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Take a stand to live longer, wear stockings to stop snoring and cut up your food if you want to lose weight

A round-up of the health news headlines on Tuesday 10 July

The big news today for anyone trying to boost their longevity is that spending more time standing up could give you as many as two years extra life.

Most newspapers and BBC News online have reported findings from a US review that estimated cutting sitting time to just three hours a day could extend life expectancy by two years and cutting time spent sat watching TV to two hours a day could add on 1.4 years to your life. The BMJ Open paper based the calculations on five studies of 167,000 people in total but did not look in detail at other lifestyle factors which could have an impact. Natasha Stewart, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said the research does highlight what is already known about the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle. "And recent UK guidelines suggested we should all minimise the time we spend sitting down."

Anyone trying to get their eight hours nightly rest next to a heavy snorer will have heard all the suggested remedies. But they may not know about the latest treatment as reported in the Daily Mail : wearing tight stockings during the day. A small study of 12 patients suggested that compression stockings may help prevent sleep apnoea by reducing fluid build up in the daytime. Researchers at Toronto University are now planning a larger trial of 50 patients to test the theory further. Andrew Mc-Combe, an ear, nose and throat surgeon at Frimley Park Hospital, Surrey, said it was an interesting idea. "Of course, a lot of people with significant apnoea are overweight and not very mobile, so fluid accumulation through the day is more likely in this group. Whether the fluid moves to the neck at night when they are asleep is not known for sure, and clearly this idea is untested, hence the need for this study."

And finally, the Daily Express has a handy hint for anyone struggling to lose weight. The secret they say is to cut up your food into smaller pieces. A study found that rats trained to associate one part of a maze with one large pellet of food and another with smaller tidbits that added up to the same calories preferred the smaller pellets. And 300 students given a bagel cut into quarters with lunch 20 minutes later ate less than those given an uncut bagel. Presenting the research at Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior's annual conference, Devina Wadhera, lead researcher at Arizona State University, said: "Cutting up energy-dense foods into smaller pieces may be beneficial to dieters who wish to make their meal more satiating."

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