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Hand dryers v paper towels: the surprisingly dirty fight for the right to dry your hands

For a century, the humble paper towel has dominated public toilets. But a new generation of hand dryers has sparked a war for loo supremacy. By Samanth SubramanianIn the summer of 2005, a Chicago marketing consultant named George Campbell received a tantalising call from a headhunter. Was he open to an interview at Dyson? The company was secretively preparing to launch a new appliance, and it needed a sales strategy for the US: that was all the headhunter would divulge. Campbell was excited; he ...
Tags: Health, Society, Hygiene, Dyson Ltd, Technology, Environment, Health & wellbeing, Science, Life and style


Sofie Hagen: ‘Fat is a neutral word – I want us to reclaim it’

In her first book, the Danish comedian is calling for fat liberation – and happiness. She talks about anti-capitalism, abuse and how her view of her body changed overnightSofie Hagen no longer tells fat jokes. “I did at the beginning of my career,” she says, a bit regretfully. “Nothing negative, just laughing at myself. I had one joke, where I said something like: ‘I’m fat because I overeat. And I overeat because I have a lot of pain inside. Like, for example, right here’” – she points to her ch...
Tags: Health, Life and style, Society, Body Image, Health & wellbeing, Hagen, Sofie Hagen


I couldn't save my brother from Aids. But his death made me the man I am

There was no relief from grieving my brother – until I realised an important lessonWhen my older brother Jerry became ill with Aids in the 1980s, he was working as a psychologist in New York and I was living in a small cottage in Berkeley, California, with the man who is now my husband. I would phone Jerry every evening and fly in once a month to help him clean his apartment and stock up on food, as well as to discuss his treatments with his doctors and HIV researchers. On one occasion, while he...
Tags: Psychology, Family, Science, Life and style, Health & wellbeing, Death and dying


Caesarean babies have lower level of 'good' gut bacteria, study shows

Research suggests surgical delivery may make babies more prone to respiratory infectionsBabies delivered by caesarean section are slower to acquire certain types of “good bacteria” in their gut and have higher levels of potentially problematic bacteria than those born vaginally, researchers say.A study of more than 100 babies showed that those born vaginally had a very different make-up of their gut microbiome (clusters of gut microbes), potentially making caesarean babies more prone to respirat...
Tags: Health, Science, Biology, Pregnancy, Health & wellbeing, Microbiology


Five damaging myths about video games – let’s shoot 'em up

Does video gaming really breed antisocial behaviour and isolation? On the contrary…Video games are one of the most misunderstood forms of entertainment. In one sense, it’s easy to see why: if you haven’t had much interaction with them, watching someone play one can be a pretty unsettling experience. Gamers can often give the impression that they’re glued to the screen, absorbed in what feels like the digital equivalent of junk food. At best, it seems like a pointless thing to do; at worst, we wo...
Tags: Health, Games, Science, Health & wellbeing, Games consoles, Grand Theft Auto, Grand Theft Auto 5, Fortnite, Online multiplayer games


Mind games: what magic reveals about how our brains work

The art of magic offers a fascinating insight into the psychology of reality and perceptionThe magician picks up a coin, conceals it in his hand and, after a magical gesture, it mysteriously disappears, only to reappear from behind your ear. As you watch this performance, you fully understand that objects cannot simply materialise from thin air, yet this is exactly what you have just experienced. Conjuring is one of the oldest forms of entertainment and throughout history, tricksters have amazed...
Tags: Psychology, Science, Life and style, Health & wellbeing, Magic


Getting fit in middle age as beneficial as starting early – study

Increasing activity in 40s and 50s lowers risk of early death just like staying fit from teensGetting active in midlife could be as good for you as starting young when it comes to reducing the risk of an early death, researchers have suggested.But experts say the study, which looked at people’s patterns of exercise as they aged and their subsequent death records, also shows it does not do to rest on your laurels: the benefits fade once exercise declines. Continue reading...
Tags: Health, Science, Fitness, Life and style, Society, Medical Research, Health & wellbeing


Michele Hanson’s legacy continues | Letter

It’s a year since the columnist died but she’s still helping to improve women’s lives, says her daughter Amy Hanson A year ago on Saturday my mum, the Guardian writer Michele Hanson, died of a massive spontaneous cerebral haemorrhage, while doing what she loved most – walking Joey, her boxer dog. Her dog featured in her Guardian column spanning 30 years, a column that started with me, about Treasure, the teenage terror.She wrote to turn something awful into something funny. I was awful and it wa...
Tags: Health, Twitter, Africa, Women, Society, UK News, Health & wellbeing, Joey, Michele Hanson, Female genital mutilation (FGM, Amy Hanson


