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Health: Manual labourers are 55 per cent more likely to develop dementia than office workers

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health manual labourers are 55 per cent more likely to develop dementia than office workers

Manual labourers — such as brick layers, road diggers and factory workers — have a 55 per cent higher risk of developing dementia than office works, a study found. 

Researchers from Denmark found that physical work wears down the brain — as well as the heart, muscles and joints — because it’s the ‘wrong sort’ of exertion.

Exercise was previously thought to lower the risk of developing dementia, but the results indicate that the type of activity is important in securing the benefits.

The findings could lead to vulnerable individuals being screened early, before memory loss and confusion emerge — at a time when treatments are more effective.

Manual labourers — such as brick layers (pictured), road diggers and factory workers — have a 55 per cent higher risk of developing dementia than office works, a study has found

Manual labourers — such as brick layers (pictured), road diggers and factory workers — have a 55 per cent higher risk of developing dementia than office works, a study has found

Manual labourers — such as brick layers (pictured), road diggers and factory workers — have a 55 per cent higher risk of developing dementia than office works, a study has found

‘Before the study we assumed hard physical work was associated with a higher risk of dementia,’ explained paper author and public health expert Kirsten Nabe-Nielsen of the University of Copenhagen.

‘It’s something other studies have tried to prove — but ours is the first to connect the two things convincingly.’

The traditional view has been that exercise typically serves to reduce the likelihood of dementia. In fact, a recent study from the same university showed that a healthy lifestyle — such as regular walks, or cycle rides — can halve the risk.

Furthermore, the World Health Organisation (WHO) also lists physical activity as an important factor in staving off the condition.

‘But our study suggests it must be a ‘good’ form of physical activity, which hard physical work is not,’ said Professor Nabe-Nielsen.

‘Guides from the health authorities should therefore differentiate between physical activity in your spare time and physical activity at work — as there is reason to believe the two forms of physical activity have opposite effects.’

In their study, Professor Nabe-Nielsen and colleagues analysed data from 4,721 Danish men who participated in the so-called Copenhagen Male Study.

The men were polled during the 1970s about the nature of the work they performed — which included positions in 14 large local firms, including rail operator Danske Statsbaner, Danish Defence and the Copenhagen Telephone Company.

In the subsequent decades, researchers have collected health data on each of the participants, recording — among this — any cases of dementia that developed.

The team’s analysis accounted for other factors that might be linked to either causing or preventing dementia — including whether or not the participants smoked, exercised and had either high blood pressure or body mass index.

The findings indicated that manual labour was associated with a 55 per cent higher risk of developing dementia than undertaking sedentary forms of work.

Researchers from Denmark found that physical work wears down the brain — as well as the heart, muscles and joints — because it's the 'wrong sort' of exertion. Exercise was previously thought to lower the risk of developing dementia, but the results indicate that the type of activity is important in securing the benefits

Researchers from Denmark found that physical work wears down the brain — as well as the heart, muscles and joints — because it's the 'wrong sort' of exertion. Exercise was previously thought to lower the risk of developing dementia, but the results indicate that the type of activity is important in securing the benefits

Researchers from Denmark found that physical work wears down the brain — as well as the heart, muscles and joints — because it’s the ‘wrong sort’ of exertion. Exercise was previously thought to lower the risk of developing dementia, but the results indicate that the type of activity is important in securing the benefits

The researchers hope that their study will serve to highlight in the importance of early health interventions — as dementia-related changes in the brain begin long before an individual leaves the labour market.

In fact, past studies have shown that the first signs of dementia can appear decades before the onset of noticeable symptoms.

‘A lot of workplaces have already taken steps to improve the health of their staff,’ said paper author Andreas Holtermann, of the National Research Centre for the Working Environment in Copenhagen.

‘The problem is it’s the most well-educated and resourceful part of the population that uses these initiatives.’

‘Those with a shorter education often struggle with overweight, pain and poor physical fitness, even though they take more steps during the day and to a larger extent use their body as a tool.’

‘For workmen, it’s not enough for example to avoid heavy lifts if they wish to remain in the profession until age 70.’

‘People with a shorter education doing manual labour also need to take preventive steps by strengthening the body’s capacity — via, for example, exercise and strength training.’

Professor Nabe-Nielsen said that studies have suggested that hard physical work reduces blood circulation — cutting down the oxygen supply to the brain.

This may also lead to the development of cardiovascular diseases like high blood pressure, blood clots in the heart, heart cramps and heart failure.

With their initial study complete, the team are continuing to assess their results — with a view to identifying healthier ways of doing physical labour.

To this end, they have begun to collect data from social and healthcare assistants, child care workers and packing operatives, among others.

