Academics are constantly making new discoveries in the fields of medicine, nutrition, fitness, and biology.
Some of these discoveries are very surprising and in some cases, counterintuitive.
This article will share a few of these surprising health facts, including a few that could prove very useful in your everyday life.
Extra sleep makes people happier than a big raise
What do you think would make you happier — receiving a massive pay increase or getting more sleep?
Most people would say the pay increase is the much more desirable option.
However, researchers in the United States found that getting more sleep has a far greater effect on a person’s mood.
Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman and his research team have found that most households do not have a noticeably higher level of happiness or enjoyment when their income exceeds $75,000 per year.
They also found that large pay increases that were accompanied by additional work hours and a reduction in sleep hours actually made people less happy!
Excess sugar consumption is worse than smoking
The dangers of smoking are well known.
They include a very high risk of lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease, and other dangerous illnesses.
Most people consider smoking to be one of the most dangerous habits around, and rightly so.
However, researchers from the University of San Francisco made the surprising discovery that excessive consumption of sugar may be more dangerous than smoking tobacco.
They made this determination after realising that excess sugar consumption contributes to more than 35 million deaths per year.
Some of the illnesses that sugar consumption contributes to include diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
These conditions are extremely widespread, particularly in developed countries like the UK and the United States, and can prove fatal.
Sitting at a desk all day can dramatically shorten your lifespan
Many people are forced to sit at their desk all day while at work or they spend a lot of time sitting down while at home.
Unfortunately, scientists in Australia have found that sitting for long periods can increase death risk by almost 50%.
The research team found that office workers who sit for more than 10 hours a day at their desk had a 48% greater risk of death compared to people who sat for less than 4 hours per day.
They suggest that people who sit at work or have a sedentary lifestyle should make an effort to stand and move about many times during the day.
Drinking something hot can cool you down
When it reaches the middle of Summer and the temperature is very high, most people turn to cold drinks or ice cream to cool down.
The idea of having a hot cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa seems unappealing when you are already sweating!
Surprisingly, researchers have found that drinking a hot beverage on a hot day can help your body cool down more than a cold drink.
It works because the body will increase the amount of sweat it produces while consuming a hot drink.
The additional sweat will evaporate and make you feel cooler.
More than half of the body’s bones are in the feet and hands
The human body has consists of 206 different bones.
Of these, a staggering 106 bones are located in the hands and the feet.
The human body requires dozens of bones in each foot and hand to perform complex tasks like holding objects and walking.
If you have high cholesterol, you may need more cholesterol
The general public has been told for many years that eating a high cholesterol diet is potentially unhealthy because it may contribute to heart disease.
As a result, many people would seek out low-cholesterol foods and food manufacturers would reduce the amount of cholesterol in their products.
Researchers now know that there are different types of cholesterol including high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL).
They have also found that HDL is very beneficial to the human body and can reduce the levels of LDL (which contributes to heart disease).
As a result, doctors now call HDL “good” cholesterol and LDL “bad” cholesterol.
You can find HDL in many foods including nuts, avocados, and oily fish.
Having a positive attitude can increase your lifespan
Multiple studies have found that people with an optimistic attitude have lower rates of death from stroke, cancer, and other diseases.
This is particularly true for cardiovascular disease, where positive people were 40% less likely to contract the disease.
Exercise can give you energy
When most people are feeling tired, their first instinct is to lay down on the couch or to take a hot bath.
In some cases, they will have a cup of tea or coffee to obtain a boost of energy from caffeine.
You might be surprised to learn that exercise is actually one of the best ways to obtain an energy boost and overcome tiredness.
It works because exercise increases blood flow, oxygen intake, and hormone levels.
It will give you more energy, make you more alert, and boost the production of endorphins which will provide you with a feeling of well-being.
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