Health Advice



Park Yourself

Scott LaFee on

The idea of living near a park is generally attractive. Who wouldn't want close access to a bit of green, open space? But if you're in the market for moving closer to a park, take a moment to consider this variable: shape.

A Texas A&M University study found that residents who lived near odd or complex-shaped green spaces had lower mortality risk than those who resided by more regularly shaped parks.

"Our results suggest that linking existing parks with greenways or adding new, connected parks might be fiscally accessible strategies for promoting health," said study author Huaquing Wang.

"We showed that the complexity of the park shape was positively associated with a lower risk of mortality. This association might be attributable to the increased number of access points provided by complex-shaped green spaces."

In other words, an oddly shaped park might be more healthful simply because there are more ways to actually visit it.

Body of Knowledge


If you're looking for extra motivation for New Year's resolutions, know this: You can always create new fat cells, but you can never actually get rid of them. Once a fat cell is produced, it is permanent. Dieting and exercise only reduce their size. The average human has 10 to 30 billion fat cells. Obese people can have up to 100 billion.

Remember the old saying: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So eat an ounce, not a pound.

Get Me That, Stat!

A review of 26 studies has found that more than half of homeless or marginally housed individuals (living in slums or other low-income housing) were diagnosed with traumatic brain injury at some point in their lives. Nearly 1 in 4 had moderate to severe forms, an estimate tenfold higher than the general population.


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