Posts Tagged ‘Health’

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World Health Organization‘s Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI) chooses today’s World No Tobacco Day’s theme: “TOBACCO HEALTH WARNINGS“. It  will take place on the 31th of May 2009.

With the brochure title “SHOWING THE TRUTH, SAVING LIVES: THE CASE FOR PICTORIAL HEALTH WARNINGS” (pdf), WHO strives to share public awareness among people of the serious health risks of tobacco use, and that the tobacco packaging speaks for it self and its deadly comprising within.

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When I read an article from PsyBlog, a particular link caught my attention, I was furious, and that link (Read Here) caught me off guard since I am an avid fan and user of Facebook and other Social Networks such as Friendster, Twitter, MySpace and more. Continuous use of these social networks is said to increase risk of health problems, but the question is how?

How?

  • Social networking sites such as Facebook could raise your risk of serious health problems by reducing levels of face-to-face contact, a doctor claims.
  • Emailing people rather than meeting up with them may have wide-ranging biological effects, said psychologist Dr Aric Sigman.
  • Increased isolation could alter the way genes work and upset immune responses, hormone levels and the function of arteries. It could also impair mental performance.
  • This could increase the risk of problems as serious as cancer, strokes, heart disease and dementia, Dr Sigman says in Biologist, the journal of the Institute of Biology.
  • Social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook allow people to keep in touch with friends over the web.
  • But even though they are designed to bring people together, Dr Sigman said they were actually playing a significant role in people becoming more isolated.
  • Interacting ‘in person’ had effects on the body not seen when writing emails, Dr Sigman claimed. Levels of hormones such as the ‘cuddle chemical’ oxytocin, which promotes bonding, altered according to whether people were in close contact or not.
  • Some genes, including ones involved with the immune system and responses to stress, acted differently according to how much social interaction a person had with others.

Loneliness?

In Sigman’s paper (PDF) he defined loneliness as:

being cited as causing low-grade peripheral inflammation which, in turn, is linked to inflammatory diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease,
and autoimmune disorders (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, lupus).

Lack of social connection or loneliness is also associated with increased risk of
cardiovascular disease. The neuropeptide oxytocin is increasingly considered the
‘hormone of affiliation’, released in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid in response to everyday aspects of human interaction such as somatosensory stimulation, hugging, touch, warm temperature – and it is also involved in feelings of trust and generosity.

So my piece of advice guys is to connect with people on face-to-face bases than just be well connected over the internet, as we all know internet use have psychological downsides, than just day-to-day benefits.

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