Health tips — April 2016

The way we handle emails can affect our stress levels, while physical activity might help increase brain plasticity.


It’s well known that a large volume of email causes stress, but how we handle it can cause even more stress. The Future Work Centre, a UK-based research organization, surveyed nearly 2,000 people in a variety of sectors and found that 62% leave their email on all day. The same 62% also reported higher levels of perceived stress, which was highest among younger people and decreased with age.

But there are ways to reduce email stress, such as turning off “push” settings (when the messages are forwarded to your cellphone) and designating specific times to check email.


Researchers at the University of Pisa found that exercise may help increase brain plasticity, which is needed for learning, memory and repair.

In the small study, 20 adults were tested twice: in one test, participants wore an eye patch and watched a movie while relaxing in a chair; in the other, while wearing the eye patch, participants exercised on a stationary bike at 10-minute intervals during the movie. The result? The brain adjusted to perception more quickly after the second test than after the first, indicating that brain plasticity was enhanced by physical activity.

About the Author

Martha Beach

Martha Beach is a freelance writer, fact-checker and proofreader in Toronto.

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