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Cell Phones; Strong Signal = Weak Bones

Posted Oct 27 2009 11:02pm

Ever wonder if technology is slowly killing you? Do you worry that bit by mega bit it’s nibbling away at the very fabric of your being. Those buds in your ears connected to your iPod or MP3 are funneling sound that will ultimately destroy your hearing. That blue tooth phone thing stuck on your ear that you think looks really sharp is actually dorky and it’s directing rays into your brain that will leave you brain dead.

And now comes a study that says that even when it’s just sitting on your belt, minding its own business, your cell phone is weakening your bones.

The study, in The Journal of Craniofacial Surgery, measured the bone density at the hip of 150 men who used their cell phones an average of 15 hours a day and carried their phones on their belts. First they measured them at the spot where they carried their phone, and then on the opposite side.

They found a slight reduction in the bone density of the iliac bone, which is situated at the upper rim of the pelvis, on the side where the men wore their phones. Now, the reduction wasn’t statistically significant but these were relatively young men so the researchers speculate that if they could see a small difference at this point then it’s quite likely the difference will be even greater years and decades from now.

So, does this mean that years and years of wearing a cell phone on your hip could one day lead it to just collapsing? Probably not. But it does mean it could weaken it to the point that it is vulnerable to injury in later years.

Now, women mostly carry their phones in a purse so they are not at risk, and most men are not going to stop wearing a cell phone because they think that in 50 years it could mean that an otherwise routine problem could result in a worse than expected hip injury, but perhaps we should think about moving it around our hips, spreading out the potential damage.

On Monday for example, you could have it on your right hip and then each day move it a bit further around so that by Friday it’s on your left hip. At the very least it’ll keep you guessing where your phone is and give people around you some amusing moments watching you flail around trying to figure out where it is today!

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

Here’s an interesting study. Well, if it weren’t I probably wouldn’t be writing about it would I? So, anyway, these researchers at Brigham Young University found that clean smells seem to unconsciously promote good behavior. See, I told you it was interesting.

The researchers gave volunteers a number of tests and tasks to do. The only difference was that in some of the tests the volunteers were in a normal room, in some the room was scented with, get this, freshly sprayed citrus-scented Windex.

I kid you not. Citrus-scented Windex.

All the tests involved honesty, fairness and virtue on some level. For instance, one involved the people being given $12 of real money (allegedly sent by an anonymous partner in another room). The volunteers had to decide how much of the money to keep or share with their partners (who had no idea how much money the volunteer was given).

In the “normal’ smelling room the average amount of money the volunteer shared with their partner was $2.81 – the cheapskates – but in the freshly scented room that average amount was $5.33. Quite a difference eh!

The researchers says this suggests that ethical behavior can be encouraged by something as simple as a scent. A pleasant smell is more likely to induce ethical behavior than a skanky one.

Which makes you think that if someone had just put an air freshener in Bernie Madoff’s office he might have stopped his financial shenanigans before doing any damage to folks.

Don’t Want to Eat that? Then Don’t Buy it!

Shirley was chatting to a friend of hers the other day and this gal was talking about how her big weakness was ice cream, that after a hard day at work she would go home and eat a stonking great big bowl of it. So Shirley said “then don’t buy it”.

Brilliant.

But it is really. If you have a weakness and can’t resist it then don’t buy it and it won’t be around you to tempt you.

And if you don’t believe me, ask Suzanne Phelan. She’s an assistant professor kinesiology at Cal Poly. Her new study found that the home environment is a critical factor in determining whether you lose weight and keep it off, or don’t.

Basically Phelan found that people who lost weight and kept it off are much better at the basic stuff such as regular exercise and moderating their diet, compared to folks who lost weight but then packed it back on. Nothing very surprising there.

But Phelan also found that a big difference between the successful losers and the ones who couldn’t keep the weight off was that the former group had fewer TVs at home, they had more exercise equipment, and they had fewer high fat foods in their cupboard and fridge.

It makes sense doesn’t it. The less temptation you have around you the less likely you are to give in. The less high fat food in the fridge the less there is to eat. The more equipment you have around the more likely you are to use it (OK, that doesn’t always work but you have to play the averages). And the fewer TVs you have around the house the less you are likely to be constantly bombarded with ads promoting high fat foods and luring you away from your good habits.

In the end, it’s the simple, every day stuff that really makes the difference.


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