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Sunday, November 29, 2020
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A good alternative to doom-scrolling

Cardiology   Covid-19   Gastroenterology   Neurology   Stress Reduction

Today’s Read: 3.5 minutes

Discover how to make ambulatory blood pressure monitoring easier, new symptoms for Covid-19, why some music gives you the chills, plus the best ways to use social media and be happy.

MORNING BRIEF

How accurate is a cuff-less blood pressure monitor

Ambulatory blood pressure (BP) monitoring is recommended for improved management of hypertension. This makes finding devices that are easy for patients to use and wear throughout their daily lives important. While the concept is simple, it has been difficult to achieve. However, a new wearable uses cuff-less technology embedded into a wrist watch, called InBodyWATCH, to estimate BP.

Scientific Reports compared BP measured by InBodyWATCH and a manual sphygmomanometer on thirty-five adults (age 57.1 ± 17.9 years). 

Overall, the estimated BP from InBodyWATCH correlated highly with the manually-obtained BP and showed good accuracy, suggesting its potential for ambulatory BP monitoring. Specifically, the proportions of estimated systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure obtained from the InBodyWATCH were within ± 5 mmHg of manual SBP/DBP were 71.4%/83.8%; within ± 10 mmHg they were 86.7%/98.1%; and within ± 15 mmHg they were 97.1%/99.0%.

Note: This research was supported by World Class 300 project (R&D)(S2482763) from the Ministry of SMEs and Startups and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy of Korea; and InBody Co. Ltd., Seoul, Korea.

Can social media make you happy?

It isn’t whether you use social media, but how that determines your happiness, reports Canadian researchers. The researchers examined how people use three major social platforms—Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram—and how that use impacted a person’s overall well-being.

Enabling direct interactions and social connectedness—for example, chatting synchronously or arranging in-person meetups (when possible and with proper precautions), are the best ways to use social media. Activities to avoid: doom-scrolling and comparing yourself to others.

Why your favorite song might give you the chills

It’s easy to throw on a pair of earbuds and listen to a podcast or a book, but does it bring you joy? Does it flood your system with pleasurable emotions or chills like music can? Research in Frontiers of Neuroscience found that the chilly reaction of music is linked to the reward and pleasure systems.

French researchers scanned the brains of 18 participants who regularly experience chills when listening to their favorite music. The participants also answered a questionnaire indicating when they experienced chills and to rate how much pleasure it gives them. This helped pinpoint the chill-producing moments in the songs, though it mostly occurred in multiple moments of a musical piece.

The researchers saw  specific electrical activity in the orbitofrontal cortex, the supplementary motor area, and the right temporal lobe when participants experienced a chill. Together these regions process music, trigger the brain’s reward systems, and release dopamine. Combined with the pleasurable anticipation of your favorite part of the song, this produces the tingly chill you experience and the enjoyment you feel. 

What are some of your favorite tunes that give you a chill? Share them at #Stress_Reduction.

ONE BIG NUMBER

16%

The percentage of Covid-19 patients who may only show gastrointestinal symptoms, according to a research review published in Abdominal Radiology. These symptoms can include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and generalized abdominal pain. Signs of advanced disease could include inflammation of the small and large bowel, pneumatosis, and pneumoperitoneum.

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