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April 22, 2015

November 17, 2012

Effects of soda

November 12, 2012

Exercise and Lifeexpectancy: The Swedes Definitely Got This Habit Right.

The Swedes are good at many sports, however, walking has to be the country's national sport.  Almost where-ever and when-ever you go  - and regardless of the weather - you will encounter people out on brisk walk.

A study (http://bit.ly/ZevIZU) by Steen Moore et al, published in the recent edition of PLOS medicine examines the effects of exercise on longevity.  Looking at over 650.000 individuals and their adjusted life expectancy, the authors found that those who did physical exercise equivalent to 75 minutes of brisk walking per week increased their life expectancy by 1.8 years, while those who met the WHO's recommended level of 150 minutes of exercise per week gained 3.4 to 4.5 years compared to their statistical, corrected life expectancy.
Interestingly, they also found also levels exercise had a greater effect on longevity than did body weight.  In other words: It is more important for your longevity to get your daily exercise than to be at your optimal weight.

November 07, 2012

Risk Factors and Multiple Sclerosis

A recent article in Nature Review (Nature Reviews Neurology 8, 602-612 (November 2012) | doi:10.1038/nrneurol.2012.198) proposes new insight on the possible causes of multiple schlerosis (MS). 
The authors suggested that, in addition to a genetic predisposition, a triad of risk factors seem to greatly increase the likelihood of the disease manifesting itself.  These include previous infection with Ebstein-Barr virus (Infectious Mononucleosis, "Kissing Disease"), Vitamin D deficiency and cigarette smoking.
While the method of connection to EBV is uncertain, it is theorized that the infection causes the immunesystem to malfunction by altering the function of the B- and T-lymphocytes.
It is well known that Vitamin D functions not only as a Vitamin but also has powerful hormonal effects. The connection between low blood levels of Vitamin D could help explain the observations concerning MS incidence and geography that has been well documented.
Smoking is well known to reduce the function of the immune system.  In this context, smoking appears to increase the risk of MS by about 50%.

November 20, 2011

New Resarch on the Obesity Epedemic


Obesity (and complications such as diabetes and heart / circulation problems) is quickly moving into the position as the leading causes of lifestyle related illnesses and health care expenditure. 

The old "calories in vs. calories out" model of thinking about weight management has steadily been undermined by new  research, indicating that weight management is a much more complicated matter. It is no longer a scientifically defendable that for everyone, weight control is a simple matter of just eating less and exercising more.

Spurred on by the escalating health care costs related to the treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, increased funding has been allocated to try to increase our understanding and more effectively treat and prevent them. 
One study in the journal Cell Metabolism outlines how one of the body's own calorie intake balancing mechanisms located in this case in the area of the brain called the hypothalamus can be reduced in its ability to communicate and control  Most recently a research team headed by Kim Loh from Monash University in Australia, found that elevated levels of a compound named TCPTP (tyrosine phosphatase) reduced the hypothalamus' sensitivity to leptin (a neurotransmitter secreted by fat tissues). 
This now opens another door through which it is possible to combat the obesity epidemic. 

September 05, 2011

The Dangers of Soda / Läsk

Just saw this info-graphic on the danger of drinking high-sugar carbonated drinks.  Makes you wonder about the what the soda vending machines are doing on school campuses in some countries.  Possibly a smart move financially (subsidies from the soda manufacturers) but definitely a higher risk of health related expenses in the long term. (Source http://www.termlifeinsurance.org.uk)

April 12, 2011

Welcome to 1985 - as George Orwell Predicted it!

