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Stepping It up

Scott LaFee on

We all know walking is wonderful exercise, especially as we age and other forms of strenuous physical activity become more difficult. A plethora of devices let us count our steps, with 10,000 steps a day presumed to be the universal goal.

A recent study looked at 4,800 people age 40 and older to see if there was a correlation between steps taken and healthy outcomes, i.e., who was less likely to die over the course of 10 years.

There was no magic number: More steps were better than less steps; the intensity of walking appeared to play little role.

"The main thing is to get moving for better overall health as we age," said co-author Eric Shiroma.

Body of Knowledge

It's not a figment of your imagination when you "see stars" after rubbing your eyes, sneezing or standing up too fast. All cells within the human body are capable of producing light, called biophotons.

 

Usually your brain ignores them, but when pressure is applied to the eyes, more biophotons are created than the brain can process and ignore. These notable flashes of light and squiggly lines are known as phosphenes.

Get Me That, Stat!

Over the past 20 years, the pharma and health care industries have spent nearly $5 billion on lobbying efforts, reports JAMA Network. More than $400 million went to elections, with congressional candidates garnering nearly 10 times as much in lobbying funds as presidential candidates.

Counts

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