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Green spaces are essential for wellbeing

Urban green spaces are essential for physical well-being and should be protected from permeating developers, warns a researcher. Environmental biologist Ross Cameron, from the University of Reading, said that gardens have a range of social, physical, environmental and even psychological benefits and should be given the same protection as virgin countryside.

He insists that UK gardens must be protected against a wave of ‘garden-grabbing’ developers. He added an estimated 32 sq km of gardens had been lost in London alone in the past five years as developers tried to build more homes on green spaces.

Cameron said studies with patients suffering mental health problems also showed that gardens helped to reduce stress. He also warned that ‘garden-grabbing’ could even ‘cost lives’ if it exacerbates depression and other conditions.

“A recent report from Australia suggests gardening helps delay the onset of dementia in the elderly,” said Cameron. “There is evidence from a study in Chicago that areas with greater greenery have less crime. The greatest reduction was in domestic violence, a stress-related crime,” he added.

Asthma makes kids vulnerable

Children suffering from asthma are at an increased risk of contracting H1N1 virus, warns an expert. While talking to students and their parents at Thurgood Marshall Elementary, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius highlighted the work of the Philadelphia MCAN project as a model for childhood asthma management.

“Nothing is more important than keeping our children healthy, in school and ready to learn as we start the new school year,” said Dr Floyd Malveaux, Executive Director of MCAN.

Sleeping with partner unhealthy

The secret to a long, healthy and happy marriage might lie in having separate beds, claims a sleep expert. A research has found that sharing a bed often led to poor quality sleep as people were regularly disturbed by their loved ones during the night.

Dr Neil Stanley, a sleep expert at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, said: “A normal double bed is 4ft 6inches wide. That means you have up to nine inches less per person in a double bed than a child has in a single bed”.

“Add to this another person who kicks, punches, snores and gets up to go to the loo and is it any wonder that we are not getting a good night’s sleep?”
“To save your marriage and your health you should have a discussion about your sleep.” He said the tradition of the marital bed began with the industrial revolution, when people moved into cities and found themselves short of living space. Before the Victorian era it was not uncommon for married couples to sleep apart.

Hospital food worse than prison meals

A new study has shown that food provided at hospitals in the UK is worse than that served to prison inmates, despite huge amounts of money spent by the patients.

According to the Bournemouth University study, jail diets were far “better than most civilians have”, and researchers found people on NHS wards do not get the same standard and staff do not check if the food is eaten.

Around 40 per cent of patients are malnourished when they arrive at a hospital, but the situation does not tend to improve while they are there.

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