Coffee may be the key to living longer; Plus, White House plans to end hunger by 2030, and more health news

Coffee might perk up your heart — and your life span

Folks who drink two or three cups of coffee daily appear to live longer than people who don’t care for the beverage, new research shows.

Coffee lovers also seemed to have healthier hearts, which might contribute to the longevity boost, said the team of Australian investigators.

The findings were published Sept. 27 in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

“Ground, instant and decaffeinated coffee were associated with equivalent reductions in the incidence of cardiovascular disease and death from cardiovascular disease or any cause,” study author Dr. Peter Kistler, of the Baker Heart and Diabetes Research Institute in Melbourne, said in a journal news release.

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How to relieve eye strain at work

Staring at a computer screen endlessly can lead to dry, irritated, tired eyes and headaches.

But there’s a quick fix.

Just look away from the screen every 20 minutes. Do this for at least 20 seconds, and look about 20 feet in the distance.

Experts have suggested the 20-20-20 rule for a long time. Now, researchers have validated its usefulness in a study that used special software to monitor participants’ gaze for two weeks.

“Although we used sophisticated software, it’s easy for others to replicate the effect by setting a timer on their phone, or downloading a reminder app,” said study author James Wolffsohn.

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Does forced cheerfulness at work lead to burnout?

Getting up on the wrong side of bed can happen to the best of folks. Not everyone greets every morning with a sunny disposition and big smile.

But when a bad mood overlaps with work, many people feel pressured to just snap out of it and “get happy.”

New research suggests that forcing that sort of an emotional adjustment on the job can take a toll, sapping a worker’s energy, and over time, increasing the risk of burnout.

“There’s been quite a bit of research on emotions at work, but the majority returns the same conclusion that ‘being in a good mood is good and, if you’re not in one, you should try to get in one,'” said Emma Frank, an assistant professor of management at the University of New Hampshire.

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Regular weightlifting could lengthen your life

Combining weightlifting with aerobic exercise can significantly lower your odds dying early, especially from heart disease, new research shows.

Depending how much weightlifting they did, older adults reduced their risk of premature death by between 9% and 22%, the study found. Moderate or vigorous aerobic exercise lowered the risk by 24% to 34%. The lowest risk, however, was seen among those who did both types of exercise.

“Current Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend participation in both aerobic physical activity and muscle strengthening exercise, like weightlifting,” said lead researcher Jessica Gorzelitz, of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

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Biden administration announces plan to end hunger by 2030

The White House on Tuesday released a national plan to end hunger by 2030, an ambitious goal that would be accomplished largely by expanding monthly food benefits for poor Americans.

The plan would also aim to encourage healthy eating and physical activity so fewer people would be diagnosed with diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and other diet-related diseases. Part of that strategy would include expanding Medicaid and Medicare access to obesity and nutrition counseling.

“The consequences of food insecurity and diet-related diseases are significant, far-reaching, and disproportionately impact historically underserved communities,” Biden said in a statement outlining the new strategy. “Yet, food insecurity and diet-related diseases are largely preventable, if we prioritize the health of the nation.”

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How to safely enter and clean flood-damaged homes

The devastation left by one of the strongest hurricanes to hit Florida in years is immense. But residents flooded out of their homes by Hurricane Ian must be cautious when they return, federal experts warn.

First off, always assume there’s potential risk from electricity or gas leaks, say experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Return during the daytime, so you don’t need to turn on any lights, and use battery-powered flashlights or lanterns rather than candles, gas lanterns or torches.

If there’s standing water and you can turn off the house’s main power from a dry location, do so first — even if that means you delay starting cleanup.

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Get ready for those fall allergies

Allergy sufferers know that symptoms don’t just appear in spring or summer. Fall, too, can bring about sneezing and trouble breathing, as can volatile weather patterns.

“People frequently experience allergy symptoms in the fall even if they are mainly allergic to pollens in the spring and summer,” said Dr. David Corry. He is a professor of medicine in the section of immunology, allergy and rheumatology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Among the natural events that could affect allergy sufferers this year are the Tonga Volcano eruption in January, Corry said. That sent particulates and aerosols into the environment and could change global weather, shortening or lengthening upcoming pollen seasons.

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