Osteoporosis sufferers given hope with vibrating 'bathroom scales'

HEALTH NOTES: Vibrating ‘bathroom scales’ developed by Nasa to stop bone thinning in astronauts offers new hope to osteoporosis sufferers

Technology designed to keep astronauts’ bones strong could be the inspiration for a revolutionary new treatment for thinning bones. 

It takes the form of a vibrating device, resembling a set of bathroom scales, that produces gentle vibrations that travel up through the legs, stimulating the growth of new bone cells.

The concept was developed by Nasa, who wanted to find a way to stop the thinning of bones in astronauts caused by weightlessness.

Technology designed to keep astronauts’ bones strong could be the inspiration for a revolutionary new treatment for thinning bones. (File image)

Marodyne LiV – a vibrating device, resembling a set of bathroom scales – produces gentle vibrations that travel up through the legs, stimulating the growth of new bone cells

Studies show that standing on the scales for ten minutes a day helps prevent osteoporosis, grow bone and reduce the risk of fractures and falls. 

The device, called Marodyne LiV, has been endorsed by the Royal Osteoporosis Society.

Don’t drive while you’re ‘hangry’

Hangry – that’s hungry and angry – drivers may be making Britain’s roads more dangerous, a survey suggests. 

One in four motorists said they get behind the wheel when they’re ravenously hungry, with one in ten admitting experiencing a ‘near miss’ due to reduced concentration caused by hunger pangs. 

Dr Lisa Dorn, professor of driver behaviour at Cranfield University, said: ‘Skipping breakfast will raise your blood sugar and sap energy levels – your reaction times will be slower.’ 

One in four motorists said they get behind the wheel when they’re ravenously hungry, with one in ten admitting experiencing a ‘near miss’ due to reduced concentration caused by hunger pangs. (File image)

Ensure you’re insured 

Up to one in five Britons don’t bother with travel insurance when jetting off abroad. 

But new research reveals the huge bills that can await them, should they fall ill. 

Figures collated by insurance firm AllClear show tourists without cover who suffer a stroke in the US face medical expenses of up to £350,000, while repatriation could be another £20,000. 

Up to one in five Britons don’t bother with travel insurance when jetting off abroad. But new research reveals the huge bills that can await them, should they fall ill. (File image)

Bills in other countries can also be crippling. An air ambulance in Peru will cost uninsured travellers £120,000, a heart attack in India £30,000 and kidney failure in Thailand £25,000. 

‘People don’t realise the cost of medical emergencies abroad,’ says AllClear boss Chris Rolland.

No man enjoys discussing erectile dysfunction with a doctor, but if the medic is female, patients are far less open than they would be with a male doctor, risking delays to treatment.

A study of nearly 2,000 men with arousal issues found they reported fewer problems if the GP was the opposite sex.

No man enjoys discussing erectile dysfunction with a doctor, but if the medic is female, patients are far less open than they would be with a male doctor, risking delays to treatment. (Picture posed by models)

‘They reported fewer difficulties achieving and maintaining an erection and lower occurrence of erectile dysfunction,’ it says. 

‘This is probably an attempt to defend their own virility. Doctors’ gender affects the results.’

The findings suggest some men may delay seeking help for their problems if they are unable to access a male medic.

Try this, with Mariam Al-Roubi: Why a daily squat will keep you fit

When was the last time you squatted? And I don’t mean a polite bob to pick up a heavy shopping bag – a proper, deep, bum-almost- on-the-floor squat.

Often, when I get them to try, my clients will struggle because it’s not something we do very often.

There are cultures where squatting and sitting with legs crossed is part of day-to-day life – from negotiating low tables in Japan to squatting over a toilet in India.

The constant opening-up of the hips is a surefire way to keep the whole body in good condition.

The constant opening-up of the hips is a surefire way to keep the whole body in good condition

Over the next few weeks I’m going to take you through a set of squat warm-up exercises invented by fitness expert Ido Portal.

I do them, as a series, before any big exercise session. But it’s a great thing to do in itself, daily, to keep everything well oiled.

  • Sit in a deep squat with your heels on the ground. Try not to go on to your toes as this can hurt your knees.
  • Place both hands in front of you in a prayer position and place your elbows on the inside of your knees.
  • Push elbows away on the knees, opening up both knees at the same time while your hands, still in a prayer position, are lowered.
  • Repeat 20 times.

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