Welcome to 1985!
No this is not a strange of incident of "Back to the Future" - this is George Orwell's 1985 taking place in 2011 - and, unfortunately, it is not fiction.
Picture this: You are no longer in control of your health, you can't decide what to eat and what not to eat, you have no say in how you manage your health - that is has all been decided for you - by politicians and people who don't have your best health in mind.
How could this happen???
A group of multinational companies have successfully lobbied the EU to impose powerful new legislation (THMPD: Traditional Herbal Medicine Products Directive) to limit YOUR choices in what you eat and how you choose to stay healthy.  You no longer have say in the matter!  The politicians - who you elected - have already given away the keys to the kingdom, made the choices for you…never bothered to ask what you thought about it.
Who are the people that initiate such a vile act? - and why would they do it?
Answer: Big Multinational Pharmaceutical Companies & MONEY!!!!!
Yes, the same people who brought you massive heart attacks thanks to Vioxx (and failed to also remove the other, almost identical drugs from the market) and the people who used a recent humanitarian crisis on the African continent to perform unauthorized testing of an unproven drug on hundreds of unsuspecting African children - of which some died - have decided that (apparently) people were getting too healthy on "this herbal stuff" - and have successfully lobbied the EU politicians that you and I elected to make sure that the citizens of Europe no longer have a non-drug option to staying healthy.
I don't mind pharmaceutical drugs, actually I recommend them to very symptomatic patients fairly regularly.  But I do mind when these same companies limit my choices of known, proven - and fairly safe non-drug options to keep myself, my family and my patients as healthy as we can be.
And I definitely mind when the motive appears to be money - pure greed! There is nothing in motivation of the EU bill about public safety, there is no public record of industry-wide unsafe manufacturing processes within the herbal remedy industry - this just comes down to pure corporate greed and it is disgusting!!
The bill has already been passed, but apparently it is not quite too late to keep it from being used in practice - time is prescious!!
Watch the video and make up your own mind - please!!

Back2Life - "Don't try it at home"

Today, I saw a gentleman I hadn't seen in a while.
He walked in, stooped over, using one crutch.
He had previously used a crutch for foot problems and had had intermittent low back problems before, but he had recently bought a "Back2Life" machine in an attempt to improve his health.  Unfortunately, it had backfired completely and he was now stuck bent forward, in significant pain.
I haven't seen this device before, but at first blush it looked like another one of those "get rich quick" schemes based on selling a "get better quick" device. However, since he had brought along the documentation and user manual, I took a look at it.
It would appear that the device is yet another attempt at spine traction, possibly combined with non-specific mobilization. While traction has been used for centuries, the method regained popularized in the 70'ies and 80'ies where people would hang upside down by their knees or boots secured up high or on inversion tables. This method has worked decently for many, but has limitations and many potential drawbacks. At the end of that era, some tried to combine traction and flexion (forward bending of the trunk relative to the hips), most notably to treat disc problems.  This strategy yielded results yielding from great to catastrophic. It is no longer in widespread use.
As far as I can see, this device tries to exert long axis traction just like the inversion tables of the 70'ies and 80'ies did, but ends up, at least in some cases, causing flexion also - even without user error.
As was learned in the 80'ies, treating a problematic low back in any form of flexion position brings a whole host of potential problems, raining from facet locking to disc herniation, which might also explain the set-back that my patient experienced. As the success with Robin McKenzie's extension (backward bending of the trunk relative to the hips) in the 90'ies has shown, extension is a much safer and potentially more beneficial mode of treatment than is flexion. 
Unfortunately the patient position with the Back2Life device is a far cry of extension, it would appear to be neutral at best.
Looking at the comment thread at Spine-Health.com (http://www.spine-health.com/forum/back-surgery-and-neck-surgery/back-2-life-machine) my patient was not the only one to feel a detrimental effect of the Back2Life device.
Things worked out decently for my patient though.  I worked on him for a good while, there were lots of problems, but he walked out upright, not needing to use the cane, with a smile on his face.

In summary I would opine that this device is not for people with any hint of disc herniation or segmental instability in the low back. In reality,  I would say that the potential dangers would render this device very risky in a home-based treatment setting under the above mentioned circumstances.  Possibly best to check with a spine specialist before purchase - unless you believe that the company will live up to any stated money back guarantee.

March 31, 2011

Of Horses and Horsemen (and -women).

As a chiropractor I have treated numerous horseback riders with significant injuries acquired from falling off their horses numerous times.  Based on the severity and chronicity of the injuries I have treated, it is my sincere opinion that every horse should come with its own rebate punchcard for chiropractic services - falling off is just that injurious!
However, I have also treated a fair number of expert riders - and entirely different issues come up.  Instead of whiplash-looking neck trauma and massive low back pain; headaches with neck pain and massively inflamed shoulder and back muscles - we are talking balance and posture in the saddle, communication with the horse and performance.
I have now seen it enough times that I can predict what the rider is going to experience from our care: A feeling of improved balance in the saddle from a more upright riding posture, more equal pressure on the ischial tuberosities ("sit bones") leading to less stress on the low back, mid back and arms, a more harmonious experience with their horse.
What happens is this: When the pelvis stops functioning correctly, the resulting "misalignment" most often places unequal pressure downward from the pelvis to the saddle. The problem arises because this asymmetrical pressure from the hips, in horse language, is an order to turn to one side.  In order counteract this, the rider then has to pull harder on the reigns on the other side.  The net result is that the horse finally goes straight, significant strain on the rider's arm and back muscles and spine - and one pissed off horse!
Today, an expert rider mentioned that after we got the problem corrected, apart from her backpain being gone, her horse actually seemed more eager to go riding with her and reacted quicker to commands - pretty neat!!

