What We Learnt This Year

What We Learnt This Year
18 December 2017
Looking back at 2017, it seems almost impossible that the year has sped by so quickly. Yet, here we are: at the end of it all! Let’s consider some of the more off-beat health news stories from this year:

It’s official: Having a pet is good for you
A 12-year study undertaken in Sweden has revealed that having a dog may help us to live longer. Interestingly, this large-scale study looked into the health and well-being of 3.4 million dog owners, and while the results don’t account for many individual variables, one important conclusion can be made: people who live with dogs are more likely to be physically active and are therefore less likely to suffer a stroke or cardiac problems.

Social media may become a key indicator of global happiness rankings
On a global scale, our daily happiness is clearly linked to what we’re up to on a particular day. The Computational Story Lab is working on creating a global, real-time happiness indicator that measures worldwide happiness levels. From analysing and assessing social media posts on a variety of platforms, the organisation’s research undertakings are revealing key indicators for picking up on mental health issues and highlighting how the world responds to big news events.

Multiplayer gaming skills may reveal high levels of intelligence
A University of York research team has discovered a link between young people’s ability to perform well at playing two popular video games and high levels of intelligence. Most importantly, as Professor Alex Wade of the University of York's Department of Psychology and Digital Creativity Labs outlines: "Games such as League of Legends and DOTA 2 are complex, socially interactive and intellectually demanding. Our research would suggest that your performance in these games can be a measure of intelligence. Research in the past has pointed to the fact that people who are good at strategy games such as chess tend to score highly at IQ tests. Our research has extended this to games that millions of people across the planet play every day." I guess that’s as good a reason as any to get gaming, but don’t forget to take the dog for a walk too.

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