Why Are You Sitting While Reading This?

By Scott LaFee

October 17, 2018 5 min read

A new analysis of self-reported activity levels among adults in 168 countries indicates that more than one-quarter of the world's adult population doesn't get enough exercise.

Guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, per week to stay healthy. Roughly one-third of women and one-quarter of men don't meet that minimum, mostly in high-income countries.

Health and Homeless Kids

Homelessness early in life — or even in the womb — has been linked to increased risk of health problems in children. Researchers interviewed 20,000 low-income caregivers of children under the age of 4 who have visited pediatric clinics in five US cities. They also examined the health data of the children.

More than 3 percent of women interviewed said they were homeless while pregnant or while the child was still a baby. These children proved to be at higher risk of health problems, as were young children who were homeless for more than six months.

The researchers concluded that pediatricians should regularly screen for housing insecurity, including past periods of homelessness.

Body of Knowledge

A cough can be expelled at up to 60 miles per hour, but it's a sneeze that really breaks the law, reaching speeds in excess of 100 mph.

Get Me That, Stat!

There's been a sharp increase in the proportion of women who, while giving birth in U.S. hospitals, experience serious complications such as shock, sepsis and acute renal failure. The rate rose 45 percent from 2006 to 2015, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Women most at risk were those uninsured or covered by Medicaid, over the age of 40 or living in large urban areas.


120: Documented cases of Ebola virus in ongoing outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

80: Fatality rate of Ebola infection, as a percentage

80: Number of confirmed and probable deaths so far

Source: World Health Organization

Stories for the Waiting Room

New research suggests more people are going to urgent care centers for minor health problems, rather than heading to hospital emergency rooms. An analysis of people insured by Aetna between 2008 and 2015 indicated that ER visits dropped by 36 percent for less acute conditions like sore throats and cuts, but rose at other care centers by 140 percent.

Phobia of the Week

Koumpounophobia: Fear of buttons

Number Cruncher

One Butterball turkey burger patty (151 grams) contains 240 calories, 99 from fat. It has 11 grams of total fat or 17 percent of the recommended total fat intake for a 2,000-calorie daily diet, according to the Calorie Count database.

It also contains 105 milligrams of cholesterol (35 percent); 680 milligrams of sodium (28 percent); 2 grams of total carbohydrates (1 percent); 1 gram of sugar and 31 g of protein.

Best Medicine

First patient: "I told the doctor I broke my leg in two places."

Second patient: "What did he say?"

First patient: "He told me to quit going to those places."


"You're in pretty good shape for the shape you are in." — Dr. Seuss

Medical History

This week in 1987, Paul Holc became the youngest person in the world known to have an organ transplant of any kind when he received a new heart at just 3 hours old. The heart transplant was performed by surgeons at Loma Linda University Medical Center. At birth, Holc weighed 6 pounds, 6.75 ounces and had hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a fatal heart defect in which the heart's left chamber is missing or atrophied. Holc was delivered early by Caesarian section because a donor heart became available from a brain-dead baby in Canada.


Q: How many words does the average person speak in a day?

a) 1,000

b) 2,500

c) 5,000

d) 10,000

A: c) 5,000


"Here lies Ann Mann,

Who lived an old maid

But died an old Mann."

— London, England tombstone dated Dec. 8, 1767

To find out more about Scott LaFee and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Photo credit: at Pixabay

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