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Is Being a ‘couch potato’ linked to increased anxiety risk

Is “Being a couch potato bad for your mental health,” the Mail Online reports. However, the evidence gathered by a new review is not as clear-cut as the headline would lead you to believe.

The review summarised the results of nine studies on the link between anxiety symptoms and sedentary behaviour, such as using a computer or watching TV.
Overall, five of the nine studies found a positive link – that as time spent sitting went up, so did the risk of anxiety symptoms.
However, the results of a review are only as reliable as the studies it includes, and in this case they weren’t very good. The majority of studies looked at sitting and anxiety at one time.

This can’t prove cause and effect, as we are faced with the classic “chicken and egg” dilemma: does sedentary behaviour cause anxiety symptoms, or are anxious people likely to spend more time sitting?
Importantly, we don’t know whether the studies took account of other factors that could be influencing the results, and most looked only at anxiety symptoms, not a diagnosis of anxiety.

Overall, this review doesn’t provide conclusive proof of a definitive link. The occasional boxset binge is probably not going to trigger general anxiety disorder by itself, but it is important to balance this out with regular exercise. Aside from the physical health benefits of exercise, it can also often reduce feelings of depression and anxiety.




A Bariatric Store – Helping to Improve Lives

People who are obese suffer from a variety of medical and physical problems. Daily, they face challenges relating to their weight. They have problems getting from place-to-place. They have difficulties managing the basics of life including bathing or showering. A bariatric store can help ease this burden for both the obese individual and the care giver. Here, it is possible to find exactly what equipment is needed to help do more than cope with life.

What is Bariatric Equipment?

Bariatric equipment is easily defined. It is any form of device that is designed to help larger or obese individuals in their lives. The word “bariatric” refers specifically to the medical condition. “Baros” means weight while “iatrics” refers to medical treatment. Therefore, bariatric equipment or supplies are medical devices that help people with weight issues.

This equipment differentiates itself clearly from similar products designed for frail and ill clients or those recently recovering from surgery. Bariatric tools are carefully fashioned to hold the weight and girth of larger individuals. They feature wider widths and reinforced supports. Whatever the item, it is meant to withstand the weight of a hefty and/or obese person. They are stronger, sturdier and larger than their “normal” counterpart. They are beneficial for both the large person and the care giver – preventing injuries.

Common Equipment in a Bariatric Store

In a typical online or physical bariatric store, you can find practically everything required to make life simpler and easier to negotiate. They include:

  • Bariatric Chairs and Lifts: these come in different designs with features such as tilting, extra comfortable seats, portability or fixed
  • Bedroom Equipment: This includes beds, mattresses, transfer boards, hoists and slings and lifters
  • Bath & Shower Aids: This covers a wide variety of equipment to help shower, bath and attend to other business. The list would include:  bath transfers, bath chairs, bath and shower benches, mobile showers, commode chairs, grab or grip bars and bathroom handles.
  • Mobility Aids – Products such as: bariatric rollators, wheelchairs (electric and manual) and various walking aids. Electric mobility scooters are also another option for those with weight issues who want to get about inside and out.

Where can you find Bariatric Equipment?

There are a number of sources for bariatric equipment. A specialised bariatric store is one source for the various products. Some actually carry food and other products in addition to specific equipment. Another excellent source of information and gear is an online retail outlet. A specialised online bariatric store is an excellent way to discover what is out there to help you meet your needs or the needs of a care giver.

Some Guidance, Advice and Tips for Pressure Care

The most important factor with Pressure Care is to try and prevent problems from occurring in the first place. Most Health care settings now have strict guidelines aimed at preventing pressure ulcers from developing.

If a pressure ulcer has developed special equipment (for example, an alternating pressure mattress or cushion) or wound dressing will be required. Don’t forget that lying in bed spreads the load (except for heels)

Do not rub the affected area as this may cause further tissue damage. Inflatable and material ring-shaped cushions should never be used as they may further restrict the supply of oxygen to the affected area.

If the sore has become infected, further treatment by a Nurse or Doctor may be required. This will be specific to the grade, type and location of the ulcer and may be accompanied by irrigation of the wound with a salt-water wash.

Pressure Care is Important

Pressure ulcers tend to develop on bony prominences and on areas of the body that have little body fat to cover them. This includes the hips, buttocks, heels, shoulder blades and the small of the back. Sitting in a chair or wheelchair for long periods of time, without pressure being relieved, is even more likely to cause pressure ulcer development.

Pressure ulceration occurs when the skin and underlying tissues are compressed for a period of time, between the bone and the surface, on which the patient is sitting or lying. Blood cannot circulate causing a lack of oxygen and nutrients to the tissue cells. Furthermore, the lymphatic system cannot function properly to remove waste products. If the pressure continues, the cells die and the area of dead tissue that results is called pressure damage. The amount of time this takes will vary, but may develop in as little as one hour in patients at greatest risk.

Aetiology of Pressure Sores

The factors causing pressure ulcers are divided into 2 Groups

INTRINSIC – Disease, medication, malnourishment, age, dehydration/fluid status, lack of mobility, incontinence, skin condition, weight.

EXTRINSIC – External influences which cause skin distortion – Pressure, Shearing Forces, Friction, Moisture.


The blood pressure at the arterial end of the capillaries is approximately 32 mmHg, while at the venous end this drops to10 mmHg. The average mean capillary pressure equals about 17 mm Hg and any external pressures exceeding this will cause capillary obstruction. Tissues that are dependent on these capillaries are deprived of their blood supply. Eventually the ischemic tissues will die.

Shearing Forces

Shearing forces will only exist if pressure, usually caused by the persons own body weight, is also present. Shear forces occur when a part of the body tries to move but the surface of the skin remains fixed. (See Waterlow Manual for a better understanding of this phenomenon).


Friction forces occur when the shearing force increases sufficiently to overcome the bodies resistance to movement. The movement has an abrasive action.(See Waterlow Manual for a better understanding of this action).


Skin should not be left wet as moist skin sticks to material (e.g. bathing, perspiration, incontinence (as urine and faeces are acidic), amniotic fluid) as it can become macerated making it more susceptible to shear and friction.

Certain areas of the body are more vulnerable to pressure ulcer formation than others.

Bony prominences in particular: heels, sacrum, buttocks, hips, elbows etc. Some groups of people are at greater risk from pressure ulcers than others.

Immobility for any reason contributes to the risk of pressure sore, therefore the elderly, wheelchair users and patients who are bed-ridden are most at risk. People living with incontinence especially women may also develop pressure ulcers, as prolonged exposure to moisture can cause breakdown of skin tissue. Many other conditions such as diabetes and arterial disease can also increase the risk of pressure ulcers as the supply of blood and oxygen to body tissue may be restricted.

In order to prevent pressure ulcers developing, it is important that those who are immobile have pressure relieved frequently either by manual turning or sophisticated bed systems. However even if a patient is lying on a bed system risk areas still require regular inspection.

This may need to be more frequent if sitting. A healthy balanced diet and plenty of fluids will also help the condition of the skin. Those at higher risk of pressure ulcers, such as the elderly and those with existing medical conditions should keep as active and mobile as possible, taking some form of exercise every day.  It is advisable to take part in exercise that uses a range of motions.

Also important is keeping the skin clean and dry, and checking that bed linen is free from wrinkles.