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Bring on the bike lanes and sidewalks…

Active transportation (i.e. using a bike or your own two feet to get to a destination) is not very popular in the U.S. In fact, less than 25 percent of us report that we walk or cycle for more than ten consecutive minutes per day.  According to a recent study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Americans are missing out on an easy way to incorporate exercise into their daily routines. “This is not an accident,” said aid James F. Sallis, Ph.D of the University of California, San Diego. “U.S. transportation policies and funding prioritize travel by car, unwittingly discouraging active travel.”  Go ahead, take a walk next time you have an errand to run, even if it means just parking your car further away from the store.

Taking care of a loved one and yourself…

Providing care for a loved one with cardiovascular disease can raise one’s own chances of developing the disease finds a study in the American Journal of Health Promotion. This results from a tendency of many caregivers to neglect their own health by not exercising or maintaining a heart-healthy diet.  “Caregivers often neglect their health as a result of the demands of caregiving. This neglect is most likely one of the pathways which high rates of morbidity and early mortality become associated with caregiving,” said Richard Birkel, Ph.D., senior vice president for health at the National Council on Aging in Washington, D.C.

Divorce impacts health insurance…

Fact: Nearly a quarter of U.S. women below age 65 receive dependant health insurance from their spouse’s plan. Each year, almost 115,000 of them will lose this insurance in the months following their divorce, leaving nearly 65,000 uninsured long-term, finds a study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. “If women fail to receive timely and appropriate health checkups, treatments, and care, they are at risk of even more serious health declines and their ability to carry out their roles as worker and parent may also suffer,” said Deborah Carr, Ph.D., professor of sociology at Rutgers University.

The cost of convenience?…

Using retail walk-in health clinics, which are often located inside pharmacies or big-box stores, for simple acute care problems can interfere with establishing and maintaining a relationship with a primary care provider, finds a new study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. “Good primary care is good comprehensive care…the concern is for the transfer of medical information between retail clinics and primary care providers,” said Valerie J. Gilchrist, M.D., chair of the department of family medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. The good news is that retail clinic users are still receiving preventive care and diabetes management.

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The Health Behavior News Service (HBNS), a division of the Center for Advancing Health, brings you the latest health behavior and patient engagement research from selected peer-reviewed journals. HBNS original stories summarize research findings including “Key Points” and are disseminated for free to the press and the public around the world.

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