Do Humans Have an Expiration Date?

life expectancyMost people are aware that there is an average life expectancy, but this average life expectancy takes into account all types of variables, including where a person lives, what period of time they lived in, what they do for work, their gender, their race and their lifestyle, to name a few. However, researchers have recently found new evidence that suggests the human body is not able to function after a certain amount of years.

The average life expectancy has gone up over time because of the advancement of new medicines, medical techniques and technology, all of which have helped reduce the average age of death quite a bit. However, researchers recently came to the conclusion that the human body will generally max out at 115 years – although there is a one-in-10,000 chance that a person could survive up to 125 years.

The study, “Evidence for a limit to human lifespan,” claims that the maximum lifespan is not fixed and can be affected by genetic and pharmacological interventions. For example, researchers in Sweden discovered the maximum lifespan of a human being was around 101 years back in the 1860s. By the 1990s, that max was pushed to 108 years due to all of the advancements made in medicine and technology over that period of time.

However, scientists involved with the new study believe that it is unlikely that the human age limit will exceed 125 years for the simple reason that various forms of declining mental health will prevent it. To break that barrier, scientists believe that future advancements would have to overwhelm the many genetic variants that collectively determine the human lifespan.

Many scientists believe that effort should be focused on living better during that period instead of living longer. As one researcher pointed out, what’s the point of living longer if the person is no longer mentally present?

Human beings do have a general expiration date, although this could technically be lengthened in the future. To keep up with all the latest health-related news, visit us at The Benefits Store today.

5 Things to Know About Ticks

TicksTicks can be a serious problem, especially in the summer. Not only are tick bites a real nuisance, but ticks are known for spreading diseases, such as Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Keeping this in mind, there are five things you should know about ticks:

  1. Ticks are not insects – Ticks are arachnids, which means that they’re more like spiders than mosquitoes. If you think about it, they actually look a lot more like spiders than they do other insects.
  2. Lyme disease is carried by deer – Only the deer tick carries Lyme disease. The reason there have been so many more Lyme disease-related incidents over the past few years is due to the explosion in the deer population throughout the country. Fortunately, other types do not carry Lyme disease.
  3. It takes 24 hours to transmit an infection – A lot of people are terrified of ticks because of the spread of Lyme disease. However, it generally takes at least 24 hours for any type of disease to transmit from a tick to its host. This means that if you remove a tick within 24 hours, you should be in the clear.
  4. Pulling ticks off is easy – One of the misconceptions about ticks is that they are almost impossible to get off once they’ve latched on. This isn’t true. You can simply use a pair of tweezers to pull the tick off. Just try to get a grip on it as close to the skin as possible. Don’t worry if its mouthpart remains attached either; it’s the body that carries diseases.
  5. You can tell if you’ve gotten Lyme disease – If you’ve contracted Lyme disease, you’ll receive a reddish bulls-eye rash that radiates outward near the bite mark a few days to a month after you’ve been bitten. However, if a red ring shows up but doesn’t get bigger and then disappears, it’s probably just a normal rash from the bite.

Keep these tick facts in mind and visit us at The Benefits Store for more health-related news and advice.

Mature Brain Boosts Self-Control

Boost Self-ControlMaturity is something that most people associate with age, and it turns out that this isn’t far from the truth. Maturity levels increase as people grow older because of the fact that it takes a while for the brain to build its information highways in a more efficient manner, thereby helping a person to make better decisions and control their impulses more effectively as they age.

Maturity Helps Boost Self-Control

A study published in Current Biology revealed that the ability to control impulses, make good decisions, and stay on task all increased over time. The study consisted of roughly 900 subjects from the ages of eight to 22. The results of the study show that abilities such as running or seeing are well developed by the time a person is eight years old, but that the ability to inhibit inappropriate responses doesn’t develop well until they are in their 20’s.

The development of such self-control is known as executive function. One of the goals of the study was to determine how the brain changes as executive function develops. Researchers used diffusion imaging to observe the fibers making up the information highways of the brain. They discovered two things:

  • Information highways in the brain cluster into modules that perform specialized functions, such as impulse control.
  • The connections between those modules become stronger.