Bedtime social media use may be harming UK teenagers, study says

Exclusive: a fifth of 13- to 15-year-olds ‘spend five hours or more a day on social media’Teenagers in Britain may be putting their health and education at risk by spending too much time on social media at bedtime, according to a major study into adolescent sleep habits.More than a third of teenagers spent at least three hours a day on social media, with a fifth devoting at least five hours to the activity, researchers found. Those who were on social media for three hours or more daily were most...
Tags: Health, UK, Science, Media, Education, Sleep, Children, Social Media, Life and style, Society, UK News, Britain, Digital Media, Health & wellbeing


Burned out and overwhelmed: should you embrace the joy of no?

Once we were pressured to acquire things and do more with our lives. Now, we’re being told to declutter our homes and diaries. What happened to just being ourselves? What brings you joy? It is a question that is hard to avoid these days, as joy seems to be the new buzzword. It is on the cover of two new books, The Joy of No (#Jono) by Debbie Chapman, published at the end of last year, and The Joy of Missing Out, by the philosopher and psychologist Svend Brinkmann, published earlier this month. I...
Tags: Psychology, Science, Life and style, Netflix, Health & wellbeing, Work-life balance, Chapman, Marie Kondo, Kondo, Jono, Brinkmann, Debbie Chapman, Svend Brinkmann, Chapman Brinkmann


The best thing you can do for your health: sleep well

‘A consistent seven to nine-hour sleep each night is the most effective thing we can do to reset our brain and body health’Do you think you got enough sleep this past week? Can you remember the last time you woke up without an alarm clock, feeling refreshed, not needing caffeine? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” you are not alone. Two-thirds of adults throughout all developed nations fail to obtain the recommended eight hours of nightly sleep.Indeed, surveys by the and YouGov r...
Tags: Health, Sleep, Obesity, Cancer, Life and style, Society, Heart Attack, Britain, Health & wellbeing, Alzheimer's, Yougov, Sleep apnoea


Beer before wine not fine, scientists find after vomit-filled tests

Research into old saying about alcohol consumption shows you get a hangover either wayBeer before wine, or wine before beer; whatever the order, you’ll feel queer. That, at least, is the updated aphorism drinkers will have to embrace now scientists have proved that drink order has no effect on the magnitude of one’s hangover.Under carefully-controlled lab conditions, British and German researchers plied 90 volunteers with beer and wine to find out once and for all whether hangovers are worsened ...
Tags: Health, Science, Alcohol, Society, UK News, World news, Beer, Health & wellbeing, Wine, Hangover Cures


'You will have an emotional reboot': the ultimate guide to stress at every age

Every life stage brings its own pressures, from worrying about exams to juggling the needs of family. Here are the best coping tactics for each generationTriggers“Children are really the canaries in the mineshaft of human society. They are the individuals within our cultures that are the most sensitive to the difficulties – and stresses – that societies experience,” Tom Boyce tells me. Professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the University of California, he specialises in the treatment of thre...
Tags: Health, Life and style, Society, Mental Health, Health & wellbeing, University Of California, Tom Boyce


Five benefits of being an early riser

Rise with the lark and you can expect a happier, more productive life, researchers suggest. And if you’re a woman you seem less likely to suffer from breast cancerA large-scale genetics study recently conducted by Exeter University revealed that people who are “early birds” have greater levels of happiness and are at a lower risk of depression compared to those who are “night owls”. The authors speculated that this was because the “night owl” body clock conflicts with work patterns and school ti...
Tags: Health, Science, Technology, Sleep, Life and style, Society, Medical Research, Health & wellbeing, Exeter University


'Getting out of bed is the first hurdle': how I cope with my anxiety

Dread and despair have been a part of my life since childhood – and then I started writing about politics ...The anxiety is ever-present. Sometimes only as a form of background noise; a voice that tells me I’ve failed at the day before it’s even begun. At other times it’s more insistent. An almost physical presence. A heart-pounding feeling of dread that makes it a struggle to get out of bed. A longed for desire to go back to sleep, to rewind the clock, in the desperate hope that I could start t...
Tags: Psychology, Health, Life and style, Society, Mental Health, Health & wellbeing


