Today’s Headlines: The Ban on Antibacterial Soaps, Acupuncture and Yoga May Help Alleviate Pain, and Why Your Commute Could Lead to Poor Health

The FDA announced today that some antibacterial soaps will no longer be sold to consumers. This statement comes after careful assessment and evaluation of antibacterial soaps in comparison to regular soaps. “Antibacterial soaps and washes…are no more effective than conventional soap and water in preventing illnesses and may not be safe to use over long periods of time. The rule applies to products — such as liquid soaps, bar soaps and body washes — that contain one or more of 19 active ingredients, including the most commonly used, triclosan and triclocarban. Manufacturers will have one year to reformulate their products or take them off the market, the agency said.” The new mandate doesn’t apply to antibacterial soaps and washes used in hospitals and other medical centers. (Washington Post)

An analysis of numerous studies concluded that alternative treatments such as acupuncture, yoga, and massage therapy can help manage pain. Although studies done on these methods usually have low participation and are less common, government researchers were able to analyze enough of them to draw probable conclusions. “[Researchers] found evidence that: Acupuncture and yoga can help back pain. Acupuncture and tai chi can help osteoarthritis of the knee. Massage therapy gives short-term relief for neck pain. Relaxation techniques can ease severe headaches and migraine.” Americans spend over $14 billion annually on pain management, and these natural methods may help individuals save money. (NBC)

Your commute could be making you more stressed, less active, and heavier. A new study from the UK found that commuting could be hurting your health. “For one, there’s the added stress of traveling. Of the 1,500 commuters polled, the majority said stress was a major issue for them. Delays, overcrowding, uncomfortable temperatures, and a long journey were some of the frustrations they listed as detrimental to their well-being.  A longer commute may also lead to weight gain. Almost 38% of people polled said they had less time to prep healthy meals at home… Workers estimated that because of their commute, they were consuming an average of 767 additional calories a week. And of course, sitting in a car or on a train or bus leaves less time for exercise. Forty-one percent of commuters reported reduced physical activity, which can contribute to a higher body mass index and elevated blood pressure levels.” Walking, biking, or adopting more active commutes is not a realistic option for everyone so experts recommend taking on healthier habits such as standing rather than sitting on long commutes. (Time)