Spare Change: The Results Show

After much fanfare and well over 300 guesses, I brought my change jar in for counting on Saturday. The person who's closest without going over wins a mental_floss t-shirt; second place wins free admission to our Law School in a Box.

This is all very exciting.

As a spill would have been disastrous, I took no chances on the way to Commerce Bank.

commerce2.jpg

We arrived safely. "The change machine is out of order," a fellow customer told me on my way in. "Just kidding!" I did not laugh, as the prospect of counting these coins myself flashed before my eyes.

pennyarcade2.jpg
Moments before the official counting, I took my first and only picture inside the bank. The camera seemed to rattle the staff, which isn't necessarily crazy. This bank was robbed earlier this year. A strange man documenting his transaction (me) probably raised a red flag.

After approximately four minutes of dumping change into the Penny Arcade, my lovely assistant/wife hit the "End" button.

We learned the winning bid was much higher than we expected: $263.79.

That means the winning bidder, with a Kreskin-like bid of $263.17, is Dave R! Second place goes to Janet, who bid $257.37.

The oh-so-close award goes to Maeve, with a bid of $264.34. Had Starbucks not recently raised their prices by a few pennies, victory would have been yours. That's the kind of thing that would drive me crazy, so I'll use some of my change windfall to buy Maeve a t-shirt. Just email me to let me know which one, your size, and where I should send it.

One more thing. Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
quiz
One-Syllable Presidents
iStock
iStock
nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Health
Feeling Down? Lifting Weights Can Lift Your Mood, Too
iStock
iStock

There’s plenty of research that suggests that exercise can be an effective treatment for depression. In some cases of depression, in fact—particularly less-severe ones—scientists have found that exercise can be as effective as antidepressants, which don’t work for everyone and can come with some annoying side effects. Previous studies have largely concentrated on aerobic exercise, like running, but new research shows that weight lifting can be a useful depression treatment, too.

The study in JAMA Psychiatry, led by sports scientists at the University of Limerick in Ireland, examined the results of 33 previous clinical trials that analyzed a total of 1877 participants. It found that resistance training—lifting weights, using resistance bands, doing push ups, and any other exercises targeted at strengthening muscles rather than increasing heart rate—significantly reduced symptoms of depression.

This held true regardless of how healthy people were overall, how much of the exercises they were assigned to do, or how much stronger they got as a result. While the effect wasn’t as strong in blinded trials—where the assessors don’t know who is in the control group and who isn’t, as is the case in higher-quality studies—it was still notable. According to first author Brett Gordon, these trials showed a medium effect, while others showed a large effect, but both were statistically significant.

The studies in the paper all looked at the effects of these training regimes on people with mild to moderate depression, and the results might not translate to people with severe depression. Unfortunately, many of the studies analyzed didn’t include information on whether or not the patients were taking antidepressants, so the researchers weren’t able to determine what role medications might play in this. However, Gordon tells Mental Floss in an email that “the available evidence supports that [resistance training] may be an effective alternative and/or adjuvant therapy for depressive symptoms that could be prescribed on its own and/or in conjunction with other depression treatments,” like therapy or medication.

There haven’t been a lot of studies yet comparing whether aerobic exercise or resistance training might be better at alleviating depressive symptoms, and future research might tackle that question. Even if one does turn out to be better than the other, though, it seems that just getting to the gym can make a big difference.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios