What we know — and what we don’t — about standing desks

031030-F-2828D-166 Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld works at the stand-up desk in his office as he goes over his opening remarks prior to a Pentagon press briefing on Oct. 30, 2003. Rumsfeld will give reporters an update on the progress of Operation Iraqi Freedom and take questions during the televised briefing. DoD photo Tech. Sgt. Andy Dunaway, U.S. Air Force. (Released)

If you pay any attention to news stories about health and wellness, you’ve likely read or heard that sitting for long periods of time can harm your health.

There is evidence to suggest that sitting for hours at a time leads to a host of health problems including heart disease, diabetes, bone and joint problems, poor posture, weak muscles and even some types of cancer. [Read more…]

Revisiting the evidence on climate change

Global WarmingIt’s 73 degrees in Ithaca, New York today, according to the thermometer on my minivan. My 7-year-old begged to wear shorts to school today, and soon thereafter reminded me, “It’s still winter mom!”  Given such an early spring-feeling day in this northern latitude, I thought it’d be a good time to revisit the evidence on global warming. [Read more…]

Is science reliable?

research ready graphicHere at EBL, we’re written before about the pitfalls of science reporting in popular media.   Even well-researched, comprehensive scientific reports often draw conclusions that we later learn are inaccurate. [Read more…]

An evidence-based look at a football scandal?

footballIf you pay any attention to sports, you have likely heard about the football scandal that erupted last year when the Indianapolis Colts accused the New England Patriots of deflating footballs to give their quarterback, Tom Brady, an unfair advantage. [Read more…]

Contradicting evidence: How much sleep do we need?

sleepWhen we read a systematic review with a strong conclusion, we believe the answer is accurate. Reviews do, for the most part, encompass all of the data we have on a given topic. The evidence is even more convincing when there is more than one review that draws a strong conclusion. [Read more…]

The body of evidence on meat and cancer

baconThe media has been full of stories this week about a recent determination by the World Health Organization: That processed meats such as bacon, sausage and ham increase the risk of developing colon cancer. [Read more…]

High-intensity training: The holy grail of fitness?

exerciseLately, I have found it difficult to find time to work out. Even though I really like to exercise, commitments to work and family take up most of my time, leaving little time for a long run or a trip to the gym. The data show I’m not alone. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, less than half of Americans meet the guidelines for aerobic exercise and less than a third complete the recommended amount of strengthening exercises. [Read more…]

Are medical talk shows credible?

An Insight, An Idea with Mehmet Oz: Mehmet C. OzWhen you turn on the TV, pick up a newspaper or flip through a magazine, you’re likely to come across some advice on how to improve your health. Americans are hungry for “magic bullet” fixes to their health problems – whether it’s obesity, toenail fungus, or back pain. Our desire for medical advice has led to the rise of medical talk shows, where medical doctors offer health advice. But do these shows offer sound advice? [Read more…]

The evidence on sunscreen: Revisited

sunscrnIt’s only May, but I’m already slathering sunscreen on my kids each morning before school.  Every year, before I stock up on our summer supply, I check with Environmental Working Group’s annual sunscreen report to make sure the formulation my family uses is as effective and safe as possible. [Read more…]

Growing evidence: Environmental factors influence heart disease

heartIn the United States, we regularly hear messages about how to prevent heart disease. Eat more vegetables.  Exercise more. Avoid fatty meats. But there is a large and growing body of evidence that demonstrates the environment also impacts our risk of developing cardiovascular disease. [Read more…]

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