How Holiday Overeating Affects Your Body’s Food Clock

It’s the day after Christmas and I’m sitting in an almost-empty office, waiting for the blizzard that has been forecast to hit Cleveland even though there’s still not a flake in sight. I’m also gazing at the banana I brought for breakfast and wishing I could eat more Christmas cookies instead. According to experts, the holiday may have messed up my body’s “food clock.” I believe it. When we overeat at the holidays, we apparently share something in common with people who work the graveyard shift, people who are jetlagged and late-night snackers: the internal clocks in our bodies are thrown out of whack. According to researchers at the University […]

Health Care Workers Face Ergonomic Challenges

The widespread adoption of electronic medical records and other digital technologies in the health care sector might lower costs and reduce errors, but it also may come with a hidden risk: increased musculoskeletal injuries among doctors and nurses. In two new researcher papers, a Cornell University ergonomics professor argues that poor office layouts and improper use of computer devices may result in repetitive strain injuries among doctors and nurses. “Many hospitals are investing heavily in new technology with almost no consideration for principles of ergonomics design for computer workplaces,” said Alan Hedge, professor of human factors and ergonomics in Cornell’s College of Human Ecology’s Department of Design and Environmental Analysis. […]

Tips for Battling Seasonal Affective Disorder

The short, dark days of winter can be a big downer for many people who experience seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, during the coldest part of the year. SAD affects up to 20 percent of Americans and prompts symptoms including moodiness, loss of energy, overeating, social withdrawal, difficult concentrating and not getting enough sleep. SAD is caused by a combination of decreased serotonin and increased amounts of melatonin. Sunlight enters the brain through the eyes, stimulating the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin that supports nerve cell functioning, including mood. Less light results in lower serotonin levels, while darkness stimulates the production of melatonin, which promotes sleep. This combination causes SAD. […]