’ groups; the latter had a comparatively widespread reduction in white matter.

A calculation of how white matter volume related to age across the groups found an overweight person at say 50 had a comparable white matter volume to a lean person aged 60, implying a 10-year difference in brain age. These differences were only observed from middle-age, suggesting this is when our brains are most vulnerable.

Ronan, L et al. Neurobiology of Aging, Vol. 47, November 2016

 


Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Keeping in shape may slow the onset and progression of brain ageing
RISK MANAGEMENT

Just 30 minutes of exercise a week can significantly reduce a woman’s risk of developing cervical cancer.
Scientists found that women who don’t do any physical activity are 2.5 times more likely to develop cervical cancer than those who do.

A cohort of 128 patients diagnosed with cervical cancer and 512 women suspected of having, but ultimately not diagnosed with, the disease submitted a physical activity questionnaire in which inactivity was defined as fewer than four sessions of physical activity a month.

The reported rates of physical inactivity were 31.1 per cent among those diagnosed with cervical cancer, and 26.1 per cent among those who didn’t ultimately have it. The risk differential remained after accounting for potential differences in smoking, alcohol intake, family history of cervical cancer and BMI.

Kirsten Moysich, senior author of the study, said: “In addition to smoking cessation and undergoing regular screening, we’ve identified another important modifiable risk factor for this disease: exercise.”

Sheffield Hallam University are carrying out a pilot study to build on research indicating that regular exercise also leads to better survival rates among men with prostate cancer.

Moysich, KB et al. Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease, Vol. 20, July 2016

 


Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Just 30 minutes of weekly physical activity can reduce the risk of cervical cancer

Originally published in Health Club Handbook magazine 2017 issue 1

Published by The Leisure Media Company, Portmill House, Portmill Lane, Hitchin, Herts SG5 1DJ. Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 | Contact us | About us | Advertise | © Cybertrek Ltd