Despite the hyperbolic title Scientists recommend 20-minute daily walk to avoid premature death, The Guardian has a good summary on the study that looked at 334,161 European men and women over a mean follow-up time of 12.4 years, and comments from Study leader Prof Ulf Ekelund. 20 minutes is a common time period when it comes to recommendations for better health, from the suggestion to stand up for 2 minutes every 20 minutes for those who are sedentary much of the day, to exercising your eyes by looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds for every 20 minutes you spend reading a book or computer screen. If you're looking for some mental well-being from a cleaner home, Apartment Therapy has a plan for cleaning your house in 20 minutes a day for 30 days. For something more strenuous, there are a number of 20 minute workouts, from Men's Fitness, Fitness Magazine, Shape, and Military.com.
The OECD has for a long time offered up measures of human wellbeing across a range of indices. Now they've taken the resolution a step further, providing measures of well being at a regional level for 300 regions/provinces/states across the developed world. How does your neck of the woods fare? What other part of the world is comparable to where you live? Allow your location and see.
Gallup Healthways has released its state-by-state well being index for 2012. According to the methodology page, the index is based on a survey in which participants are asked about their life evaluation, emotional health, physical health, work environment, and basic access to necessities. For the fourth consecutive year, Hawaii had the highest index score and West Virginia the lowest. The top five states were: Hawaii, Colorado, Minnesota, Utah, and Vermont. The lowest five were: West Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas.
The UK Office of National Statistics is measuring and reporting on more than just money as a measure of national success The ONS has started a process of measuring and reporting on national wellbeing. They've also made some very pretty animations with the information
Health Month is a game, currently in beta, that takes a "choose-your-own-adventure" approach to motivating you to improve your health. [more inside]
“The psychoanalytic mystique was overwhelming. It was a little bit like the evangelical movement.” How Aaron Beck and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helped increase empiricism in psychotherapy.
"All families in OECD countries today are aware that childhood is being reshaped by forces whose mainspring is not necessarily the best interests of the child."
How does your country measure up as a place to raise kids? It turns out that growing up in the UK is a bleaker experience than in any other wealthy country. UNICEF studied all the wealthiest nations (full report PDF here), and the US and UK came in at the bottom on almost all indicators (material wellbeing, health and safety, education, family and peer relationships, behaviours and risks, and the subjective feelings of kids and teens themselves ). Doing best for kids were the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. It turns out that GDP and material wealth alone does not ensure healthier or happier or more well-educated kids--the Czech Republic scored very well despite being one of the poorest nations surveyed.
Blogging is good for your health? [via] Despite all the open hatred and backlash against online journaling (not to mention an infamous study indicating that diary-keeping could be bad for your health), there may be actual merit to telling someone that they should get their own (damn) blog!
Homeless street kids in 3rd world countries adapt to survive and are actually healthier and more likely to survive than are their peers who grow up in poor but intact families in agricultural villages. Experts confounded.