Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Yoga 'may improve lower back pain'

Thursday Jan 12 2017

"Yoga can help relieve the agony of back pain, a major review of medical evidence found," the Daily Mail reports. The review concluded there is evidence yoga may help improve function and relieve pain associated with chronic lower back pain…

Weekend-only workouts 'still give an important health boost'

Tuesday Jan 10 2017

"Weekend warriors, take a victory lap. People who pack their workouts into one or two sessions a week lower their risk of dying over roughly the next decade nearly as much as people who exercise more often," the Mail Online reports…

People who live near busy roads have higher dementia rates

Thursday Jan 5 2017

"People who live near major roads have higher rates of dementia," BBC News reports. A Canadian study found that people who lived within 50 metres of a busy road were 7% more likely to develop dementia than people who live at least 300 metres away…

Does discovery of 'severe PMS genes' offer hope of a cure?

Wednesday Jan 4 2017

"Women who suffer from severe mood swings before their period have a different genetic make-up," The Sun reports. New research has found a link between a gene complex called ESC/E(Z) and severe symptoms of premenstrual...

Pokémon no-go: game's exercise effects short-lived in most players

Wednesday Dec 14 2016

"Pokémon GO doesn't help people to stay fit and healthy," the Mail Online reports. A survey of US players of the popular augmented reality game found the average player's daily step rate fell back to pre-game levels after six weeks…

Moderate exercise 'better for sperm' than high intensity exercise

Wednesday Dec 7 2016

"'Doing at least half an hour of exercise three times a week may boost men's sperm count'," BBC News reports. Researchers recruited 261 healthy married men who were randomly allocated to three different training programmes…

Grooming pubic hair linked to increased STI risk

Tuesday Dec 6 2016

"Women and men who regularly trim or remove all their pubic hair run a greater risk of sexually transmitted infections," BBC News reports. A survey of around 7,500 Americans, aged between 18 and 65 years, found…

'Want to live longer? Try racquet sports', recommends study

Wednesday Nov 30 2016

"If you want to stave off death for as long as possible, you might want to reach for a tennis racquet," The Guardian reports. A study looking at the impact of individual sports on mortality found racquet sports reduced the risk of death by around 47%...

Low social status 'damages immune function'

Friday Nov 25 2016

"Simply being at the bottom of the social heap directly alters the body," BBC News reports. The headline is based on a study in which researchers used female monkeys to simulate social hierarchies. Monkeys of low social status…

Are high-speed cyclists at risk from air pollution?

Monday Oct 31 2016

"High-speed cyclists 'breathe in dangerous levels of air pollution'," The Sun reports. Alexander Bigazzi, a Canadian engineer, put together a mathematical model, and his figures suggest cycling faster than 20km…

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