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Prison Inmates Will Experience Reduced Suicidal Thoughts with Yoga Practice

Yoga decreases paranoia, obsessive thoughts and somatization among prison inmates

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Yoga practice in prison
Yoga practice among prison inmates. Photo Credit: StockSnap/Pixabay

A study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry reveals yoga practice reduces depression and suicidal thoughts in prison inmates. The study was carried out by Swedish researchers and titled “Yoga Practice Reduces the Psychological Distress Levels of Prison Inmates.”

According to the researchers, yoga helps devotees to deal with memory problems and paranoid thoughts. Prison inmates who took part in the study proved this to be true. They reported experiencing improved positive thoughts and enhanced memory recalls. They also said they had fewer paranoid tendencies as well as morbid obsessions since they started practising yoga in prison.

Yoga May Improve Mental Health Where Invasive Therapies May Be the Only Option

The study was led by Nóra Kerekes of University West in Trollhättan. A neurobiologist, she said one of the main areas of interest for her in psychiatry is how mentally unstable people respond to complementary medical care such as yoga, diet, physical exercise and acupuncture among others.

“We know that changing the brain to alter behaviors may not necessarily or inclusively require pharmacy or any invasive form of therapy,” Kerekes said.

She noted she had always wanted to know how complementary interventions impact the brain into altering its responses to suffering, good behavior and other significant functioning.

The study was carried out at the Swedish Prison and Probation Services. Participants in the study included 152 male and female prisoners from medium and high security prisons. The participants were divided into two groups. The first group took part in 90 minutes of yoga once a week for 10 weeks. The second group participated in yoga for 90 minutes once a week for 10 weeks as well.

The two groups reported that their psychological distress levels were improved following the yoga classes. According to Kerekes, the research bears evidence that physical activity is beneficial to mental health – a fact other studies had established.

“What is new is that we show that yoga not only helps with symptoms of depression, anxiety, hostility, but has specific effect on improving memory, concentration, decreasing paranoid and obsessive thoughts and somatization — the projection of mental complaints to bodily dysfunctions,” she disclosed.

Study Has Limitations Which Do Not Detract From the Benefits of Yoga to Prison Inmates

The study however has a few limitations. Some of them are examined below:

  • The study was carried out on Swedish prison inmates and the results obtained may not apply to incarcerated people everywhere.
  • Most of the participants were men and it is not known for certain if female inmates would experience the same amount of benefits.
  • Biological markers such as blood and saliva samples were not collected for analysis to determine how yoga impacts on neurobiological and physiological conditions of the body.
  • The study did not consider if yoga has any role to play in reducing recidivism among prison inmates.

The research team calls for further research in the above listed limitations to fully understand how yoga removes psychological distress and paranoid thoughts in prison inmates.

Nikki Austen finished from the University of California Davis where she majored in Physiotherapy. She practised as a physical therapist for several years before discovering she has a knack for reporting medical news. She worked as a health reporter for a couple health magazines before joining the team of Health News Office.

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WHO Says $1 Trillion Is Lost Annually To Workplace Depression and Anxiety Disorders

Should discussing mental health issues at the workplace be a taboo?

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mental health at work leads to lower productivity
Mental health at work should not be a taboo topic. Photo Credit: Shivmirthyu/Pixabay

Yesterday, April 28, was the World Day for Safety and Health at Work. This is an annual celebration and promotion of occupational safety and health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), low productivity in the workplace as a result of depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy $1 trillion each year.

WHO estimates that over 300 million suffer from depression, leading to reduced work performance, around the world.

Many of the people suffering from depression also experience anxiety, even though this is not always related to work. But WHO made it clear that a negative work environment is linked to mental and physical health prooblems, as well as lost productivity as a result of absenteeism and substance abuse.

Employers Should Address Mental Health Issues at Work by Reviewing Work Cultures

“Workplaces that promote mental health and support people with mental disorders are more likely to reduce absenteeism, increase productivity and benefit from associated economic gains,” WHO wrote.

With the 2019 World Day for Safety and Health at Work, mental health and workplace experts agree on one thing: mental health issues start with individuals and spread to the entire workplace, impacting work culture and overall productivity, Psychology Today wrote. They therefore advise employers and work supervisors to address mental health issues in the workplace.

mental health at work costs billions in loss of productivity

Mental health at work costs billions in loss of productivity. Photo Credit: Wokandapix/Pixabay

They can do this by acknowledging that mental health is real and counterproductive. They should therefore create a workplace culture that reduces stress and anxiety, as well as encourage employees to speak up about personal or work worries. This will ultimately boost employee engagement and productivity in the workplace.

Why Discussing Mental Health in the Workplace Shouldn’t Be a Taboo

The problem however is that it has become a taboo to talk about mental issues in the workplace. Some employers do not even agree that mental health is associated with work productivity. Such employers prefer to talk about work safety and health, but not mental health. This gives employees the impression that owning up to work stress is taboo, and that it may endanger their employment status.

Morra Aarons-Mele in a Harvard Business Review disclosed that employees rarely talk about mental health at work. She said people lock up themselves in the bathroom if they feel emotional at work or offer an excuse to be absent from work. They do not ask to have a flex time or work from home unless of course they have a new baby or receive news that their parents are ill.