White gold: the unstoppable rise of alternative milks

How wellness upstarts spoiled milk’s healthy reputation – and built a billion-dollar industry from juicing oats and nuts. By Oliver Franklin-WallisIn the spring of 2018, New York was gripped by a sudden, very particular and, for some, calamitous food shortage. Gaps appeared on grocery shelves. Coffee shops put out signs, turning customers away. Twitter and Instagram brimmed with outrage. The truly desperate searched from Williamsburg to Harlem, but it seemed undeniable: New York was out of oat m...
Tags: Health, Food, New York, Instagram, Environment, US, Life and style, Society, Farming, Health & wellbeing, Veganism, Vegan food and drink, Harlem, Williamsburg, Petersson, Milk (drink


Police arrest 19 people over FGM gang attacks on women in Uganda

Critics say police should have acted earlier on reports of forceful mutilation of more than 400 women in a month by armed groupsSixteen men and three women have been arrested for allegedly aiding and abetting female genital mutilation (FGM) in eastern Uganda after reports of gangs attacking women in the region.The suspects were taken into custody earlier this week after joint police and military operations in Kween district. The arrests followed local media reports of more than 400 women, some a...
Tags: Health, Africa, Women, Life and style, Society, World news, Uganda, Health & wellbeing, Global development, Fgm, Kween, Female genital mutilation (FGM


New plant-focused diet would ‘transform’ planet’s future, say scientists

‘Planetary health diet’ would prevent millions of deaths a year and avoid climate changeThe first science-based diet that tackles both the poor food eaten by billions of people and averts global environmental catastrophe has been devised. It requires huge cuts in red meat-eating in western countries and radical changes across the world.The “planetary health diet” was created by an international commission seeking to draw up guidelines that provide nutritious food to the world’s fast-growing popu...
Tags: Health, Food, Climate Change, Environment, Pollution, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Farming, Health & wellbeing, Diets and dieting, The meat industry


What’s their beef? Why today’s leading men are driven to be buff

Aidan Turner’s Poldark has ushered in a new age of brawn, but many are asking if the trend has gone too farModern screen heroes come in many guises, but whether a leading man is cast as a mathematician, a surgeon or a scientist, the likelihood is that, once the shirt comes off, he will be equipped with both a firm abdomen and bulbous biceps.A new appetite for leading men who, whether or not they are playing professional athletes, appear to spend half the week in the gym is now concerning even es...
Tags: Health, Film, Life and style, Society, Body Image, Culture, Health & wellbeing, Stage, Acting, Aidan Turner, Poldark, Tom Brittney


Want to transform your life? Stop chasing perfection

Give up the rat race, accept reality and have the courage to be disliked – the latest self-help trend is not about self-reinvention but finding contentment in the life you haveBy tradition, this is the season for personal reinvention, but these days it’s hard not to feel cynical about the idea of a triumphant liberation from the past. In the news, Brexit provides an hourly reminder that merely wishing to bring about a glorious fresh start is no guarantee that calamity won’t be the result. Meanwh...
Tags: Health, Books, Culture, Health & wellbeing, Robert Plomin, Society books


Struggling with New Year's resolutions? We can help

Nine ways to boost your willpower, from dodging doughnuts to making the most of morningsIt is tempting, when your shiny New Year’s resolutions start to crumble, to tell yourself that self-control simply isn’t your strong point. “Oh well,” you might say, surrendering to the desire for a large glass of red. “No willpower, that’s my problem.”But, according to a body of scientific research, willpower is not a talent that a lucky few are born with. It is a skill to be practised. “Willpower is a dynam...
Tags: Psychology, Life and style, Health & wellbeing, Frank Ryan


Constant cravings: is addiction on the rise?

From sex to sugar to social media, people are in the grip of a wider range of compulsive behaviours. But what is driving them – and what can be done?Addiction was once viewed as an unsavoury fringe disease, tethered to substances with killer withdrawal symptoms, such as alcohol and opium. But now the scope of what humans can be addicted to seems to have snowballed, from sugar to shopping to social media. The UK’s first NHS internet-addiction clinic is opening this year; the World Health Organiza...
Tags: Psychology, UK, Hollywood, Science, Neuroscience, Life and style, Health & wellbeing, NHS, Michael Douglas, Douglas, World Health Organization WHO


The money, job, marriage myth: are you happy yet?

