TIP OF THE WEEK

Sleeping just one hour less every night may increase a child’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes (T2D), a new study out of the United Kingdom indicates.

Published in the journal Pediatrics, the study assessed the sleep habits and certain health markers of more than 4,500 9- and 10-year-old children in the U.K. Researchers found that while study participants slept an average of 10.5 hours per night, those who slept an hour longer had lower BMI, insulin resistance and fasting glucose — all T2D markers.

The study authors concluded the association between how long children slept and T2D markers was notable, and warrants further studies to determine if sleep duration really is a risk factor in development of T2D. Such studies could help “provide a simple strategy for early T2D prevention,” the researchers said.

KNEE HEALTH

3 activities to help you move safely after knee surgery

Most patients undergoing knee surgery want to know when they’ll be able to return to a pain-free, active lifestyle. Here are three activities to help you move safely after knee surgery, according to ActiveImplants.com:

1. Walk (don’t run!). Experts say walking outside your home three to five times each day is one of the best ways to regain your knee strength.

2. Dance. Engage in aerobic activity and have fun. Just be sure to avoid abrupt movements or twists that could potentially put your knee out of alignment.

3. Swim. Once the wound has healed, many people choose swimming as their exercise of choice, as it’s not a weight-bearing activity and therefore reduces stress to the joints. If your knee is still a bit tender, opt for water aerobics or pool walking.

KIDS’ HEALTH

How to build healthy habits for the school year and beyond

Adjusting to new school schedules can be difficult. Healthy habits are often forgotten as the focus shifts to studies, assignments and extracurriculars.

Registered dietitian and mom Deanna Segrave-Daly offers tips to help encourage kids to build healthy habits:

Prioritize sleep: School-age children should strive for 9-11 hours of sleep each night. Establish a nighttime routine and prioritize sleep every night.

Eat breakfast: For busy mornings, have quick and easy (and healthy) options that kids can eat on the go.

Encourage exercise: Kids should do at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Snack well: Keep nutritious snacks on hand that can go wherever school and extracurricular activities take kids so they don’t have to hit up the vending machine.

Manage screen time: Be mindful how much screen time kids have and make sure the media they use/watch is high quality.

HEALTH STUDY

Loneliness may hurt your health more than fat

New research indicates being lonely may actually be worse for your health than being overweight, the American Psychological Association reports.

A Brigham Young University researcher examined data from hundreds of studies on the health effects of social isolation. She concluded social isolation, loneliness and living alone increase the risk of premature death as much as or more than other established health factors such as obesity.

“There is robust evidence that social isolation and loneliness significantly increase risk for premature mortality, and the magnitude of the risk exceeds that of many leading health indicators,” Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, professor of psychology, told attendees at the APA’s 125th Annual Convention. “With an increasing aging population, the effect on public health is only anticipated to increase. Indeed, many nations around the world now suggest we are facing a ‘loneliness epidemic.’ The challenge we face now is what can be done about it.”

— Brandpoint