Today’s Headlines: Sitting Time, Sex and Pesticides

Even small interruptions in sitting help those with diabetes. It seems like the evils of constant sitting are always in the news, but new research has shown that even small breaks from being on your backside can help, especially if you have diabetes. “The researchers examined the potential effect of replacing long periods of sedentary behavior with short interrupted periods, light exercise and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. They looked at data on 519 adults with type 2 diabetes. Researchers found the participants spent 65 percent of the waking day sedentary and 45 percent of that time was spent in long blocks of 30 minutes or more being inactive. The study team then used a statistical analysis technique to compare what might be the effects of replacing 30 minutes of one behavior with 30 minutes of another. With just some interruptions in 30-minute sedentary blocks, the weight and waist circumference of subjects went down slightly, and fell even more when light or moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was swapped-in for the sedentary time.” The team says their findings show that even small amounts of exercise can be helpful, as long as they break up sitting and that focusing on moving, rather than on intensity of activity, may be a helpful approach to dropping weight and diabetes risk. (Reuters)

Getting enough sleep improves sex for women. It can be tough to get in the mood when all you want is some shuteye. New data out this week has found that women who get enough sleep are also more likely to be interested in sex. “The researchers studied 171 female college students for a two-week period. About half were in an intimate relationship and more than half reported having at least one current sexual partner. First, the women completed questionnaires assessing depression, anxiety and ‘distress’ related to sex. For the next two weeks, they completed online questionnaires about their quality and quantity of sleep during the night and their sexual activity over the previous 24 hours. After taking a variety of factors into account, longer sleep duration predicted higher sexual desire the following day.” The researchers say they don’t know the exact reason for the relationship and some physicians surmise the reason for skipping on sleep may be important. But the team says the benefits of enough sleep are undeniable and better sex drive is probably just another addition to the list. (Fox)

Popular pesticides linked to cancer, antibiotic resistance. There has been outcry for decades that pesticides used to control bugs and weeds may be harming human health and research published this week indicates that there’s a lot of truth to those fears. “On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it had classified glyphosate, the United States’ most widely used pesticide, as ‘probably carcinogenic to humans.’ Another study found that exposure to these herbicides in their commercial forms changed the way bacteria responded to a number of antibiotics, including ampicillin, ciprofloxacin, and tetracycline–drugs widely used to treat a range of deadly diseases.” Part of the problem is that pesticides aren’t designed to kill bacteria, so they often provide a gentle push in the direction of becoming dangerous without wiping them out in the process. “The bacteria stay alive while activating proteins known as efflux pumps in order to rid themselves of toxins. This defense mechanism can make the bacteria develop resistance to the threat from which it is defending itself.” While the chances are low the residue on your groceries is enough to have an effect, those close to farms might be at risk. The team says the people most likely to be affected are farmers, farmworkers, and other people who live in agricultural communities. (TIME)