This Is Why You Cross Your Legs |The Republican News

Ari Notis
a person sitting in a chair talking on the phone              © Provided by Best Life

For many, sitting cross-legged is a second-nature posture. But a look at regions around the world—and even our own history—reveals that nurture, not nature, is responsible.

If you’re from a western culture, there’s a good chance that, upon sitting, you cross your legs in some way or another. Maybe you’re the type to instinctively overlap them at your feet. Or maybe you’re a diehard yogi, and regularly sit Sukhasana (colloquially, “criss-cross applesauce”). Or maybe you’re a devout figure-four (ankle rested on the opposite knee) or European-style (knee on top of and flush against the opposite knee) sitter—the two most common postures. There’s also a good chance that you haven’t given a single thought as to why you sit the way you do.

“Your body is designed to move,” says posture expert Dr Steven Weiniger, author of Stand Taller Live Longer: An Anti-Aging Strategy. “When you cross your legs, you’re trying to improve the mechanics of the lower back and take the strain off.” Put another way: you’re trying to mitigate discomfort in all its forms. Weiniger breaks discomfort into two broad categories, low-grade (your leg’s asleep) and high-grade (“Oh, my god, I’m in agony!”). Shifting into a cross-legged position is your mind subconsciously preventing your body from ending up in high-grade discomfort.

But more than just in the name of boosting comfort, crossing your legs is a learned behavior—particularly regarding which side you do it. As a study in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science revealed, people who cross their right leg over their left more than double those who cross the other way around. “That’s the way they are, and that’s the way their body has moulded,” says Weiniger. “It’s not just the hips—its the whole body muscle system. Think of a shirt that you twisted a bit, and how that now has crease lines on it. It’s doing the same thing but on multiple layers of muscles.”

At the same time, consciously crossing your legs can be a total a power move. Just look at the Oval Office. You’ll find extensive documentation of U.S. presidents—including John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George Bush Sr. and Jr., Bill Clinton, Barack Obama—sitting European-style, whether during interviews, meetings, or post-service conferences. In a certain way, this makes sense: crossing your legs takes up more space than sitting regularly—and taking up more space is seen as dominant. “If you run into a coyote or-or something like that—in the woods,” says Weiniger, “in general you want to make yourself look bigger, not smaller,” to project dominance.

But the question remains: Should we all be crossing our legs so much?

According to research in Blood Pressure Monitoring, regularly assuming a crossed-leg position—be it figure-four, European-style, or any variation—can cause your BP levels to spike by more than 6 percent. It’s also horrible for your posture; crossing your legs puts undue pressure on your peroneal nerve, or the part of your nervous system responsible for sensation from the knees down, and can also stretch out your piriformis, or the muscle that helps your hips rotate. (Making matters worse: the piriformis muscle, says Weiniger, is right above the sciatic nerve, and when that gets pinched or compromised in any way, serious high-grade discomfort is imminent.) Finally, per Johns Hopkins Medicine, keeping your legs crossed while sitting can purportedly cause varicose, or “spider,” veins (though some experts believe that it’s the act of sitting itself, crossed-legs or not, that causes the condition).

For his part, Weiniger recommends simply being mindful of how much time you spend sitting cross-legged. “It’s easy for someone like to me says, ‘Hey, every X amount of time, you need to move,’” says Weiniger. “But everybody’s body is different.” In other words, if you set a timer to uncross your legs every ten minutes, but you’re feeling low-grade discomfort at the eight-minute mark, feel free to shift your legs.

Or consider the standing desk. Trust me: it’ll work wonders on your back—and help you burn nearly 100 calories per day.   (Source: Life)

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‘Sitting All Day Shrinks The Brain, Increases Chances Of Alzheimers’ |RN

By Appolonia Adeyemi


This photo shows a cross-section of the human brain viewed here is the right half of the brain. Contact: Amy Bernard, Ph.D., Director of Structured Science, Allen Institute for Brain Science +1 (206) 548-7007

Scientists have said that sitting on the desk all day or on the sofa watching television could negatively impact the brain of the affected person. According to a new study, published in ‘PLOS ONE,’ sitting for too long could even boost the risk of dementia. Dementia is a broad category of brain diseases that cause a longterm and often gradual decrease in the ability to think and remember, that is great enough to affect a person’s daily functioning.

