Sunday, November 17, 2019

Running can help you live longer. And more isn’t always better

Here we go again.  As usual, the researchers did not ask WHY people were in their various categories. In particular, who were the non-runners?  Many were probably not very well, and that would swing the overall averages for their category  -- so all we have here is a finding that people who were not very well had shorter lives -- how astounding is that?

All these correlational studies fall because of the basic statistical dictum that correlation is not causation.  So they will never deliver watertight conclusions. But that is not a counsel of despair.  By controlling for likely confounders (such as health, above) they can still deliver persuasive evidence on their question

But very few researchers make much of an attempt at controls. Income and social class are the big lacunae.  Both are of course politically sensitive so that is part of the reason for the gap but I think another one is laziness.  Once they have done enough to get into the journals they think they have done enough

But it is not enough.  Every study of the subject that I have ever seen shows poverty to be a big influence on health. So even in the present study that could be at work.  Jogging and other running exercise seem to be a mainly a middle class activity.  So the researchers below were probably contrasting poorer people with middle class people.  So all they showed was nothing more that what we have always known -- that the poor die younger.  Big deal!

Education is a reasonably easy datum to get and that is often controlled for and presented as evidence of demographic control -- but that is a very feeble attempt.  As a measure of social class, for instance, it overlooks the big role of subjective class

It is true that getting income and social class data is the hardest part of survey research.  But I nearly always got that in my research career so it just depends on how much you are invested in your research.  I really wanted to find out what is going on rather than just producing something that was "publishable".  And I got lots published anyway.

One major reason americans don’t get enough exercise is they feel they don’t have enough time. It can be difficult to squeeze in the 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week that federal guidelines recommend; only about half of Americans do, according to the most recent numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But new research suggests people may be able to get life-lengthening benefits by running for far less time.

In a new analysis of 14 studies, researchers tracked deaths among more than 232,000 people from the U.S.,

Denmark, the U.K. and China over at least five years, and compared the findings with people’s self-reports about how much they ran. People who said they ran any amount were less likely to die during the follow-up than those who didn’t run at all. Runners were 27% less likely to die for any reason, compared with nonrunners, and had a 30% and 23% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and cancer, respectively. This was true even for those who didn’t log a great deal of time. The analysis grouped people into clusters, with 50 minutes or less per week representing the group that ran the least—but still ran.

“Regardless of how much you run, you can expect such benefits,” says Zeljko Pedisic, associate professor at the Institute for Health and Sport at Victoria University in Australia, and one of the authors of the new analysis published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine ("Is running associated with a lower risk of all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer mortality, and is the more the better? A systematic review and meta-analysis")

The analysis is The latest to illustrate the benefits of running on the human body. “It’s what we evolved to do,” says Daniel Lieberman, a professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University (who was not involved in the new research). People may no longer chase down prey for their next meal, but running is still helping us survive: as leisure-time exercise, it keeps us healthy. “One of the best ways to avoid having to see a doctor,” Lieberman says, “is to stay physically active.”

The physical demands of running “affect just about every system of the body” in a beneficial way, Lieberman says. Take the cardiovascular system. Running forces it to adapt by “generating more capacity,” he says. “You grow more capillaries and small arteries, and that helps lower your blood pressure.” (High blood pressure is a major cause of health problems and death.) Running is good at guarding against cancer partly because it uses up blood sugar, starving the cancer cells that rely on it for fuel. And it protects you in other ways not necessarily measured in the latest research: by decreasing inflammation, for example, which is at the root of many diseases, and stimulating the production of a protein that improves brain health, Lieberman says. “Vigorous physical activity has been shown to be by far—with no close second—the best way to prevent Alzheimer’s,” he notes.

The good news for people who want the maximum longevity benefits—while spending the least amount of time slapping one foot in front of the other—is that running more than 50 minutes per week wasn’t linked to additional protections against dying. Neither were how often people ran and the pace they kept. As long as you’re running, more isn’t always better, especially given that the risk of injury increases with repetition.


Want Children? Pick Mr Good Enough! Fertility experts warn when it comes to having children women should stop hanging on for Mr Right

When it comes to having children, a fertility expert says women should stop looking for Mr Right and settle for ‘Mr Good Enough’.

Those who hang on too long, waiting for the ideal father, may run out of time to have a baby, according to consultant gynaecologist Dr Meenakshi Choudhary.

Dr Choudhary spoke after presenting a talk on IVF at the Ovarian Club’s annual meeting in Paris.

She said women should stop looking for ‘fairytale’ relationships and be aware of their biological clocks.

Her comments came as the number of women freezing their eggs has doubled since 2013, with more than 1,300 procedures carried out in 2016.

British experts reported last year that women often did so to avoid ‘panic parenting’ and having a baby just to avoid running out of time.

Dr Choudhary, of Newcastle Fertility Centre, said: ‘It is a myth that women leave it later to have a child until they have climbed the career ladder, with studies showing it is much more likely to be because they have not met Mr Right.

‘I would advise women not to wait for Mr Right but to go for Mr Good Enough if they want to have children.’

She is studying how the amount and quality of women’s eggs changes as they age, and needs women aged up to 44 to donate eggs.


Anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats overtake the Social Democrats to become the country's most popular party for the first time, new opinion poll reveals

Anti-immigrant party the Sweden Democrats have become the country's most popular party for the first time, a poll released today revealed.

