Daily Dose: 11/7/2012

Heart Attacks More Common This Time of Year: Researchers reported this week that people are more likely to die from heart disease during the winter, no matter where they live and what kind of weather they face. After ruling out temperature as a possible cause for this trend, doctors realized that the higher number of heart attacks may come from an increase in cases of the flu and depression. While suffering through the flu or being discouraged by the shorter days of winter, people tend to exercise less and pay less attention to what they are eating. It is important not to fall into this pattern during the winter; the weather may not be ideal, but it is not the time to forget about heart health!

Hospital Patients Smoking Less: In 1995, about 25% of hospitalized smokers indulged in cigarettes on hospital grounds. A new study shows that this number has dropped to just 18.4%. The decrease may be due to the nicotine replacement therapy that hospitals now offer, including the use of nicotine patches, gum, and lozenges. The study’s authors are encouraged by the decline in this percentage, but believe that hospitals should be doing more to stop their patients from smoking during their stay – smoking should be banned on all hospital grounds, and patients should not be allowed to go outside to light up.

Boost Your Mood in One Easy Step: We all know that bad posture can have quite a few negative health effects. It turns out, though, that it may hurt you mentally, too. In a study of approximately 100 participants, it was found that those who slouched while walking down a hallway reported a decrease in energy and an increase in depressive thoughts.  Men’s Health suggests following the 20-20 rule: while you’re sitting at your desk all day, stand up every 20 minutes and stretch out your back for 20 seconds. This small change can do wonders for your mood.