They plan to produce interventions meant to organise the workers’ days in such a way that they benefit from an ‘exercise effect’.

The researchers said that they hope to see companies successfully change work procedures accordingly — ensuring, for example, that heavy lifts will have a positive effect rather than wear down the workers. 

In the UK, more than 850,000 people are living with dementia, a figure set to rise to 2 million by the year 2050.

With no cure in sight, there is an increasing focus on lifestyle measures — such as exercise and diet — that are known to be protective. 

The full findings of the study were published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports

WHAT IS DEMENTIA? THE KILLER DISEASE THAT ROBS SUFFERERS OF THEIR MEMORIES

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of neurological disorders

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of neurological disorders

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of neurological disorders

A GLOBAL CONCERN 

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of progressive neurological disorders (those affecting the brain) which impact memory, thinking and behaviour. 

There are many different types of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common.

Some people may have a combination of types of dementia.

Regardless of which type is diagnosed, each person will experience their dementia in their own unique way.

Dementia is a global concern but it is most often seen in wealthier countries, where people are likely to live into very old age.

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE AFFECTED?

The Alzheimer’s Society reports there are more than 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK today, of which more than 500,000 have Alzheimer’s.

It is estimated that the number of people living with dementia in the UK by 2025 will rise to over 1 million.

In the US, it’s estimated there are 5.5 million Alzheimer’s sufferers. A similar percentage rise is expected in the coming years.

As a person’s age increases, so does the risk of them developing dementia.

Rates of diagnosis are improving but many people with dementia are thought to still be undiagnosed.

IS THERE A CURE?

Currently there is no cure for dementia.

But new drugs can slow down its progression and the earlier it is spotted the more effective treatments are.

Source: Alzheimer’s Society 

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SpaceX launches reusable Falcon 9 rocket booster for SEVENTH time

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spacex launches reusable falcon 9 rocket booster for seventh time

SpaceX has reused a Falcon 9 rocket for a record breaking seventh time during its most recent mission to put another 60 Starlink satellites into orbit.

It comes as the Elon Musk-owned space launch firm is preparing for the first high altitude test flight of its mammoth Starship prototype spaceship – dubbed SN8. 

Launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida at 02:13 GMT this morning, the Falcon 9 flight was the seventh time that particular first stage booster had been used.

This beat the previous record for a booster of six trips and helps Musk in his mission to bring down the cost of launching payloads from the Earth by reusing equipment.

The Falcon 9 launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in the early hours of this morning carrying the 16th batch of Starlink satellites

The Falcon 9 launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in the early hours of this morning carrying the 16th batch of Starlink satellites

The Falcon 9 launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in the early hours of this morning carrying the 16th batch of Starlink satellites

SpaceX was able to recover the booster from the Atlantic Ocean using a drone flight – which means it may be able to fly for an eighth time in the future.

The booster wasn’t the only part of the Falcon 9 to be reused during this flight – that brings the total of small Starlink internet satellites up to nearly 1,000.

The fairing cover used to protect the payload had also been used before – half on one other trip and another on two different trips before this one, SpaceX confirmed.

Every time SpaceX is able to reuse a component it reduces the cost of getting material into low Earth orbit compared to using parts for the first time.

Research by the Center for Strategic and International Studies found that the average cost of putting 1kg of material in orbit on a SpaceX launch is $2,600.

In comparison, the average cost to put a 1kg object in orbit from a Russian Soyuz was $17,900 and the United Launch Alliance Delta E came in at $177,900 per kg. 

Musk is working to bring that cost down even further with each element of the Falcon 9 they are able to reuse.

Part of that drive to reuse is pushing development of the massive Starship two-stage-to-orbit fully-reusable heavy lift vehicle.

It has been under development since 2012 and is designed to bring the cost of each launch downs significantly by being fully reusable.

A single Falcon 9 launch costs about $51 million if it is reusing components that have flown before – Musk hopes to get the Spaceship launch in at $2 million per trip.

That reality could soon be a step closer as the firm is preparing to send up the latest prototype Starship SN8 on a high altitude test flight.

Musk tweeted that it has already undergone a successful static fire test and that in the next week or so it would fly up to about nine miles into the sky.

This beat the previous record for a booster of six trips and helps Musk in his mission to bring down the cost of launching payloads from the Earth by reusing equipment

This beat the previous record for a booster of six trips and helps Musk in his mission to bring down the cost of launching payloads from the Earth by reusing equipment

 This beat the previous record for a booster of six trips and helps Musk in his mission to bring down the cost of launching payloads from the Earth by reusing equipment

Space X performed the third over all static fire on Starship SN8 Thursday November 12 at its Boca Chica facility in Texas. The next stage is a high altitude test

Space X performed the third over all static fire on Starship SN8 Thursday November 12 at its Boca Chica facility in Texas. The next stage is a high altitude test

Space X performed the third over all static fire on Starship SN8 Thursday November 12 at its Boca Chica facility in Texas. The next stage is a high altitude test

The edge of space is agreed by NASA and others to be 50 miles above sea level but to go into orbit you need to get to at least 100 miles above sea level.