The far-right group overtook the Social Democrats, nine years after winning its first seats in parliament.

A new opinion poll showed the Sweden Democrats would get 24.2 per cent of the votes if an election was held now.

But the Social Democrats would get 22.2 per cent, the lowest ever polled by Swedish pollsters Demoskop.

This newest survey was published in the the Swedish daily newspaper, Aftonbladet.

The Social Democrats, who are in a coalition government along with junior party The Greens, have been criticised in recent months for failing to deal with a gang-related crime wave.

In the 2018 election the Sweden Democrats won 17.5 per cent of the vote, trailing the Social Democrats on 28.3 per cent and the Moderates on 19.8 per cent.

Jimmie Akesson, leader of the Sweden Democrats, attributed the new figures to crime and immigration.

He told Aftonbladet today: 'I'm not surprised. I've long argued we would be the biggest party sooner or later.

'We've been talking constructively over gang criminality, escalating insecurity, and a migration policy that doesn't work for so many years.'

Lena Radstrom Baastad, party secretary for the Social Democrats, blamed their dip in popularity on the compromises the party made to form a coalition in January.

She said: 'It's a damned tough situation right now, so I'm not surprised when you consider what we've got against us, with gang murders, shootings and explosions. It's us, as a the ruling party, who has to pay the price.'

Following a general election in September 2018, the Social Democrats formed a coalition with The Greens and formed a policy agreement with the centre-right parties, the Liberals and the Centre Party.

Right-wing parties The Moderates, Sweden Democrats and Christian Democrats now have a combined 49.4 per cent of the vote, putting them well ahead of the left-liberal bloc of Social Democrats, Green Party, Centre Party and Liberal Party.


Australia: The Queensland government is to legislate every tenant's dream

And guess who will be most badly affected by that?  Tenants.  Like most do-gooder legislation, it will hurt most those it tries to help.

Why do landlords impose restrictions that tenants dislike?  They have to in order to remain in business.  I am a very experienced landlord (now ex) so let me give you a crystal clear example of why the present restrictions are in place

Pets:  Most landlords do not allow them.  Why?  Because pets shit and piss and even well behaved ones will occasionally do it on the landlord's carpet, which will then stink. 

So what happens when the pet owners move out?  The landlord has to try to re-let a place that stinks of pet excreta.  Very few people will move into such a place.  Smell-removing treatments achieve little so the ladlord has to rip up and replace the carpet -- costing thousand of dollars, far more than can ever be covered by a bond.  The landlord would have been better off never to let the pet owners into his place

And guess what?  The new legislation will tell landlords that they MUST allow pets

So what would every rational landlord do in that case?  Stop renting the property out. Sell it instead.  And the supply of rental accomodation will steadily dry up from that point on.

So the only way poor people will in future be able to get accomodation will be to move into accomodation that is priced to cover the risks -- at a much higher rent.  So people who once were able to afford their own house or apartment will have to share -- and thus experience a much more crowded and trying accomodation experience.

Well done, do-gooders!  An editorial from the "Courier Mail" below:

PROPOSED sweeping changes to tenancy laws in Queensland should be given close scrutiny to ensure the right balance is struck between the rights of renters and landlords. Under plans revealed in today's The Courier-Mail, tenants would get greater rights to keep pets and make changes to rental properties to make them safer or more homely.

In what are the most extensive changes to residential tenancies laws in four decades, renters would be able to improve the safety of their home — such as by installing grab rails in bathrooms, furniture anchors, child safety gates and dead locks — without seeking permission from the owner.

Tenants would also be able to make changes that make the accommodation more inviting or energy efficient such as by hanging pictures or using water-saving taps — after seeking approval from the owner. In a dramatic boost to the rights of tenants, this permission would be granted automatically if the owner does not respid within seven days.

As part of the changes, it would also be more difficult for owners to refuse a pet, but renters would also be forced to pay a pet bond to cover costs of potential damage.

These measures, to be announced today, will be introduced in two phases, the first of which will deal with safety measures, accessibility and rights for renters to break a lease to escape domestic violence.

It's encouraging that these wide-ranging reforms will be introduced in phases. But we urge close analysis of the changes to guard against unintended consequences. It may be laudable to improve the rights for tenants, who make up more than one-third of all Queensland households, but if these changes are rushed or not thought through properly, they could end up harming both owners and renters.

The State Government already concedes that rents could rise by between $5 to $18 a week as a result of the changes. The new laws will also require better communication between real estate agents, landlords and tenants.

Allowing tenants to alter the property if they make a request and do not get a response within seven days seems to be a short notice period, particularly if the owner is away or the property manager fails to pass on the message promptly.

And while safety improvements seem reasonable, is it fair to allow tenants to alter a property without at least consulting the owner? Housing Minister Mick de Brenni says the changes will bring in minimum standards inspired by Lyn and Ken Diefenbach, who lobbied for changes after their granddaughter Bella died in an accident involving a rotten floorboard in a rented property.

Its clear that landlords should ensure their property is safe. Tenants have a right to feel secure and comfortable in the homes they pay to rent. But some of these proposals appear to go much further than improving safety and verge on aesthetic and lifestyle changes, which should only be allowed with great care. What one tenant thinks is a positive change to a property may not be what the owner thinks.

If these changes go too far, they could damage the value of owners' investments, push up rents and even harm property prices just as the housing market appears to be improving.

From the Brisbane "Sunday Mail" of 16/11/2019


Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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