Health Highlights: May 20, 2019

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Walking During Work Meetings Bring Benefits

Holding work meetings while taking a walk outdoors offers a number of benefits, researchers report.

Not only does it provide much needed exercise for people who are often tied to their desks for the entire work day, it can also give them a stress-reducing mental lift.

“A lot of folks often say they don’t have time after work to go to the gym or exercise,” Dr. Alberto Caban-Martinez, who helped conduct a walking meeting pilot study for the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, told CNN.

“One of the things our pilot study showed is that converting some of the time you’re at work into a walking meeting is really beneficial to cardiovascular health and, potentially, even to productivity,” Caban-Martinez said.

The findings will be published June 24 in the the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s journal Preventing Chronic Disease.

Taking a stroll in the park is also good for retirees, according to another University of Miami study. That research, published online recently inn the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found that seniors who lived in the greenest parts of Miami had lower rates of chronic diseases.

“We discovered in our research that the presence of green space — trees, other forms of vegetation — were associated with lower rates of four different forms of heart disease,” lead author Scott Brown told CNN. “When our parents said ‘go outside,’ they might have been on to something.”


U.S. Children Eating Less Seafood

American children are eating less seafood than they used to, a new American Academy of Pediatrics report says.

“Seafood consumption by children has declined every year since 2007 to levels not seen since the early 1980s,” the authors wrote, CNN reported.

“Fish and shellfish are, in general, good sources of low-fat protein rich in several essential vitamins and minerals as well as, in certain instances, the essential nutrients omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids,” which improve brain functions, the authors noted.

They added that other health benefits of seafood include lower risk of heart disease and the possible prevention of certain allergic reactions, such as asthma and eczema, CNN reported.

But there are some risks. For example, eating fish contaminated with methylmercury pollution may harm a child’s developing nervous system.

U.S. government advisories on possible fish contamination may have “pushed people away from eating fish in general and canned tuna in particular,” according to the report authors.

They provided recommendations on seafood that are safe for children to eat. The report was published in the journal Pediatrics.


LED Blue Light Poses Eye, Sleep Risks: Report

The blue light in LED lighting used in many consumer products may harm your sleep and pose a risk to your eyes, a new report warns.

Specifically, there is new evidence that this type of light can disturb biological and sleep rhythms and damage the eye’s retina, according to the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety.

Products with LEDs that produce blue light include the newest flashlights, car headlights and some toys, CNN reported.

The maximum limit on short-term exposure to blue light should be reduced, only low-risk LED devices should be available to consumers, and the luminosity of car headlights should be reduced, the French agency recommended.

It also said that eye protection provided by “anti-blue light” screens, filters and sunglasses varies, and there is no proof that those help preserve sleep rhythms, CNN reported.