If this latest flight test – that will see the triple Raptor engine fire and lift the 400ft spaceship into the air – is successful, then further, higher tests will likely follow.

November 30 has been provisionally set aside as the date of the high altitude test that will see the spaceship reach the highest it has ever flown.

Musk tweeted: ‘Good Starship SN8 static fire! Aiming for first 15km / ~50k ft altitude flight next week. Goals are to test 3 engine ascent, body flaps, transition from main to header tanks & landing flip.’

The landing is one of the most important aspects – as it needs to be fully reusable to achieve the goals and price per flight set out by the SpaceX team. 

WHAT IS ELON MUSK’S ‘BFR’?

The BFR (Big F***ing Rocket), now known as Starship, will complete all missions and is smaller than the ones Musk announced in 2016.

The SpaceX CEO said the rocket would take its first trip to the red planet in 2022, carrying only cargo, followed by a manned mission in 2024 and claimed other SpaceX’s products would be ‘cannibalised’ to pay for it.

The rocket would be partially reusable and capable of flight directly from Earth to Mars.

Once built, Musk believes the rocket could be used for travel on Earth – saying that passengers would be able to get anywhere in under an hour.

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44DFD4DC00000578 4933944 image a 77 1506734013996

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Environment: microfibre filters in washing machines needed to protect marine life, charity says 

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environment microfibre filters in washing machines needed to protect marine life charity says

Washing machines for sale should be legally required to have special filters to catch plastic microfibres released from clothing, an environmental charity has said.

The Marine Conservation Society’s ‘Stop Ocean Threads‘ campaign is calling for the UK Government to write the use of the filters into law by the year 2024.

However, the charity is also lobbying washing machine makers directly in the hope of speedier action — and is asking the public to help by tweeting their message. 

Research conducted by YouGov on the charity’s behalf found that more than four-fifths of adults surveyed supported the introduction of such legislative measures.

Meanwhile, 26 per cent said that they would be quite willing to pay an extra £50 for their next washing machine if such came with a filter to catch plastic microfibres. 

Less than five millimetres in length, microfibers are produced across every step of the garment fabrication process — and released when clothes are machine washed. 

In September, a study reported that washing machines are dumping around 165,000 tons of synthetic fibres into the ocean each year — and other 175,000 tons on land.

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Washing machines for sale should be legally required to have special filters to catch plastic microfibres released from clothing, an environmental charity has said

Washing machines for sale should be legally required to have special filters to catch plastic microfibres released from clothing, an environmental charity has said

Washing machines for sale should be legally required to have special filters to catch plastic microfibres released from clothing, an environmental charity has said

‘Our research has found that the public is largely supportive of our call for legislation, and consumers are willing to pay a little more to reduce the flow of microplastics into the ocean,’ said the Marine Conservation Society’s Laura Foster.

‘It’s fantastic to see the support our petition has received so far, but now we need the public to show their support and join our action to engage with manufacturers directly,’ Dr Foster added.

‘If we can show manufacturers that the public wants these filters fitted as soon as possible, we hope to speed up the legislative process and get filters fitted in the near future.’

A petition launched by the charity has to date been signed by more than 12,000 people — and can be found on the Marine Conservation Society website.

Members of the public are also being encouraged to tweet their support of the campaign’s goals directly at washing machine manufacturers.

‘Hey @Miele_GB @BekoUK @Hoover_UK @BoschUK @SamsungUK @WhirlpoolCorp,’ the suggested message begins.

‘We want washing machine manufacturers to commit to fitting microfibre filters before 2024. Will you do this and help us #StopOceanThreads? Please retweet and share far and wide.’ 

A petition launched by the charity has to date been signed by more than 12,000 people — and can be found on the Marine Conservation Society website . Members of the public are also being encouraged to tweet their support of the campaign's goals, as pictured

A petition launched by the charity has to date been signed by more than 12,000 people — and can be found on the Marine Conservation Society website . Members of the public are also being encouraged to tweet their support of the campaign's goals, as pictured

A petition launched by the charity has to date been signed by more than 12,000 people — and can be found on the Marine Conservation Society website . Members of the public are also being encouraged to tweet their support of the campaign’s goals, as pictured

Synthetics fabrics — such as polyester and nylon — are the most commonly used fibres in the textile industry.

They account for more than 60 per cent of the materials used to produce clothes worldwide.