February 12, 2011

A wonderful day with Hunger Project

Thanks to all our patients who showed up and recommended us to friends (who also showed up) for a wonderful day of health and helping others.  Our fundraiser for The Hunger Project (www.hungerprojektet.se) was a resounding success!!  Together, we generated almost 10.000 SEK, which helps The Hunger Project enable people in 3rd world countries to establish infrastructure, businesses, education and careers  to give hope for a better future and raise themselves out of poverty.
Thanks to all our amazing patients who made this possible and thanks to the volunteers who showed up and were a part of this incredible day.  Niels & Sami Wagner.

January 25, 2011

You are unemployed - and you WILL BE HAPPY!!

Scandinavia is on occasion every so often brought up as the perfect societies where the government takes care of everyone so that no-one is left behind - and everyone is happy.  There are drawbacks, however: With increased benefits come increased government control - which is not always a good thing. 

The "We Know Better What is Good for You Than You Do" attitude goes overboard once in a while, as this article in the Danish newspaper "Politiken" highlightes.   http://politiken.dk/indland/ECE1229809/kommuner-tvinger-dagpengemodtagere-til-at-tage-lykkepiller/

The article describes how unemployed are forced to take antidepressants in order to stay eligible for unemployment benefits!!

This policy is most likely illegal and will be challenged -  but just the thought that someone in city hall thought that this would be OK to begin with just boggles the mind!!!


October 30, 2010

Rickrolling another generation.

Chaperoned a party at my son's school tonight.  As the next to last tune the DJ played "Never Let You Down" by Rick Astley. The kids were dancing and having a great time. I don't consider myself a part of the cultural or intellectual "lete", but a couple of us parents had a tough time keeping our smug grins under control - yet another generation was innocently being Rickrolled - made my evening! Give it another 20 years and this song might actually be "in" again!

October 25, 2010

Low vitamin D may raise cancer risk


U. ROCHESTER (US) — Two new vitamin D studies suggest intriguing ties between a deficiency of D and breast and colon cancer, particularly among African Americans.

The research adds to mounting evidence that some connection exists between vitamin D and cancer, although it is not yet known how vitamin D modifies or contributes to cancer risk. Evidence is also inconsistent as to whether vitamin D might be used for cancer prevention.

Many of the body's tissues and cells have vitamin D receptors, making it a potent regulator of cell activity and growth. Researchers report vitamin D might generally improve DNA repair, reduce inflammation, and promote the death of potentially malignant cells.

October 23, 2010

Sorry honey, no more pole dancing!

Today, I had the curious experience of being asked for an "intyg" (doctor's note) for a patient that needed to take a break from pole dancing class due to recurring low back pain.  A first for me!!
Thankfully, it was "recreational pole dancing" not for "professional purposes" - or so I was told. What has the world come to??!!

October 17, 2010

Study Suggests Yoga Can Help Counteract Symptoms of Fibromyalgia.

James W. Carson, et al. A pilot randomized controlled trial of the Yoga of Awareness program in the management of fibromyalgia. Pain, 2010; 151 (2): 530  Cited from Sciencedaily.com (Oct. 14, 2010).

According to new research conducted at Oregon Health & Science University, yoga exercises may have the power to combat fibromyalgia -- a medical disorder characterized by chronic widespread pain.

"Previous research suggests that the most successful treatment for fibromyalgia involves a combination of medications, physical exercise and development of coping skills," said James Carson, Ph.D., a clinical health psychologist and an assistant professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine. "Here, we specifically focused on yoga to determine whether it should be considered as a prescribed treatment and the extent to which it can be successful."

The researchers divided a total of 53 participants in two groups: one test and one control group. After eight weeks both groups were reasessed both with questionnaries and physical exams with regard to pain, fatigue, stiffness, poor sleep, depression, poor memory, anxiety and poor balance.  The yoga group did better not only statistically but also to the extent that improvemnts were clinically visible.