These two changes allow information to flow more efficiently throughout the brain’s network. The more efficiently the brain is able to process information, the stronger a person’s executive function will become.

While this study revealed enlightening information about how the brain functions and develops, the study itself was not without its limitations. Although there was a large study group, the observations of these subjects were not made over time. New studies that will explore the maturation of the brain and the development of executive function plan to rectify these limitations.

The ability to identify the development of executive control could also allow medical professionals to identify individuals at risk of developing psychiatric or substance abuse disorders in the future. For more health-related news, visit us at The Benefits Store today.

The Truth About Fitness Trackers

Fitness TrackersFitness trackers have become popular exercise accessories over the past few years. Fit trackers are basically digital wristbands that track the user’s heart rate, calories burned, steps taken during the day, and more. Not only are they helpful for people who are trying to keep track of fitness goals, but users often bring their data to their doctors as well. However, questions have arisen concerning the accuracy of the data that fit trackers record.

Studying Fitness Trackers

Euan Ashley, a cardiologist and associate professor of medicine at the Stanford University Medical Center, and several colleagues studied seven types of fit trackers, comparing them to the official tests that doctors use to determine the accuracy of the data that they collect.

They focused on two metrics that fitness trackers record: heart rate and calories burned. To determine how accurately fit trackers recorded the user’s heart rate, they compared it to an EKG (electrocardiogram). According to the study, the fit trackers ability to record the user’s heart rate was relatively accurate; most devices were only off by roughly five percent.

When it came to calories burned, however, the fit trackers were highly inaccurate. The calories burned reported by fit trackers were compared to a scientific system of calculating metabolism. This system measures the oxygen and carbon dioxide in the breath of a person to determine how many calories are being burned. Compared to this system, fit trackers were anywhere from 20 percent to 93 percent inaccurate.

Unfortunately, not only does this mean that the data tracked by fit trackers is not accurate enough to be relied on by medical professionals, users probably shouldn’t be basing their exercise goals on them either. The inaccuracy of the calories burned metric could fool users into undermining their diet and sabotaging their fitness goals.

While fitness trackers do track certain metrics accurately, such as steps taken and heart rate, users shouldn’t rely on them heavily due to some of their inaccuracies. Keep up with all the latest news concerning health technology by visiting us at The Benefits Store today.

How Much Sleep is Enough?

getting enough sleepGetting enough sleep is vital to making sure that the body has plenty of energy the next day. However, adults often get much less for one reason or another, whether it’s because of the demand to work longer hours, take care of their family’s needs, or even just because they stay up a little later to watch a TV show. However, not getting enough sleep can actually be a health risk.

The Risks of Not Getting Enough Sleep

Numerous studies have shown that getting enough sleep on a regular basis is important to one’s health. A lack of sleep can lead to an increased risk for obesity, high blood pressure, poor mental health, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even an earlier death.

There’s also the short-term effects caused by a lack of sleep. People are more likely to be in a bad mood and to be unproductive the next day without a good night’s sleep. How much sleep a person needs, however, depends on their age.

According to the Sleep Research Society and The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the following is roughly the amount of sleep a person should get depending on their age:

  • Adults between 18 and 60 should get at least seven hours of sleep a night.
  • Teens between 13 and 18 should get between eight and ten hours of sleep a night.
  • Children between six and 12 should get between nine and 12 hours of sleep a night.
  • Preschool children between three and five should get between 10 and 13 hours of sleep every 24 hours.
  • Toddlers between one and two should get 11 to 14 hours of sleep every 24 hours.
  • Infants between four and 12 months should get between 12 and 16 hours of sleep every 24 hours.

In addition to getting enough sleep, people should focus on getting good quality sleep. Certain sleep disorders can cause poor sleep, even for those who are sleeping long enough. For more health-related advice and information, be sure to keep up with The Benefits Store today.