Waking early is bad for the body’s circadian rhythms

I used to work at a corporate PR agency where we had to arrive work at 8.30, supposedly so we could spend half an hour reading the papers to get up to speed on the day’s events. In reality, it was just a wheeze to get people at their desks earlier. Most people arrived at work at 8.00, some even arrived at 7.30. To arrive at work at 8.30 made you feel like some tremendous and irresponsible slacker.

The effect of these 6.30 starts was corrosive on my mental and physical well-being. By about 11.30, the morning seemed like a distant, boring dream. I would be followed round in a fug of confusion, boredom and annoyance. I used to blame this on an incipient laziness, a character flaw which made me averse to early starts. But no! An 8am start is tantamount to torture so says an Oxford University study. Read More →


Did you take a summer holiday this year? Studies say you should have.

International health news

  • Aspirin could give edge to cancer therapies – new studies in mice has shown that the use of aspirin could prevent tumors from ‘hiding’, making them easier to treat.
  • Weight loss surgery could help combat diabetes – type-2 diabetes was found to be cured for up to 5 years in some patients, with sugar levels much more manageable among those not cured.
  • When will you die? – “ageing signature” in cells could help to see how well or badly your body is ageing, and predict likelihood of certain illnesses and life expectancy.

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Taking baby steps towards a healthy lifestyle has never been easier.

Is expat life draining your energy and making you adopt unhealthy eating habits? More often than not, people try making big changes in their lives but end up being unable to commit to them, resulting in a loss of motivation.

The most important lesson to learn is that baby steps is key to achieving any goal you set yourself. For those expats whose eating habits took a turn for the worse once they moved abroad, it might seem like a distant dream to shed the extra pounds and get back on track. However, it’s not impossible just so long as you don’t bite off more than you can chew, quite literally, and take each day one baby step at a time. Once you have made a small change and incorporated it into your day to day life, you can introduce a second, then a third and so on. In a year’s time (or maybe even less) you will see all the benefits and in hindsight, it will all feel so easy! Read More →


Children are at increased risk of diarrheoa and hepatitis due to poor sanitation in India.

The UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) had a key focus which centred on the delivery of safe drinking water and sanitation to the international community. However, while achieving the targets for the former ahead of schedule, the goals on sanitation were not reached, leaving 2.4 billion people around the world without access to sanitation facilities.

This is a serious problem affecting countries in Southeast Asia, in particular India, where 48% of the population do not have access to proper sanitation. This leads to half a billion Indians defecating in public, such as on rail lines and in bushes, resulting in increased rates of diarrhoea and hepatitis. These preventable illnesses contribute to the fact that half of India’s children are malnourished, with 200,000 dying each year. Read More →

Walk for at least 25 minutes per day and add years to your life.

International health news

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People over 65 are abusing the alcohol limits in London.

Laughing at my grandmother’s nonsense when she was drunk made sense when I was 10. Today she is gone, but now it dawns on me the risks of her behaviour. Excessive drinking problems are usually associated with younger people, and consequently alcohol misuse services seem to be only in place for the younger generations, rather than the elderly. However, a new survey in London has revealed that people over 65 years old are drinking much more than the weekly recommended limit.

Although limits vary from country to country, it is recommended that men do not drink over 21 units of alcohol per week, and women over 14. This survey brought to light that the older generation in Britain are doubling figures with men drinking an outstanding 49 units, while women are drinking approximately 23. Read More →

Expatriates are particularly at risk when it comes to mental health. Language barriers, isolation, workload issues, as well as not having family and friends close by, often can mean feeling more vulnerable in life’s everyday circumstances. Loneliness or feeling “out of place” when living abroad can definitely cause your emotions to rollercoaster, causing you to feel depressed, anxious or generally sad.

Fortunately, most people nowadays own smartphones, which means you can have access to useful mental health apps when living abroad. This can help you cope with mental health issues like depression or anxiety, which is proven to be more common among expats.

When your phone comes into play

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old drinker

Over 20% of OAPs are at risk from drinking too much

International health news

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Latest research suggests e-cigarettes are safer than tobacco.

It has been a busy week for cigarettes. Just days after the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) called for a ban on smoking in pub gardens and other outdoor locations in the UK, it has been recognised for the first time that e-cigarettes are safer than tobacco.

It wasn’t even close. In the “best estimate so far” by Public Health England, using e-cigarettes was found to be 95% safer than conventional cigarettes, and were also reported to be less hazardous than cigars and pipes. Read More →

Africa celebrated one year without any new polio cases.

International health news

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