October 08, 2010

Seven Steps to Avoid Burnout.


The author outlines real world steps to avoid burnout:
1. Plan ahead, avoid overcommitting
2. Separate work and leisure time
3. Set boundaries for expectations from others
4. Keep sharp boundaries between work and play
5. Eliminate "busy work"
6. Create connections to "other realities"
7. Maintain a healthy lifestyle - including exercise.

Comments: The timestamp on this one is going to reveal that I am in gross violation of at least two of these recommendations - but this how I relax and have fun.
Personally, I would probably add a few points:
8. Keep the faith (if you have one). If you believe in God: Know that there are no accidents, no random events and that most events in your life have a purpose - even if you may not be able to realize it for one or five or ten years later (been there!!).
9. In reference to #8: Keep a positive perspective and avoid the trap of continuing to feel like a victim.  Take control of your emotions and reclaim the mastery of your life: Do what you have to do; find Faith, find your source of passion, reinvent yourself in charity, find your destiny - but find something - most importantly something more important than yourself and your current circumstances! 

October 04, 2010

Benefits of Taking Naps At Work

Harvard Business Review, Blog.  Tony Schwartz.

The author reviews a series of physical and mental advantages to short duration naps.  This includes increased energy level, faster reaction times, vastly improved productivity and improved learning ability.
The internet search firm Google, recognizes the importance of having a rested and energetic crew and actually provides napping pods for its employees.

My comments: Alternatives to naps include certain kinds of meditation ("providing a serious "power nap" effect), and music with frequencies scientifically proven to be able to drive the brain into deep restful states, such as products from www.pzizz.com.

October 01, 2010

Side effects of QTF

In 1995, Canadian insurers sponsored a study to assess the effects and severity of whiplash injuries in Canada.  The effort was called Quebec Taskforce on Whiplash Related Disorders (QTF), and was produced by a number of prominent researchers and authorities.  The study was later published by the prestigious journal, Spine.  These researchers were challenged to evaluate the relevant literature produced to date and produce a general assessment of the status and effects of whiplash.  The study, while initially generating a lot of buzz, has since been thoroughly discredited and is now regarded as deeply flawed and biased by many.  The reasons for this are many: When a study is sponsored by an insurer (an interested party= bias) the outcome is immediately suspect.  It was claimed that a large part of this bias manifested in the phase of the study where they excluded various studies, that in retrospect was counter the eventual final conclusions of QTF.  One of the conclusions was that most whiplash injuries heal within 6-12 weeks.  While that may be true for some, but certainly not all, it is also a handy argument ("I'm sorry Ma'am, research has proven that injuries such as yours heal within......, so we do not believe that you are actually hurt") for insurance companies both in court and when talking to injured insured parties, it is not true for a staggering number of real life whiplash victim. What's worse: For some people (and we seem them regularly in our offices, in Scandinavia I believe) are people who did not feel the effects of the injury immediately after, received no treatment and end up with headaches, numbness in the arms, memory and fatigue problems and dizziness years after.  X-rays may reveal loss of lordsis (normal neck curve) and extensive degenerative changes in the mid and/or lower neck, dating the injury back 5-15 years - right around the time of that accident where "nothing happened".
Thanks to extensive and relevant critique, QTF is no longer taken seriously by informed professionals, but could still be abused by unscrupulous parties elsewhere, say in Scandinavia, where the knowledge and experience about whiplash injuries is still in its infancy.

Effect of dark chocolate on blood pressure.

Authors: Karin Ried et al.  BMC Medicine 2010, 8:39 

In this meta-analysis, the authors looked at studies that investigated the possible effects of dark chocolate and other other flavanol-rich rich cocoa compunds on a couple of types of high blood pressure. Thirteen studies performed between1955 and 2009 met the inclusion criteria.

Meta analysis looked at the association between type of treatment, dosage, baseline bloodpressure.

It appears that dark chocolate indeed has a positive effect on blood pressure, or in scientific speak:"Our meta analysis suggests that dark chocolate is superior to placebo in reducing systolic hypertension or pre-diastolic prehypertension".  They were very excieted about their results, indeed. 

Just to be clear, this study did not include milk chocolate or white choclolate.