“The burden of depression and anxiety is shared by all members of a workplace, and it’s a vicious cycle,” Aarons-Mele said.

Working from Home Reduces the Effects of Workplace Stress and Anxiety

With newer technologies, people are able to ask to work from home if they feel down, transforming the workplace experience and giving better flexibility to workers. Mental health issues in the workplace can be reduced if people can afford to work from home.

Without this option, people get easily experience a burnout and run dangerously low on personal bandwidth.

Debilitating mental health in the workplace impacts an individual in four major areas – mental, physical, emotional/interpersonal, and financial. “Each affects the other in a downward spiral of cognitive drain, physical debilitation, compromised relationships, and a real loss of productivity and profits,” wrote Camille Preston in her 2012 book, Rewired.

 

 

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Long-Term Weight Loss Can Be Most Assured With Metformin, Study Finds

Metformin induces 5% weight loss in one year, with promises of permanent weight loss forever

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Metformin and lifestyle interventions effective for weight loss. Photo Credit: PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay

People who lose weight have problems keeping it that way. Yet, effective weight loss is important for overall health management. It is also crucial to preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes. To this end, researchers found identifying predictors of long-term weight loss is important for better health. Metformin has been found to help.

In a clinical trial and follow-up study of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), researchers found that patients who used metformin lost 5% of their body weight within one year. The American College of Physician researchers further found that the ability of a patient to lose weight within the first year of treatment is essential for continued loss of weight in subsequent years.

People Who Lose Weight with Metformin in First Year Maintain It for Several Years After

In fact, they found that people who used metformin lost significant weight and demonstrated potential for more weight loss in later years. This is not so true for people who were treated with placebo or asked to observe lifestyle interventions for weight loss.

Apart from treatment with metformin, researchers also found that older people who lost weight within one year are able to maintain their weight loss permanently for many years.

This study was published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. The study involved 3,000 participants with pre-diabetes. The research study is the largest and longest-running study where metformin is applied for the prevention of diabetes.

Participants who used metformin and adhered to lifestyle changes did not only lose 5% of their body weight within the first year of treatment, they maintained their weight loss 6-15 years after treatment. Meanwhile, early weight loss is essential for effectively managing diabetes incidence.

Metformin Tends To Lower Risks Associated With Obesity and Its Complications

Experts say patients who lose 5% of their body weight in one year have lower risks of developing full diabetes 15 years after.

The study authors advise that future studies should examine if metformin would be effective for maintaining long-term weight loss after initial weight loss with lifestyle modifications, anti-obesity drugs or devices, or bariatric surgery.

Obesity complications have been linked to diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and other health complications that are life-threatening. Some people find it hard to lose weight while others find it harder to maintain weight loss.

Medications such as metformin among others used in combination with lifestyle changes and weight loss devices have held out so much hope for patients.

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Increasing Bone Fractures in Seniors Linked To Walking Leashed Dogs

Walking a dog comes with personal injury risks to elderly seniors

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An old woman walking her dogs. Photo Credit: Pxhere

Elderly American seniors walk their dogs as a way of exercising themselves. Where seniors are not able to engage in strenuous physical exercises, they see dog-walking as a viable alternative. Researchers have however associated increasing bone fractures suffered by seniors with dog-walking activity.

This was according to a study was published in the journal JAMA Surgery by authors from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Hip Fracture and Injury to Upper Body Parts Is Commonest With Dog-Walking Incidents

The research was conducted from 2004 to 2017. The number of seniors who suffered bone injuries when walking a dog in 2004 was 1,671 and 4,396 in 2017 – a 163% increase. This largely occurred to seniors aged 65 and above. The bone fractures usually involved the wrist, hips, upper arm, and shoulder among other body parts in the upper extremities.

Hip fractures related to dog walking is the commonest injury among the seniors. Incidentally, 30% of mortality rates are related to hip injuries in seniors older than 65. When elders suffer hip fractures, they experience poor health, lack of mobility and reduced physical fitness.

The researchers attribute the rising incidents of dog-walking related injuries among seniors to two factors. These are increased pet ownership and greater emphasis on physical activity for seniors. Seniors see dog-walking as a way of getting active; and it also provides them with emotional, social and physical health benefits.

Study lead author Kevin Pirrucio of Penn Medicine said the study highlights the benefits to walking a dog. But it also reveals there are injury risks to dog-walking and American seniors would do well to be aware of them. The study team included Jaimo Ahn, an associate professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, and Yeo Myoung Yoon, a research assistant at Penn.

Research Focus on Dog-Walking Is As Important As On Cancer and Heart Attacks

Only fractured patients who presented themselves for treatment at the hospital within the study period participated in the research. This made the authors of the study to believe they may have undercounted the actual numbers of seniors who suffered fractures while walking dogs within the study period.

Other seniors with dog-walking related injuries were not considered for the study because they were not available for inclusion.

The researchers said they do not intend to discourage seniors from owning or walking dogs. But want them to be aware of the injury risks associated with the outdoor activity.

According to Ahn, “everyday actions mean everyday consequences.” To this extent, researching and reporting on little things such as walking a dog is as important as medical focus on “rarer but devastating conditions such as cancer and heart attacks.”

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