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Dhruv Khullar, New York Times 12-22-16 – “Social isolation is a growing epidemic — one that’s increasingly recognized as having dire physical, mental and emotional consequences. Since the 1980s, the percentage of American adults who say they’re lonely has doubled from 20 percent to 40 percent. About one-third of Americans older than 65 now live alone, and half of those over 85 do. People in poorer health — especially those with mood disorders like anxiety anddepression — are more likely to feel lonely. Those without a college education are the least likely to have someone they can talk to about important personal matters. A wave of new research suggests social separation is bad for us. Individuals with less social connection have disrupted sleep patterns, altered immune systems, more inflammationand higher levels of stress hormones. One recent study found that isolation increases the risk of heart disease by 29 percent and stroke by 32 percent. Another analysis that pooled data from 70 studies and 3.4 million people found that socially isolated individuals had a 30 percent higher risk of dying in the next seven years, and that this effect was largest in middle age….”
Agence France-Presse via The Guardian – “From 1 January, workers have ‘right to disconnect’ as France seeks to establish agreements that afford work flexibility but avoid burnout woman checks her phone while lying in bed From Sunday, French companies will be required to guarantee their employees a “right to disconnect” from technology as the country seeks to tackle the modern-day scourge of compulsive out-of-hours email checking. On 1 January, an employment law will enter into force that obliges organisations with more than 50 workers to start negotiations to define the rights of employees to ignore their smartphones. Overuse of digital devices has been blamed for everything from burnout to sleeplessness as well as relationship problems, with many employees uncertain of when they can switch off. The way to a better work-life balance?”
“Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has issued his 2016 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary (pdf), highlighting the work performed by U.S. District judges. The report is the twelfth since Roberts was appointed chief justice in 2005.”“Most district judges agree that sentencing is their most difficult duty. The judge must confront the offender, face-to-face, and take just account of human failing. The judge must consider the perspectives of the prosecutor, the defendant, and the victim, and impose a penalty that, by design and necessity, will alter the direction of the defendant’s life. In determining appropriate punishment, his discretion is confined by legislative determinations, and guided by carefully considered sentencing guidelines and a presentence report. At the end of the day, the sentence nonetheless critically reflects the judge’s wisdom, experience, and educated grasp of what he observed firsthand in the courtroom. In delivering the sentence, the judge speaks as the voice of the community…”
Effect of frequent interruptions of prolonged sitting on self-perceived levels of energy, mood, food cravings and cognitive function. Audrey Bergouignan, Kristina T. Legget, Nathan De Jong, Elizabeth Kealey, Janet Nikolovski, Jack L. Groppel, Chris Jordan, Raphaela O’Day, James O. Hill and Daniel H. Bessesen. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity201613:113. DOI: 10.1186/s12966-016-0437-z. Published 3 November 2016
Abstrac – “While physical activity has been shown to improve cognitive performance and well-being, office workers are essentially sedentary. We compared the effects of physical activity performed as (i) one bout in the morning or (ii) as microbouts spread out across the day to (iii) a day spent sitting, on mood and energy levels and cognitive function.
Methods – In a randomized crossover trial, 30 sedentary adults completed each of three conditions: 6 h of uninterrupted sitting (SIT), SIT plus 30 min of moderate-intensity treadmill walking in the morning (ONE), and SIT plus six hourly 5-min microbouts of moderate-intensity treadmill walking (MICRO). Self-perceived energy, mood, and appetite were assessed with visual analog scales. Vigor and fatigue were assessed with the Profile of Mood State questionnaire. Cognitive function was measured using a flanker task and the Comprehensive Trail Making Test. Intervention effects were tested using linear mixed models.
Robert Gottliebsen: Australian Taxation Office move threatens small business bankruptcies
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