Clean Hands.

Health agencies have been misleading consumers with their promotion of their unproven prevention claims.

Students have been carrying around hand sanitizer bottles in their bags to prevent future infections.

Photo from Purell company site.

Lisa Schink, 24, journalism student said, ” I use hand sanitizer occasionally because I’m a germ freak. Usually, before I use my hands to eat, after using a computer at the university library and if I take public transportation.”

Hand sanitizer is recognized as an alternative to hand washing with soap and water. There are variations of the products such as gel, foam or liquid forms. The alcohol ingredients are effective towards killing germs. Some of the sanitizers have oils to allow better skin care by moisturizing and conditioning the skin.

Yet there is no proof that these store-bought products protect people against infections such as H1N1, MRSA or E. coli. The health markets have been using false advertisement to sell products related to your physical health. After a while, you begin to wonder what is better to keep one’s self safe from germs.

Around the world, “MRSA is serious public health threat,” said Deborah Autor, director of the FDA’s Office of Compliance from the New York Daily News. Therefore, there are other ways to keep yourself safe against infections. Most popular among university are brands such as Purell, GermX, IC Gel, Hygel, Deb, Labo, Aqium, Avant, GermOut, and Aquawet in the United States and Europe.

How often do you use hand sanitizer: once, twice, three times a day or never?

Music and concentration.

Music has been increasing students’ productivity during their vacation revision sessions.

Music increases the ability to concentrate on whatever task a person is working on efficiently, without disrupting their thinking process.

Photo by Niya Sinckler.

Therefore, the music creates a comfortable environment for studying as  student is able to block out noise from the outside world. With headphones on, a person can focus on one task to the next without unnecessary thought or action.

Music is enjoyable because it allows us to count without knowing it. While trying to concentrate, music also increases focus even if you are not paying close attention, the brain counts each note and change of rhythm. This counting occupies the part of the mind that hinders our creative abilities which lets the unfocused part of the mind relax. Thus, the productive side can work. Therefore, music can have a profound effect on mood.

According to the New York Times, normally background noise will tend to mask unexpected sounds that might otherwise grab your attention. Attention is a voluntary control which is determined by what we decide to focus on. As a person can make millions of decisions every day, you need to find the right balance between focusing on immediate versus longer-term goals.

Photo from Google.

In the mind, the pre-frontal cortex plays a critical role in formulating both short-term and long-term plans. Therefore, if a person has damage to their frontal lobe, they will have issues planning and processing information.

Yet, if a person listens to a single tone repetitively, they are in tune with their work and recognize the predictable notes in their brain. Where as, if  a different tone or pitch comes into play,  the brain  can not register what’s coming next and a surprise occurs creating a distraction. It appears that listening to a familiar piece of music has the same effect as the repetitive tone where there are no surprises, nothing to grab your attention and at the same time the music drowns out other less predictable sounds that might compete with whatever you are trying to concentrate on.

A poll from The Guardian has shown that 59 per cent of people believe music helps our work ethic.

However if you are a qualified musician, you may be pay closer attention to features of the performance that others ignore, so probably the effect is different for different people. The BBC  has addressed that music can have an effect on concentration. At the same time, it depends on what kind of music you listen to while working, at what time of the day and what subject you are studying.

!@#$ %^&*

According to a science study, researchers believe that swearing helps to reduce pain in relation to your physical health.

Students often use profane language to express themselves but in this case it’s portrayed as a temporary sense of pain relief.

Photo from Google.

Have you ever walked into a chair and shouted out in pain? Normally, some people laugh it off while others make a scene. Well don’t feel embarrassed, it happens to everyone. Now it’s been accepted that you are easing your pain. Swearing is woven into everyday language but used differently according to each person.

From Time magazine, UK researchers created an experiment where student volunteers placed their arms into icy water and repeated a swear word. Results have proven that students endured the icy water longer when using a swear word than a standard word. Swearing has been linked to an increase in tolerance to pain.

Photo by Niya Sinckler.

Psychologist, Richard Stephens from Keele University said, “Swearing is such a common response to pain that there has to be an underlying reason why we do it. I would advise people, if they hurt themselves, to swear.” Using profanity allows you to express a variety of emotions such as anger, joy, surprise, fear, happiness and sadness.

It can be understood that swearing has an act of aggression since that type of language is not a part of one’s daily vernacular language. This can also trigger your fight-or-flight instincts when cursing to relieve pain coincides with your physical health.

However, the more you swear, the less emotionally potent the words become. Then without emotion, only swear words are left in the brain which can affect your mental health. It becomes more difficult to soothe anyone’s pain.

Sunshine vitamins

After a cold and long winter, students have had low levels of vitamins in their systems and are excited for sunshine in the springtime

Good thing it’s spring holiday right now. It’s even more reason to feel the sunshine on your skin boosting the body’s level of vitamin D.

Photo from Google.

Vitamin D has vital health benefits as it lowers the risk of chronic disease and provides nutrient throughout our bodies. According to Dr Elina Hypponen of the Medical Research Council’s (MRC) Centre of Epidemiology for Child Health in London, “Adults and children in the UK should be taking a vitamin D supplement of at least 600 IU (international units) daily. And the UK population cannot continue to do nothing while awaiting the outcome,” of the government’s review.

The vitamin D is essential to healthy muscles, strong bones, and healthy teeth and helps the immune system to function. Also the vitamin reduces allergies and diabetes to some extent. From low levels of vitamin D, people have suffered with multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.

Photo by Niya Sinckler.

The Department of Health stated that exposure to summer sunlight sensibly for about 30 minutes is enough. We do not need extra unless there is evidence of a deficiency in your body. Normally, children with low vitamin D are more susceptible to infections and respiratory symptoms while adults get muscle weakness in the limbs and back according to The Telegraph. These types of problems can be blamed on the amount of indoor and outdoor lifestyles we lead.

Booze Cruise.

The NHS warned that hospitals and health institutions are not doing enough to help students tackle their drinking problems.

Yet it’s a challenge to monitor alcohol consumption when it’s already apart of students’ lifestyle.

Photo from Google.

However since the government has made cuts for the health section, there have been less care, treatment prevention services available to students. At university though, there is the health centre and other resources to seek help for alcohol abuse.

In British society, alcohol plays a central role which links to health costs, disorderly conduct, violence and road accidents. The government even launched an alcohol responsiblity deal with health organizations to act on reducing alcohol consumption since it’s a major cause of health issues around the world according to the World Health Organization. It’s difficult to limit student intake since alcoholic beverages are easily available and affordable. The idea is to promote health rather than booze. Sad enough, students probably have no idea how much alcohol they are drinking and the harmful effects. The government is ready to commission more research into attitudes towards alcohol in the UK.

It’s a public issue and retailers and the industry are involved as well as to the prices and marketing of alcoholic beverages. It’s interesting that in films and theaters, actors portray drunk performances although alcoholic beverages are prohibited in such places. This presents to students how they could be as they watch another person’s ways. From media exposure, students are more prone to mimic that behavior. As a result, there’s drink-driving and particular limits.

During enrichment week surely students will cut down on their alcohol consumption or at least we can hope so…