Around 15 per cent of all plastic is used to make synthetic fibres, chiefly for clothing.

URBAN FLOODING IS FLUSHING MICROPLASTICS INTO THE OCEANS FASTER THAN THOUGHT

Urban flooding is causing microplastics to be flushed into our oceans even faster than thought, according to scientists looking at pollution in rivers.

Waterways in Greater Manchester are now so heavily contaminated by microplastics that particles are found in every sample – including even the smallest streams.

This pollution is a major contributor to contamination in the oceans, researchers found as part of the first detailed catchment-wide study anywhere in the world.

This debris – including microbeads and microfibres – are toxic to ecosystems.

Scientists tested 40 sites around Manchester and found every waterway contained these small toxic particles.

Microplastics are very small pieces of plastic debris including microbeads, microfibres and plastic fragments.

It has long been known they enter river systems from multiple sources including industrial effluent, storm water drains and domestic wastewater.

However, although around 90 per cent of microplastic contamination in the oceans is thought to originate from land, not much is known about their movements.

Most rivers examined had around 517,000 plastic particles per square metre, according to researchers from the University of Manchester who carried out the detailed study.

Following a period of major flooding, the researchers re-sampled at all of the sites.

They found levels of contamination had fallen at the majority of them, and the flooding had removed about 70 per cent of the microplastics stored on the river beds.

This demonstrates that flood events can transfer large quantities of microplastics from urban river to the oceans.

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Narcissists classed as key workers thrived because it made them feel like ‘heroes’

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narcissists classed as key workers thrived because it made them feel like heroes

Narcissistic people who were classed as key workers during the pandemic got a thrill out of being dubbed ‘heroes’ when going about their job.

A new study confirms what many exasperated friends and family may have suspected when loved ones were bragging about their own importance during the coronavirus pandemic – that they were getting a kick out of the situation. 

The public praise for essential workers – including shop workers, delivery drivers and teachers – acted as a ‘trigger’ for narcissists, researchers say.  

A study has formally confirmed what exasperated friends and family suspected when loved ones bragged about their importance during the coronavirus pandemic - narcissists got a thrill out of being dubbed a 'hero' (stock)

A study has formally confirmed what exasperated friends and family suspected when loved ones bragged about their importance during the coronavirus pandemic - narcissists got a thrill out of being dubbed a 'hero' (stock)

A study has formally confirmed what exasperated friends and family suspected when loved ones bragged about their importance during the coronavirus pandemic – narcissists got a thrill out of being dubbed a ‘hero’ (stock)

Amy Brunell, co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology at Ohio State University, said: ‘The word “hero” is a trigger for narcissists.

‘Having their work elevated to hero status provides them with an opportunity to shine in front of others and feel even better about themselves.’

The study was based on online surveys of 312 people who considered themselves to be essential workers. 

The most common job position listed was working in a convenience/grocery store.

Narcissists who bragged about their work on social media revealed the posting made them feel even better about themselves (stock)

Narcissists who bragged about their work on social media revealed the posting made them feel even better about themselves (stock)

Narcissists who bragged about their work on social media revealed the posting made them feel even better about themselves (stock)

The questionnaires determined their personality type and also their feelings about their role.  

It found that people identified as ‘communal narcissists’ or ‘agentic narcissists’ were more likely to discuss their work on social media. 

Communal narcissists believe they are better at contributing to a bigger goal than other people, whereas agentic narcissists are the stereotypical show-offs that seek out and hog the limelight  

‘[Communal narcissists] think they are the best at being helpful and caring for others. The pandemic gave them a chance to stand out,’ Dr Brunell said. 

Argentic narcissists got their thrills from the ‘hero status’ they were given which ‘gave them a way to feel admired and distinct from others’, the researchers say. 

Narcissists who bragged about their work on social media revealed the posting made them feel even better about themselves.

As a result, they were more likely to agree with statements like ‘right now, I greatly enrich others’ lives’ and ‘Right now, I feel like I am a special person.’

The findings are available in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.

Narcissistic people are more likely to be viewed positively by their bosses due to high energy levels 

Calling someone a narcissist is generally insulting, but a new study suggests the label could be desirable for employers.

Researchers at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China have linked narcissistic personality traits to higher energy levels in the work place and were more well regarded by their supervisors.  

People with more narcissistic personality traits also tended to take leadership roles more readily than other workers, whether asked or not, according to the researchers, led by Huazhong University’s Kong Zhou.

‘We argue that narcissistic employees usually have stronger internal motivations to release the potential energy stored in their bodies as to prove they are better than other employees,’ the team writes.

‘Hence, we predict that narcissistic employees may be more energized to exhibit taking-charge behavior in the workplace.’

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