The ‘success’ narrative is at the heart of our idea of wellbeing, but the evidence tells a different tale, argues behavioural scientist Paul Dolan in this extract from his new bookThere are countless stories about how we ought to live our lives. We are expected to be ambitious; to want to be wealthy, successful and well educated; to get married, be monogamous and have kids. These social narratives can make our lives easier, by providing guidelines for behaviour, and they might sometimes make us ...
Tags: Health, Books, Society, UK News, Culture, Health & wellbeing, Paul Dolan, Hay, Happiness indices, Wellbeing At Work


Schoolgirls in Kenya to face compulsory tests for pregnancy and FGM

Girls in Narok County will be made to reveal identities of babies’ fathers and tell police about female genital mutilation Plans to subject schoolgirls in Kenya to mandatory tests for female genital mutilation and pregnancy are a violation of victims’ privacy, campaigners have warned.All girls returning to school this week in Narok, Kenya, will be examined at local health facilities as part of a countywide crackdown. Continue reading...
Tags: Health, Africa, Women, Life and style, Society, World news, Health & wellbeing, Global development, Kenya, Fgm, Global Education, Narok County, Female genital mutilation (FGM, Narok Kenya


Why exercise alone won’t save us

Sedentary lifestyles are killing us – we need to build activity into our everyday lives, not just leave it for the gym. By Vybarr Cregan-ReidThis is the time of year when trainers are mined from under beds and gym kits are disinterred from the bottom drawer. Google searches relating to physical fitness peak in January. Many people even trawl the web to find out about “desk exercises” and “workouts on the go” in case they are too busy to use their new gym memberships.Our relationship with exercis...
Tags: Health, Google, UK, Fitness, US, Life and style, Society, Health & wellbeing, New Year, Vybarr Cregan ReidThis


‘Learning to relax can be life-changing’: how to find your comfort zone

Many of us have forgotten how to truly unwind. We ask the experts for ways to switch off in an always-on worldHow do you like to kick back, chill out and really relax? This sounds as if it should be a simple question. But I can’t be alone in having spent several evenings over the past couple of weeks slumped on the sofa, “watching TV” while my eyes flicker across Twitter and Facebook, as well as five different WhatsApp groups on my phone.Relaxing is increasingly difficult in our always-on digita...
Tags: Psychology, Facebook, Science, Life and style, Mental Health, Health & wellbeing


Girl, 10, dies after female genital mutilation in Sierra Leone

Renewed calls for country to end practice after girl bleeds to death following mass initiation into secret societyA 10-year-old girl has died after undergoing female genital mutilation during a mass initiation into a secret society in Sierra Leone.The girl, one of 68 involved in the rite, bled to death on Tuesday following complications from the FGM procedure. Continue reading...
Tags: Health, Africa, Women, Life and style, Society, World news, Sierra Leone, Health & wellbeing, Global development, Fgm, Female genital mutilation (FGM


Junk food cravings linked to lack of sleep, study suggests

Researchers say tired people are likely to view unhealthy snacks more favourablyHaving even one night without sleep leads people to view junk food more favourably, research suggests.Scientists attribute the effect to the way food rewards are processed by the brain. Previous studies have found that a lack of shuteye is linked to expanding waistlines, with some suggesting disrupted sleep might affect hormone levels, resulting in changes in how hungry or full people feel. Continue reading...
Tags: Health, Food, Science, Sleep, Obesity, Life and style, Society, World news, Health & wellbeing, Fast Food


What happens to your life after you accidentally kill someone?

I’m an accidental killer – and thousands of Americans share this secret shame. How can you recover from the trauma of accidentally killing someone?“There’s never a time, even when I’m laughing at a party, when I’m not thinking about it,” Pam Uhr says.It was a hot summer day a few weeks before the end of her junior year of high school. Uhr and her friends had spent the afternoon at a swimming hole near their central Texas town. She was driving home on a country road, two friends as passengers, wh...
Tags: Psychology, Texas, Science, Medicine, Religion, Judaism, Health & wellbeing, Christianity, Evangelical Christianity, Anglicanism, Uhr, Pam Uhr


UK pledges £50m 'to end female genital mutilation by 2030'

Money will go to grassroots programmes across Africa in bid to protect millions of girls currently at risk of being cutThe UK government is to invest £50m in an attempt to end female genital mutilation by 2030, claiming it is the biggest single investment to tackle the issue by an international donor.The money, announced on Friday, will go to grassroots programmes working to stop the practice across Africa, where prevalence is highest. Penny Mordaunt, international development secretary, said th...
Tags: Health, UK, Africa, Women, Society, Health & wellbeing, Global development, Fgm, Penny Mordaunt, Department for International Development (DfID, Female genital mutilation (FGM



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