Friday February 22, 2019

Reduce Loneliness And Boost Your Mental Health With Cycling

The study stressed on the need for "an integrated approach to urban planning, transport planning and public health is needed.

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Mental health
Cycling can reduce your loneliness, boost mental health. Flickr

Feeling lonely? Riding your bicycles may not only improve your general and mental health, but also increase social interaction, says a study.

The study showed that cycling is the healthiest mode of transport and is associated with better self-perceived general health, better mental health, greater vitality, lower self-perceived stress and fewer feelings of loneliness.

“The findings suggest that active transport –especially cycling– should be encouraged in order to improve health and increase social interaction,” said lead author Avila Palencia from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) in Barcelona, Spain.

walking, was associated with good self-perceived general health
walking, was associated with good self-perceived general health. Pixabay

The second most beneficial transport mode, walking, was associated with good self-perceived general health, greater vitality, and more contact with friends and/or family.

“Ours is the first study to associate the use of multiple urban transport modes with health effects such as mental health and social contact. It also allowed us to highlight the positive effect of walking, which in previous studies was not very conclusive,” she added.

The study, published in the journal Environment International, was carried out in seven European cities: Antwerp, Barcelona, London, Orebro, Rome, Vienna and Zurich and included more than 8,800 people.

The transport modes assessed in the study were car, motorbike, public transport, bicycle, electric bicycle and walking.

cycling is the healthiest mode of transport
Cycling is the healthiest mode of transport Pixabay

Driving and public-transport use were associated with poor self-perceived general health, while cars were linked with fewer feelings of loneliness.

“This result is most likely due to the fact that the study population drove very infrequently and most journeys by car were probably for social purposes, such as visiting a family member or a friend,” the researchers explained.

Also Read: Taking Care of Mental Health Problems in Children, may Boost Parent’s Mental Health Too

The study stressed on the need for “an integrated approach to urban planning, transport planning and public health is needed in order to develop policies that promote active transport, such as adding more segregated cycle lanes for a better environment for cyclists,” the researchers noted. (IANS)

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Know How Higher Intake of Sodium Can Treat Lightheadedness

Greater sodium intake is widely viewed as an intervention for preventing lightheadedness when moving from seated to standing positions.

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sodium
"Health practitioners initiating sodium interventions for orthostatic symptoms now have some evidence that sodium might actually worsen symptoms," Juraschek said. Pixabay

Higher sodium intake should not be used as a treatment for lightheadedness, say researchers challenging current guidelines for sodium consumption.

Lightheadedness while standing, known as postural lightheadedness, results from gravitational drop in blood pressure and is common among adults.

Greater sodium intake is widely viewed as an intervention for preventing lightheadedness when moving from seated to standing positions.

However, contrary to this recommendation, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre (BIDMC) found that higher sodium intake, actually increases dizziness.

“Our study has clinical and research implications,” said Stephen Juraschek, researcher from BIDMC in Boston.

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Greater sodium intake is widely viewed as an intervention for preventing lightheadedness when moving from seated to standing positions. Pixabay

“Our results serve to caution health practitioners against recommending increased sodium intake as a universal treatment for lightheadedness. Additionally, our results demonstrate the need for additional research to understand the role of sodium, and more broadly of diet, on lightheadedness,” Juraschek said.

For the study, reported in The Journal of Clinical Hypertension, the team used data from the completed DASH-Sodium trial, a randomised crossover study that looked at the effects of three different sodium levels (1500, 2300, and 3300 mg/d) on participants’ blood pressure for four weeks.

While the trial showed that lower sodium led to decrease in blood pressure, it also suggested that concerns about lower level of sodium causing dizziness may not be scientifically correct.

Also Read: ‘It Has Been A Very Long Process, But Ultimately A Very Successful Process’: South Korea Agrees to Pay More for U.S. Troops

The study also questioned recommendations to use sodium to treat lightheadedness, an intervention that could have negative effects on cardiovascular health.

“Health practitioners initiating sodium interventions for orthostatic symptoms now have some evidence that sodium might actually worsen symptoms,” Juraschek said.

“Clinicians should check on symptoms after initiation and even question the utility of this approach. More importantly, research is needed to understand the effects of sodium on physical function, particularly in older adults.” (IANS)