18 Holes or 40 Winks?

Watching paint dry is more mentally stimulating than watching a match of golf, according to a report released by Neufchatel Research Insititute.

Candidates were given various interactive tasks, such as playing games or reading books, while others were given passive tasks such as watching television or, in some cases, watching paint dry. Each wore a calibrated cap hooked up to an EEG to record the activity of the brain.

While it may come as no surprise that passive tasks produced brain patterns closely resembling sleep, what scientists were not expecting is that watching golf produced similar results.

“In fact the brain was demonstrating cycles akin to phase 2 sleep in the ‘golf’ subjects. They had effectively switched off. The ‘paint’ subjects actually had a higher level of brain function,” says Renee Curvelle, member of the research team.

Delving into the possible causes of the result proved insightful.

“It seems that in a minority of candidates, watching the sport elicited an excited response. For the majority, though, their brain went through stages of annoyance, boredom, then active imagination to relieve that boredom, finally reaching a quiescent acceptance, at which point it shut down. The ‘paint’ watchers, in contrast, did not exhibit the acceptance stage and remained in the imagination stage,” Renee says.

The study hopes to shed light on sleep disorders related to over-stimulation of the brain and develop non-drug alternatives.

“It is possible that, in the future, rather than prescribing sedatives, we might find doctors prescribing a comfy chair and watching mundane sports like golf.”ChesterLogoSmall

The Best Medicine

Forget laughter as a cure-all, unless it’s part of a romp in the sheets. A new study reveals that the exercise and reproductive hormones that come as part of a sexually active lifestyle actually contribute greatly to health.

“The study was so conclusive,” says Jim Barker of the National Administration of Drugs and Procreation, “We were all shocked at the result. Sure, there is the obvious exercise and endorphin, but it’s more than that. Thirty minutes of sex, twice a week, had a more positive effect on the body’s overall health than daily, hour long exercise regimes.”

Scientists measured resting heart-rate, blood sugar and fat content, cortisone, salt and fluid levels, along with less tangible elements such as mood, alertness and cognitive ability. When compared to the control, candidates who did little or no exercise and did not engage in sexual activities, a sexually active lifestyle far outshone a lifestyle of exercise.

Other factors, including alcohol and tobacco consumption, age, level of education and the subject’s demographic were taken into consideration. Interestingly, these factors had little bearing on the overall results when it came to those who regularly made love.

“It’s like chalk and cheese. It’s easy to see how anecdotal evidence spawned this research. Those who had regular sex performed better across the board. They were less stressed at work, enjoyed life more and were fitter both mentally and physically. I wouldn’t be surprised if a doctor were to prescribe it as a precautionary measure.”

He stresses that maintaining a healthy diet and performing regular exercise outside of the bedroom is still recommended, despite the research.

He laughs, “Think of it as a super-food, a booster for your general well-being. Please, by all means, keep eating kale and carrots and going for runs, but, every now and then, drop the dumbbells and start playing sack races.”ChesterLogoSmall

The costs of fads – Pokemon Go

With fads such as “Pokemon Go” hitting smart-device screens, social researchers at Wisconsin Society Administration have evaluated the indirect costs. The figures are alarming.

“If we take the first level of indirection – lower productivity – we see that this, in the Wisconsin area alone, comes to an average of just under 30 minutes per working day lost to ‘screen time’. This comes out to the order of over 15 million dollars per day in lost productivity,” says Sarah Erstman, fellow at the WSA, “That it alarming by itself. We deliberately ignored time off for accidents caused by looking inattention, since the causality for this would be too hard to associate with our study, yet you can consider this figure to rise if we included it.”

She goes on to say that there are many knock-on effects, such as a drop in the quality of work, unsafe workplaces resulting in higher rates of liability and time off for employees. She says to expect higher incidents of food poisoning along with neck, hand and eye complaints, rises in personal liability premiums and telecommunication bottlenecks.

“The figure (of 15 million per day) is conservative. If we include level two factors, the cost can be estimated at somewhere between 40 to 50 million. This is a significant loss and the effects will be felt for years to come,” she says, “We are still waiting on the official results from our sister study, based upon traffic flow, but the current consensus is that trains and busses are being delayed, traffic is more congested. I would expect to double that figure for tertiary effects.”ChesterLogoSmall