Tag Archives: positive

Making Health Fun

Get Up and Do Something is source for optimal health

Mike Peterson believes that the best way to bring about changes in health behavior is to take an approach that’s fun, positive, and motivational.

So the website he developed and runs with the health promotion master’s students at the University of Delaware is “not about ‘guilting’ people into doing things — it’s about playing to their better angels.” (more…)

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Less Wait Time for Safe Travel Could Reduce Drinking and Driving in People with ‘Urgency’ Personality Trait, Says MU Researcher

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Saving bar patrons’ time on their commute home could save lives. A pair of studies by University of Missouri psychologists found that people who reported drinking and driving also exhibited “urgency,” or a lack of emotional self-control, especially while drinking. This suggests that some people when intoxicated may be more likely to choose the convenience of driving themselves home instead of waiting for a taxi, said Denis McCarthy, associate professor of psychology at MU.

“Our study correlated urgency, a specific type of impulsivity, to drinking and driving,” McCarthy said. “Individuals with a high degree of urgency tend to act impulsively when they are in both positive and negative emotional states. By looking at personality traits that correlate with drinking and driving, we can help people understand how their personalities might incline them to choose the risk of driving after drinking. Once a person knows this, they can decide to take extra care to moderate their drinking or be prepared to call a cab, hop on a bus or ask a designated driver for help.” (more…)

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Crows React to Threats in Human-like Way

Cross a crow and it’ll remember you for years.

Crows and humans share the ability to recognize faces and associate them with negative, as well as positive, feelings. The way the brain activates during that process is something the two species also appear to share, according to new research being published this week.

“The regions of the crow brain that work together are not unlike those that work together in mammals, including humans,” said John Marzluff, University of Washington professor of environmental and forest sciences. “These regions were suspected to work in birds but not documented until now. (more…)

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Spirituality Correlates to Better Mental Health Regardless of Religion, Say MU Researchers

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Despite differences in rituals and beliefs among the world’s major religions, spirituality often enhances health regardless of a person’s faith, according to University of Missouri researchers. The MU researchers believe that health care providers could take advantage of this correlation between health – particularly mental health – and spirituality by tailoring treatments and rehabilitation programs to accommodate an individual’s spiritual inclinations.

“In many ways, the results of our study support the idea that spirituality functions as a personality trait,” said Dan Cohen, assistant teaching professor of religious studies at MU and one of the co-authors of the study. “With increased spirituality people reduce their sense of self and feel a greater sense of oneness and connectedness with the rest of the universe. What was interesting was that frequency of participation in religious activities or the perceived degree of congregational support was not found to be significant in the relationships between personality, spirituality, religion and health.” (more…)

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Tongue Analysis Software Developed at MU Uses Ancient Chinese Medicine to Warn of Disease

COLUMBIA, Mo. — For 5,000 years, the Chinese have used a system of medicine based on the flow and balance of positive and negative energies in the body. In this system, the appearance of the tongue is one of the measures used to classify the overall physical status of the body, or zheng. Now, University of Missouri researchers have developed computer software that combines the ancient practices and modern medicine by providing an automated system for analyzing images of the tongue.

“Knowing your zheng classification can serve as a pre-screening tool and help with preventive medicine,” said Dong Xu, chair of MU’s computer science department in the College of Engineering and study co-author. “Our software helps bridge Eastern and Western medicine, since an imbalance in zheng could serve as a warning to go see a doctor. Within a year, our ultimate goal is to create an application for smartphones that will allow anyone to take a photo of their tongue and learn the status of their zheng.” (more…)

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Turning the Tide on South Africa’s HIV/AIDS Epidemic

Dr. Thembi Xulu. Image credit: Yale University

Thirty years after it was given a name, the epidemic of AIDS and its related illnesses continues to kill millions of people around the world. But nowhere are the numbers as high today as in sub-Saharan Africa, and in particular, the nation of South Africa.

Last week, a physician who has watched her country seesaw from denial to resolve delivered the seventh annual C. Davenport Cook Grand Rounds Lecture in International Child Health at Yale School of Medicine, speaking about how things are changing in South Africa and, perhaps, all of sub-Saharan Africa. Some of the changes she described are medical, others, attitudinal.

Dr. Thembi Xulu is medical director of Right to Care, a leading non-profit HIV/AIDS organization based in Johannesburg, as well as one of this year’s Yale World Fellows. Xulu has for many years been a persistent advocate for educating South Africans about the causes of AIDS and ways to prevent it, and for bringing affordable medication to those afflicted with it. She has grappled with governments in denial, unyielding cultural traditions, lack of funding and victims too ashamed to seek help. (more…)

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