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Fidget More, Live Longer, a New Study Finds

Sitting on our butts all day isn't doing us any favors. A seated existence has been tied to a slower metabolism, cholesterol and weight gain, and higher rates of type 2 diabetesheart disease, and cancer. Luckily, even the tiniest movements will make a difference: sedentary people who fidget live longer than those who don’t, according to the UK Women’s Cohort Study.

The study analyzed data from 12,788 British women, who answered survey questions about how long they sat down each day, how much they fidgeted, their drinking and smoking habits, and their diets. Ten to twelve years later, researchers followed up to find out how these women were doing.

The results: A sedentary lifestyle was associated with a higher risk of mortality—except in fidgety women. Respondents who sat all day but reported moderate to high levels of fidgeting seemed impervious to the risk affecting their non-fidgeting peers.

Though our culture has very little tolerance for fidgeting, co-lead author Janet Cade, of Leeds University, thinks that may change. In a press release on the study, she said, “While further research is needed, the findings raise questions about whether the negative associations with fidgeting, such as rudeness or lack of concentration, should persist if such simple movements are beneficial for our health.”

With Netflix, office jobs, and social media, it’s easier than ever to forget to stand up. Fortunately, free apps like TimeOut make it easy to remember. TimeOut blacks out the user’s screen for 15 seconds every 10 minutes, and for 10 minutes once an hour, forcing short breaks.

You’ve made it to the end of the article. Time to stand up!

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Medicine
Why Haven't We Cured Cancer Yet?
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Walkathons, fundraisers, and ribbon-shaped bumper stickers raise research dollars and boost spirits, but cancer—the dreaded disease that affects more than 14 million people and their families at any given time—still remains bereft of a cure.

Why? For starters, cancer isn't just one disease—it's more than 100 of them, with different causes. This makes it impossible to treat each one using a one-size-fits-all method. Secondly, scientists use lab-grown cell lines cultivated from human tumors to develop cancer therapies. Living masses are far more complex, so potential treatments that show promise in lab experiments often don't work on cancer patients. As for the tumors themselves, they're prone to tiny genetic mutations, so just one growth might contain multiple types of cancer cells, and even unique sub-clones of tumors. These distinct entities might not respond the same way, or at all, to the same drug.

These are just a few of the challenges that cancer researchers face—but the good news is that they're working to beat all of them, as this TED-Ed video explains below.

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Health
Skipping Breakfast Could Be Bad for Your Heart
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There are mountains of evidence supporting the claim that breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Getting something in your stomach in the first hours of the morning can regulate your glucose levels, improve your cognition, and keep your hunger in check. Now new research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology points to another reason not to wait until lunchtime to break last night’s fast. As TIME reports, people who skip breakfast are at an increased risk for atherosclerosis, a disease caused by plaque buildup in the arteries.

Researchers surveyed over 4000 men and women between the ages of 40 and 54 living in Spain. After looking at the dietary habits of each participant, they broke them into three groups: people who consumed more than 20 percent of their daily calories in the morning; those who got 5 to 20 percent; and those who ate less than 5 percent.

The subjects who ate very little in the a.m. hours or skipped breakfast all together were 2.5 more likely to have generalized atherosclerosis. This meant that plaque was starting to collect on the walls of their arteries, hardening and narrowing them and increasing the risk for heart attack or stroke. People who fell into the 5 to 20 percent calorie category were also more likely to show early signs of the disease, while those who ate the most calories in the morning were the healthiest.

These results aren’t entirely surprising. Previous studies have shown a connection between skipping breakfast and health problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and unwanted weight gain. A possible explanation for this trend could be that waiting several hours after waking up to eat your first meal of the day could trigger hormonal imbalances. The time between getting into and out of bed is the longest most of us go without eating, and our bodies expect us to consume some calories to help kickstart our energy for the day (drinking straight coffee doesn’t cut it). Another theory is that people who don’t eat in the morning are so hungry by the time lunch rolls around that they overcompensate for those missing calories, which is why skipping breakfast doesn’t make sense as a diet strategy.

But of course there are many breakfast skippers who aren’t motivated by health reasons either way: They just don’t think they have the time or energy to feed themselves in the morning before walking out the door. If this describes you, here are some simple, protein-packed meals you can prepare the night before.

[h/t TIME]

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