Other common symptoms include emotional problems, difficulties with language, and a decrease in motivation. The new research, involving 35 participants, found those with sedentary lifestyles, including sitting down all day, had less grey matter in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) – even if they went for regular brisk walks, cycle rides or jogs. The medial temporal lobe consists of structures that are vital for declarative or long-term memory.

A decline in this area had repeatedly been shown to be an early warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease in middle-aged and elderly patients. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) also referred to simply as Alzheimer’s, is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and worsens over time. Alzheimer’s is the cause of 60 percent to 70 percent of cases of dementia.

The new researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, had discovered those with a sedentary lifestyle had a smaller brain region important in forming memories. The ‘mailonline’ reported that an array of evidence in recent years had already linked sitting for too long to heart disease, diabetes, several forms of cancer and an early death. Researchers quizzed the volunteers, who were aged between 45 and 75, about their levels of exercise. Each person underwent a high-resolution MRI scan, which provides a detailed look at the MTL, an area involved in the formation of new memories.              (New Telegraph)

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Some Health Effects Of Wearing Tight Clothing |The Republican News

                                             Dr Sylvester Ikhisemojie

The habit of wearing tight clothing is often seen as fashionable to the extent that the trend has begun to appear even in some of our traditional outfits. The appearance is particularly good when the clothing items are close-fitting; that is not necessarily the case when there is tightness built into those clothes. When one wears tight clothes, the blood circulation is often compromised and may even be damaged to the extent that certain symptoms are found to develop. When you wear a shirt that has a tight collar, for example, the flow of blood to the head and brain could be impeded so profoundly that headaches develop. Other features that a person may experience as a result of such dressing include blurring of the vision, dizziness and even blackouts. Sometimes, a tingling sensation in the head may also be experienced. Apart from reducing the blood supply to the skin and other structures, a tight clothing item can cause bruising of the skin in such a way that bacteria are able to breach that protective layer of tissue and cause infections.

Tight clothes, especially jeans, have been known to exert undue pressure on certain bony prominences in the lower limbs causing skin bruises, skin pain and numbness. The diminished sensation can be so severe that someone who suffers from it may be unable to move. This was the case of a young woman in a dramatic case reported in Australia when she helped someone move into their residence and spent the greater part of the day squatting as she helped to clear out cupboards and rearrange others. After some hours, she was unable to feel any sensation in the legs as they both swelled within the tight jeans she wore. The swelling was such that it compressed the adjacent nerves and rendered the woman unable to move. She fell down when her legs refused to obey instructions from her brain and were not discovered for several hours. She spent four days in the hospital taking drips before sensation gradually returned to those legs. This case triggered the launching of the awareness campaign in many countries about the dangers of such dressing.

But then, she was lucky. The legs, especially the feet, could easily have been lost and an amputation or a double amputation would have had to be the result. This can be the tragic end when a compartment syndrome develops in the affected limb. What this means is that there is a build-up of pressure within the soft tissues of the legs involving the tissue planes between the muscles, tendons and ligaments which are then compressed against the rather harder bones. The soft tissues suffer a catastrophic stoppage of their blood supply as the rising tension within those structures cuts off their blood supply. Without emergency surgical relief, gangrene and even death could be the result. Those women who love to wear their skinny jeans and men too who wear similar clothing need to be aware of these dangers. For men, there is the added risk of suffering from serious reproductive challenges as a result of this habit.

Men are also advised to be particularly careful about wearing tight jeans because the pressure the tight apparel exerts on the genitals could provoke a torsion of the testis. Tight jeans are already implicated in causing pain in the testis. The potential to cause testicular torsion takes the dangers to an entirely fresh level. A testis that has twisted will have its blood supply suddenly cut off. When that happens, the testis dies a slow death if this obstruction to normal blood flow is not reversed by an emergency operation within six hours. A recent encounter with a 14-year-old boy in similar straits whose father was unable to pay for the required surgery brought this risk forcefully home. At such a tender age, he is left to face the rest of his life with only one testis. And it could yet get worse because the dead testis which remains in place might induce the healthy one to destroy itself. This sequence of events could have been brought about by the fact that the tight trousers force the testes to assume an abnormal position that then predisposes them more readily to twist.

