Sunday, 27 October 2013

News in Brief

1. Psychological and cognitive benefits of learning another language 

Learning another language has many benefits: it means the language centre in the brain grows, it can stave off dementia, boost your memory, mean you become better at multi-tasking, and improve your first language.

2. Sexiest parts of the body

Research into ‘intimate touch’ (Trunbull, Lovett, Chaldecott & Lucas, 2013) has suggested that ‘we all share the same erogenous zones in at least two very different continents, whether we are a white, middle-aged, middle-class woman sitting in a London office or a gay man living in a village in Africa. It suggests it is hardwired, built in, not based on cultural or life experience’. 

3. People Generally Like the Sound of their Own Voice

I’ve always hated mine whenever I’ve heard it played back, like most people I know (often accompanied by cries of ‘Do I really sound like that???’), but recent research suggests, when presented with recordings of speech, participants (without realising their own voice was included in the mix) consistently rated their own voice as more attractive than anyone else did. Researchers suggest this in an unconscious form of self-enhancement, which could be a mechanism to build self-esteem or combat depression.

4. National Wellbeing 

According to the Office for National Statistics in July, we are a bit happier and slightly less anxious. Good-oh.

5. An apple a day

The peak of an apple’s nutritional value is found in the peel, which contains: 
• vitamins A, C, and K
• minerals including calcium, potassium, and phosphorus
• soluble and insoluble fiber
• antioxidants such as flavonoids and phenolic acids that fight cell-damaging free radicals, and  triterpenoids that help fight cancer
• it also helps reduce bacteria in your mouth by stimulating saliva and contains acids that keep teeth clean.

6. Scottish Government Report in Culture and Health

The Scottish Government have carried out an in-depth study of the whole population and discovered a direct correlation between participation in culture and improved health and life satisfaction. Crucially this remains true even when other factors such as age, economic status, income, area deprivation, education qualification, disability or long standing illness and smoking are accounted for. They discovered that those who had visited a library were almost 20% more likely to report good health than those who had not visited a library in the previous 12 months, those who visited a museum were 20% more likely to report good health than those who did not, and those who visited the theatre were almost 25% more likely to report good health than those who did not in the previous 12 months.

7. Staying Late

A new survey has revealed that  many of us are staying behind at work, past our clocking off time, with 82% of us working more than 40 hours a week (up from 68% in 2011), while 28% do more than 50 hours a week (a 9% increase from two years ago). It’s not an extreme extrapolation to suggest that this will be having a significant and detrimental impact on people’s wellbeing.  

8. People with disabilities often do not receive needed health care

The World Health Organisation’s facts on disability state that ‘half of disabled people cannot afford health care, compared to a third of non-disabled people. People with disabilities are more than twice as likely to find health-care providers’ skills inadequate. Disabled people are four times more likely to report being treated badly and nearly three times more likely to be denied health care’. 

9. The importance of our musical-rhythmic abilities 

New scientific research has come forward, regarding how rhythmic skills from musical education lead to better auditory-neural responses. These are important for learning languages and reading. The researchers suggest that practising music could improve other skills, particularly speech, and argue that rhythm is an integral part of language. So, what are you waiting for – pick up that tambourine!

10. Arts included in Wellbeing Measures

In June this year it was decided that people’s engagement in the arts is (finally!!!!) to be recognised as one of the factors that contributes to wellbeing in the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) Measuring National Wellbeing Programme. About bloomin’ time!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment