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Climbing stairs daily will boost mental health in pandemic

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Everyday activities such as climbing stairs or simply walking to the neighbourhood store can significantly enhance our personal well-being during the pandemic times, particularly in people susceptible to psychiatric disorders.

It is a well-known fact that exercise enhances physical well-being and mental health but the impact of everyday activities on a person’s mental health has hardly been studied so far. For example, it is not yet clear which brain structures are involved.

Now researchers from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Central Institute of Mental Health (CIMH) in Germany have studied the brain regions which play a central role in this process.

“Climbing stairs every day may help us feel awake and full of energy. This enhances our well-being,” the authors wrote in a paper published in the journal Science Advances.

“At present, we are experiencing strong restrictions of public life and social contacts which may adversely affect our well-being. To feel better, it may help to climb stairs more often,” said Professor Heike Tost from CIMH in Mannheim, Germany.

To reach this conclusion, 67 people were subjected to ambulant assessments to determine the impact of everyday activity on alertness for seven days.

It was found that the people felt more alert and were bursting with even more energy directly after the activity.

Alertness and energy were proved to be important components of well-being and psychic health of the participants.

These analyses were combined with magnetic resonance tomography at CIMH for another group of 83 people.

“It was found that the ‘subgenual cingulate cortex’, a section of the cerebral cortex, is important for the interaction between everyday activity and effective well-being,” the authors wrote.

It is in this brain region where emotions and resistance to psychiatric disorders are regulated.

The authors identified this brain region to be a decisive “neural correlate” that mediates the relationship between physical activity and subjective energy.

“People with a smaller volume of gray brain matter in this region and a higher risk of psychiatric disorders felt lesser full of energy when they were physically inactive,” Tost said.

“After everyday activity, however, these persons felt even more filled with energy than persons with a larger brain volume.”

Professor Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg, Director of CIMH, said “the results suggest that physical activity in everyday life is beneficial to well-being, particularly in persons susceptible to psychiatric disorders”

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447 cases of adverse effect reported,Covid-19 vaccine given to 2,24,301 beneficiaries :Govt.

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A total of 2,24,301 beneficiaries have been inoculated with COVID-19 vaccine so far, out of which only 447 adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) were reported, the Union Health Ministry said on day two of the nationwide vaccination drive on Sunday.

Addressing a press briefing, the ministry’s Additional Secretary Manohar Agnani said out of the 447 adverse events following immunisation, only three required hospitalisation.

“Today being Sunday, only six states conducted vaccination drive and in 553 sessions a total of 17,072 beneficiaries were vaccinated,” he said.

The six states where the vaccination drive was carried out on Sunday are Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Manipur and Tamil Nadu, he added.

Agnani said a total of 2,24,301 beneficiaries have been vaccinated till January 17 as per provisional reports, adding that 2,07,229 of them received the jabs on day one of the drive.

“A total of 447 AEFI have been reported on January 16 and 17, out of which only three required hospitalisation. Most of the AEFI reported so far are minor like fever, headache, nausea,” he said.

He said a meeting was held with all states and union territories on Sunday to review the progress of the drive, identify bottlenecks and plan corrective actions.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi rolled out the world’s largest inoculation drive against COVID-19 on Saturday and said the two vaccines being deployed will ensure a “decisive victory” for India against the pandemic.

India has approved two vaccines—Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech and Covishield from the Oxford/AstraZeneca stable being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India—for emergency use in the country.

According to the government, the shots will be offered first to an estimated one crore healthcare workers and around two coror frontline workers, and then to persons above 50 years of age, followed by persons younger than 50 years of age with associated comorbidities. PTI

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