In as many as one-third of all women, varicose veins can be found. The wearing of tight clothes is closely associated with the aggravation of varicose veins. They become larger and more tortuous and are sure to worsen with long periods of either standing or sitting still as in long journeys by any mode of transport. This complication is also likely to get worse among women who use oral contraceptives. To be sure, it is not tight jeans or trousers alone that are problematic; wearing tight shoes can cause similar problems to the relevant part of the body. In the feet, they cause bunions which are often painful. They also cause a disfiguring condition of the toes called hallux valgus in which the big toe assumes a position that makes it seem almost like it is opposed to the other toes; it bends hideously towards the others and only a corrective operation can repair some of the worst cases.

The other problem commonly associated with tight clothing is that their close contact with the skin makes one sweat more. Such sweating ultimately proves to be a rich medium for bacteria to thrive in and grow to levels where they are able to damage the skin and cause a host of skin infections. That is part of the explanation for the presence of these infections in the private parts, under the breasts and in the armpits. Those who market the purchase of tight clothing as a strategy for weight loss propagate falsehood and are downright fraudulent in their claims. The reason is simple; the weight that is lost is mainly due to increased sweating. Therefore, only water is lost and can thus be regained within half an hour once the person starts to drink the water in earnest.

Finally, women who wear girdles need to beware. These mean clothes bind down the abdomen and compress the pelvic region. When you are outdoors, it becomes a real issue to pass urine because they are relatively easy to wear but very difficult to remove, particularly when pressed. Sometimes, it may mean the difference between staying dry and urinating on oneself during an emergency situation. The remedy to this is to limit fluid intake when outdoors.   (Punch)

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Medical Experts Explain Diets That Boost Men’s Fertility |The Republican News


Two medical experts in Lagos on Thursday advised men who are trying to impregnate their wives to eat healthy as this may help increase fertility chances.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria in separate interviews that what goes into the stomachs of many men could help their wives conceive faster.

A Diet Consultant at Solomon Conception, Lagos, Mr John Adigwe, said research showed that only women are cautious of food that could boost their fertility and men should also take such precautions.

“These days there are many men out there struggling to impregnate their wives, not knowing that the food they eat, most times, has a direct impact on the effectiveness of their sperm.

“Research shows that eating a poor diet and regular intake of alcohol, for instance, can lower the quality and quantity of sperm and make conception more difficult.

“Since infertility is nearly as much as a man’s issue as a woman’s, about a third of fertility problems can be traced to men too.

“Men often did not think their own habits could influence the chances of conception and were reluctant to seek medical advice when struggling with infertility.

“Men usually rely on women to seek medical advice but they don’t know that they both need it.

“Men’s diet should be a bit as balanced, varied, and nutritious as their partner’s, a healthy diet including plenty of fish, vegetables, fruits and whole grains gives more active and healthy sperm.

“They should also consume fibre-rich foods, healthy monounsaturated fats, and moderate amounts of lean protein.

“Eat food that is rich in zinc, omega 3 and fatty acids as they increase testosterone, sperm counts and improve sexual organ function.

“Citrus fruits, tomatoes, and berries which are rich in  Vitamin C boost sperm quality.

“Carrots, red pepper, apricots are rich in Vitamin A and they keep sperm from sluggishness,” he said.

Also, a Sex therapist, Dr Aminu Kazeem, of Energy for Sex Clinic, Lagos, advised anyone trying to start a family to adopt a healthy lifestyle in the hope of increasing the chances of success.

“Nutritious foods, healthy diets, exercises can help boost fertility.”

He also advised them to visit a gynaecologist for proper conception check.


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How Possible Is It To Keep Your Friends When You’re In A New Relationship? |RN

Laura Hampson
a woman sitting at a table with a cake              © Provided by Evening Standard Limited
We all know the drill. Your friend starts seeing someone new and that all-consuming infatuation takes hold of them and before you know it, it’s goodbye brunch dates, hello unread WhatsApp messages.
When you enter into a new relationship, there is so much excitement to see the other person and you love nothing more than spending time together – which means you can often neglect your friendships without realising.Research has shown that when you enter a new relationship you can lose up to three close friends as fitting in time for work, friends, family and a partner can be overwhelming.Yet, this doesn’t always have to be the case.