September 28, 2010

The Danger of NSAID painkillers - Diclofenac: Similar CV cardiovascular risk to Rofecoxib in health people

June 8, 2010 inCirculation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.
Background: The Cox-2 inhibiting anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drug Vioxx (Merck) was famously pulled from a host of markets following research that showed a marked rise in cardiovascular complications and deaths in patients who were on the drug.  Interestingly, other Cox-2 inhibitors, using very similar ingredients were allowed to remain on the market.  "NSAID" stands for "non-steroidal anti-inflamatory drug" which really means a non-cortizone related drug.

In their study, Emil Loldrup Folbøl et al investigated the dangers of similar drugs that remain on the market, including ibuprofen (in high doses), naproxen and Celebrex (Pfizer).  The study involved about 1 million Danes, who had filled at least one prescription of a relevant drug and fulfilled the other selection criteria.

They found a significant increase in death rates with odds ration 1.91 and 1.66 from use of Diclofenac and Rofecoxib, respectively. The sample size was insufficient to make any conclusions about the use of Celebrex. 
There was indications of increased risk of stroke (fatal and non-fatal) with high doses of ibuprofen (odds ration 1.29), Naproxen, however,  was not associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular failures.
 Their study also revealed that all NSAIDs, except Celebrex, dramatically increased the risk of serious increased internal bleeding. They also concluded that these various complications varied with the dose taken, meaning that patients who either took more or took it for a longer time were more likely to have complications.

My comments:  This story brings forth a whole host of possible comments, ranging from issues with governmental oversight, to positioning of inter-professional relationships, to public health and information issues - but I'll restrain myself.
I will choose just to concur with the authors' comments that most painkillers have some kind of side effect, ranging from negative to deadly and that most of them should be avoided as much as possible and for as long as possible. Wonder what the results would have looked like if they had focused in only on people who had taking these drugs for a year or longer ?   Having said that, in my daily work I do mention the possibility of managing pain temporarily with NSAIDs while we take care of the underlying causes. But that is as a temporary measure to help the patient cope in their daily life while we get them better - not as an actual treatment for the problem - and that is a major difference.

September 17, 2010

Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren.

A Japanase study shows an 8% reduction in incidence of Influenza A in school children who were given 1200 IU Vitamin D per day preventatively during the fall periode. This was compared to a control group given a placebo treatment (designed to have absolutely no effect).  Considering the importance of Vitamin D in a host of other processes, making sure kids get adequate Vitamin D seems like a smart move.  Not sure how many studies there are on the efficacy of flu-vaccines, will have to look for that.

June 29, 2010

Free Chiropractic Lowers Illness Related Absensces

http://avisen.dk/gratis-kiropraktor-giver-lavt-sygefravaer_126376.aspx By Irene Stelling.
"Gratis kiropraktor giver lavt sygefravær"
By providing a package of free wellness services, which includes chiropractic, Hedensted Municipality in Denmark has reduced the already low sick leave duration of its workers to an even lower level, saving the municipality an estimated 10 mill Danish Crowns per year.

Kids & the Importance of sufficient Vitamin D.


Dr. Bo Nielsen of Doctors Natural reviews current research on Vitamin D. This important substance is actually horribly mislabeled: It is actually much less of a vitamin but rather acts as a hormone in a host of important processes, ranging from proper bone formation to immune system function.

June 28, 2010

Tur Att Ni Finns

"Tur att ni finns" ("I am happy that you are here") she had said casually as she exited the treatment room. On occasion a patient will say something along those lines to me, and I always smile and say "thanks", and under my breath thank God for my education and its ability to affect people's lives in such a positive way. Today, for reasons unknown, the comment hit me extra hard. The patient is a 70 year old woman who with her husband holds a small weekend extra job, that she dearly loves because it adds meaning and substance to her life.
We had just reminded each other of her status and state of mind when I first saw her about one year ago: She had been in tremendous pain, taking a daily cocktail of prescription painkillers,
which included Tramadol (morfine derivate) and anti-inflamatories (NSAIDs) - all with little or no effect. She was facing the necessity of giving up her beloved job which keeps her active and in contact with hundreds of people every week. She couldn't stand the pain from standing 8-10 hours a day, handling hundreds of 1 or 3 kilo bags. The medicine had virtually no effect and she did not know what to do.
Today, she is once again fully active, works like a maniac with no or few symptoms. She just had one of her busiest days prior to the Swedish Midsommer (equinox) celebration and she felt fine.
Through chiropractic care and a tailored stabilization program this patient had regained her health, her activity level and her quality of life. Yes, I guess so; "Tur att vi finns" - Gave me goosebumps all-over!

