Feeling down? Blame the light. A new study which analyzed the link between mood disorder and exposure to artificial light (like what's produced by your cell phone, tablet or laptop, for example) found that the light disrupts the body's natural circadian rhythms, something which has been linked to breast cancer, heart disease and obesity. It also contributes to an increase in major depressive order. Per the Los Angeles Times, the study's authors noted that virtually everyone in the U.S. and Europe contends with light pollution every night, which may account for the increase in major depression over the last decade.
In other news about harmful light, HealthDay reports on a new study that shows folks who use tanning beds face a 20-percent increased risk of skin cancer, which reaches 87 percent if they start using the devices before turning 35 years old. Researchers also said that one in every 20 cases of melanoma, the most lethal form of skin cancer, can be attributed to tanning bed use.
Loneliness is nothing to dismiss – experts say it's a major risk factor for health problems and mortality in older adults, and, besides that, the emotional toll can be grueling. New research in Brain, Behavior and Immunity says "mindfulness meditation," a practice dating back to Buddha that aims to be aware of the present moment, may reduce loneliness, just like it's been used to lower inflammation levels.
HealthDay reports on a study which found that black teens living in public housing communities are more than twice as likely to smoke than other black teens. Researchers attributed the phenomenon to more general fear, poorer social relationships and more psychological strain.
Finally, health news to use: Clipping on a pedometer, reports HealthDay, tends to get people walking more. A study of 300 New Zealand seniors found that when they used the device, which simply measures the number of steps a person takes, their weekly walking times nearly doubled. The best part? Pedometers are cheap.
Photo by Samantha Celera via Flickr Creative Commons.