Two woman having pizza together          © Provided by Shutterstock Two woman having pizza together

“I think we need to learn how to actively prioritise friendship in our lives,” Kate Leaver, author of The Friendship Cure, told the Standard. “We are legally bound to our spouse and genetically obliged to love our family, so friendship is theoretically more tenuous and therefore needs better protection.

“We, as a society, put romantic love above all other forms – we can blame Hugh Grant movies, in part, for that – and we just need to reorganise our hierarchy of love so that friendship is vitally and obviously important to us.”

Leaver advised if you want to avoid falling into the all-consuming relationship trap, you must actively prioritise your friends.

She added: “To stop losing friends when you get into a relationship, you must deliberately, consciously and proactively decide to keep the friendship in your life, in a prominent position.

               © provided by Shutterstock

“So fewer ‘we need to catch up’ texts – more actual catch ups. I know it’s hard to keep tiny humans alive, run a career, care for your parents and maintain a relationship, but it’s so desperately important to make time for friendship, too.”

Part of the reason a lot of relationships break down is due to how much we expect from our romantic partners – so Leaver suggested relying on multiple people for emotional needs instead of just one.

She continued: “We also need to get more realistic about what our partners can give us. Part of the reason so many relationships break down is that we are expecting too much from one human being.

a woman sitting at a table with a cake

“If we relied on multiple people for our emotional needs, we’d be safer and better protected by heartache. We often underestimate friendship and mistake it for a relationship defined by fun – and it is fun! – but it is also strategically important for our mental and even physical wellbeing.”     (Evening Standard)

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Children Need Non-stressed Adult, More Than Food For Proper Development |RN

In Robert Munsch’s Murmel, Murmel, Murmel, Robin finds a baby in her sandbox. Declaring she is too young to take care of a baby, she searches for an adult. Her skills, knowledge, and attitude prove five-year-old Robin is school ready. School readiness is different from academic readiness. To succeed academically (and in life), children need…

via Letter of the Day: Children need non-stressed adults — Saskatoon StarPhoenix

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Measles Has Returned To Europe, “That Is Unacceptable Tragedy” |The Republican News

Akshat Rathi
                     © Provided by Quartz 

The number of measles cases has rebounded in Europe in 2017, after setting a record low in 2016. The continent recorded some 21,000 cases last year, according to the World Health Organization, which is nearly four times as many cases as in the year before that.

The surge in cases comes as a result of measles outbreaks recorded in 15 out of 53 countries in the region. The countries worst affected were Romania, Italy, and Ukraine, which each recorded about 5,000 cases. The WHO puts the cause down to a decline in routine immunization, low vaccination rates in marginalized groups, interruption in vaccine supplies, or lack of adequate disease surveillance.

“[This is] a tragedy we simply cannot accept,” says Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO regional director for Europe.

And Jakab’s right. As a group of mostly rich and highly educated countries, Europe can and should be able to tackle preventable diseases like measles. The solution to prevention is a single MMR vaccine that provides immunization against three deadly diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella.

In 2017, for instance, the WHO declared that the UK had eliminated measles. To be sure, “elimination” in this context doesn’t mean the UK didn’t have a single case, but that the number of cases was so low—only 282 cases—that the disease was confined to small groups and did not spread widely. To achieve the feat, UK’s national health service (NHS) recommends that the level of immunization in the population should be at least 90% to prevent the spread of measles and 95% to prevent the spread of mumps and rubella.

                               © Getty

This level of immunization could eliminate the disease because of the concept of herd immunity. Here’s how Marcel Salathe, a professor of biology at Pennsylvania State University, explains it:

The basic idea is that a group (the “herd”) can avoid exposure to a disease by ensuring that enough people are immune so that no sustained chains of transmission can be established. This protects an entire population, especially those who are too young or too sick to be vaccinated.

Unlike the NHS, however, Salathe argues that in practice vaccination rates need to be much higher. That’s because the non-immunized population is not evenly spread out. So even though the average vaccination rate may be 95%, there may be some pockets where the rate may be lower than 80% and that’s low enough for the disease to spread.

Salathe says we should aim for 100% vaccine coverage to stop the spread of preventable diseases. In other words, if you’re thinking whether or not to get a vaccine, always lean towards getting it.  (The Quartz)

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