Eating Dark Chocolate Can Lower Your Blood Pressure

Good news: Dark chocolate has health benefits!
A group of Australian researchers have looked at studies from Medline, Cochrane and international trial registries from 1955 to 2009 for randomized clinical studies comparing to placebo, involving flavanol-rich products such as cocoa and thereby chocolate and the effect of systolic (the highest pressure) and diastolic (the lowest pressure) for a minimum of two weeks. While persons with normal blood pressure were not significantly affected, persons with high blood pressure (hypertension) and borderline (pre-hypertension) showed a statistically significant reduction in blood pressure. If only I like dark chocolate more!!

June 27, 2010

Insights of a Medical Heretic

http://www.dagensmedicin.se/asikter/blogg/gastbloggar/ingrid_eckerman/index.xml (in Swedish)
It's a blog, so read it from the bottom - up to get the time line right.
A retired medical doctor takes a critical look at her own profession and that of the governmental oversight body. Nice to see someone thinking independently for a change.

Work Disability after Whiplash.

Buitenhuis J, de Jong PJ, Jaspers JP, Groothoff JW. Work disability after whiplash: a prospective cohort study. Spine 2009 34(3):262-7.

A Dutch study done on the basis of 879 sent to people who had filed insurance claims following a car accident. Oftentimes, this scenario could spell trouble, as that there is amble opportunity for (deliberate or accidental) sampeling and statistical errors and other biases. This study appears to be without these flaws, however.
The purpose was to look at how neck pain after car accidents related to ability to work / disability over a period up to one year.
After 6 months, 51% remained symptomatic, and after 12 months 43.7% remained symptomatic. Of those 43.7%, about half (21.7%) still had persistent work disability (which in Holland most likely means total disability or off-work status).
The subjects were contacted at the 3, 6 and 12 months marks. Based on that information a statistically significant correlation was made between work disability and physical factors (including neck pain, stiffness, loss of motion, radiating pain in the arms, dizziness, headache intensity, and concentration problems.
Looking at the status at the 1 year mark, age and concentration problems proved to be good predictors for long term disabilty. No correlation was found between factors such as degree of manual labor (“blue/white collar” work), education level (as some insurance companies in some parts of the world sometimes like to imply).

10 Drinks Your Kids Should Not Be Drinking

From Dove, Laurie L. "10 Drinks Your Kids Should Not Be Drinking." 11 May 2010. HowStuffWorks.com. http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/10-drinks-kids-should-not-drink.htm

Good list to keep in mind along with some research and reasons as to why not.

1. Smoothies
2. Flavored water
3. Athletic power drinks (e.g. Gatorade)
4. Raw milk, juices and ciders
5. Fruit drinks posing as juices
6. Soft drinks (Coke, Fanta, etc.)
Over-sweetened tea drinks
8. Coffee
9. Energy drinks
10. Alcohol

Natural Treatment for Ulcerative Colitis (Ulcerös Colit)


Dr. Bo Nielsen of DoctorsNatural.com reviews new research regarding treating ulcerative colitis (ulcerös colit) with grapewine seed extract (in Swedish)

Good mood can run a long time after workout

From USA Today, June 2, 2009.By Nanci Hellmich, USA TODAY.
Exercise experts have known for years that moderate physical activity improves mood. Now a study shows that people are in a better mood for up to 12 hours after they work out.

Researchers at the University of Vermont had 24 college students ride an exercise bike for 20 minutes at a moderate intensity. Another 24 people did no exercise during the same time period.

Afterward, everyone in both groups filled out questionnaires that evaluated their overall mood at several intervals: one hour, two, four, eight, 12 and 24 hours. The questions addressed tension, anger, vigor, fatigue, confusion and depression.

The researchers found that people in the exercise group experienced a significant improvement in mood immediately after the exercise. They also had improved moods after two, four, eight and 12 hours compared with the people who didn't exercise, says Jeremy Sibold, an assistant professor in the university's Department of Rehabilitation and Movement Science.

At 24 hours, there was no difference in mood between the two groups. The study was presented last week at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine.

"There are other studies that show there is acute improvement in mood after exercise, but we found those improvements are more durable than we thought," Sibold says.

That's an especially important finding for people who have depression or stress, he says.

"Daily exercise can improve your mood and mitigate some of the stressors of your day," Sibold says. "It's clear that exercise is critical for both physical health and mental health."