Vanderbilt study investigates which New Years resolutions are most beneficial for long-term health – Clarksville Now

Posted: December 30, 2019 at 8:52 pm

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By December 30, 2019 9:14 am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CLARKSVILLENOW) As 2019 wraps up and we roll into a new decade, many are going in with a vision to change their lives and better their health.

Making immediate lifestyle changes arent easy but can have a lasting long-term benefit on your overall health.

At Vanderbilt University Medical Center a study looked at a list of 10 lifestyle behaviors, any of which a person can change immediately, and asked which ones have a long-lasting impact on health?

Heres the list, in random order:

Leading the way as most impactful was 1. eating a low-fat diet, 2. aerobic exercise; 3. nonsmoking; 4. seat belt use, and 5. adequate sleep.

We wanted to identify what we could tell people they could start doing right now, said Mary Yarbrough, M.D., MPH, associate professor of Clinical Medicine and executive director of Faculty and Staff Health and Wellness, and the senior author of the study, which was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

People can get paralyzed by so much information. This can provide focus, she said.

The study was based on 10 years of de-identified data provided by Vanderbilt employees who voluntarily participated in an annual health risk assessment. The researchers examined the data from more than 10,000 Vanderbilt health risk assessments submitted between 2003 and 2012, and matched risk factors to health outcomes across the studied population.

This is one of the most important questions that people ask themselves: Of the health behaviors that I can control today, what are the most important to my long term health outcomes? said Daniel Byrne, Director of Quality Improvement and Program Evaluation in the Department of Biostatistics, who was the lead author of the study.

He noted that the data show that even small changes can affect health over time.

If you are sedentary, and begin to exercise one day a week, that benefits significantly the prevention of diabetes, he said. You cant change your age, race or genetic makeup, but you can change what you eat or how much you exercise.

Yarbrough said that she thought one of the most significant findings of the study was the importance of sleep.

The thing that I most often hear people say about their health that I think we need to educate them about is, I dont need much sleep. We need to remind people that seven to eight hours of sleep is really a good idea.

She noted that diet, exercise, nonsmoking and wearing seat belts are better-known healthy lifestyle measures than adequate sleep, but in terms of healthy-habits education, sleep is our next frontier.

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Vanderbilt study investigates which New Years resolutions are most beneficial for long-term health - Clarksville Now

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December 30th, 2019 at 8:52 pm

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