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  • Why It's So Important to Keep Moving By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS, New York Times, February 29, 2012 Hoping to learn more about how inactivity affects disease risk, researchers at the University of Missouri recently persuaded a group of healthy, active young adults to stop moving around so much.   Scientists have known for some time that sedentary people are at increased risk of developing heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.  But they haven't fully understood why, in part because studying the effects of sedentary behaviour isn't easy.  People who are inactive may also be obese, eat poorly or face other lifestyle or metabolic issues that make it impossible to tease out the specific role that inactivity, on its own, plays in ill health. So, to combat the problem, researchers lately have embraced a novel approach to studying the effects of inactivity.   They've imposed the condition on people who otherwise would be out happily exercising and moving about, in some cases by sentencing them to bed rest. But in the current study, which was published this month in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the scientists created a more realistic version of inactivity by having their volunteers cut the number of steps they took each day by at least half.They wanted to determine whether this physical languor would affect the body's ability to control blood sugar levels. "It's increasingly clear that blood sugar spikes, especially after a meal, are bad for you," says John P. Thyfault, an associate professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at the University of Missouri, who conducted the study with his graduate student Catherine R. Mikus and others.  "Spikes and swings in blood sugar after meals have been linked to the development of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes." So the scientists fitted their volunteers with sophisticated glucose monitoring devices, which checked their blood sugar levels continuously throughout the day.  They also gave the subjects pedometers and activity-measuring armbands, to track how many steps they took.  Finally, they asked the volunteers to keep detailed food diaries. Then they told them to just live normally for three days, walking and exercising as usual. Exercise guidelines from the American Heart Association and other groups recommend that, for health purposes, people accumulate 10,000 steps or more a day, the equivalent of about five miles of walking.  Few people do, however.  Repeated studies of American adults have shown that a majority take fewer than 5,000 steps per day. The Missouri volunteers were atypical in that regard.  Each exercised 30 minutes or so most days and easily completed more than 10,000 daily steps during the first three days of the experiment.  The average was almost 13,000 steps. During these three days, according to data from their glucose monitors, the volunteers' blood sugar did not spike after they ate. But that estimable condition changed during the second portion of the experiment, when the volunteers were told to cut back on activity so that their step counts would fall below 5,000 a day for the next three days. Achieving such indolence was easy enough.  The volunteers stopped exercising and, at every opportunity, took the elevator, not the stairs, or had lunch delivered, instead of strolling to a cafe.  They became, essentially, typical American adults. Their average step counts fell to barely 4,300 during the three days, and the volunteers reported that they now "exercised," on average, about three minutes a day. Meanwhile, they ate exactly the same meals and snacks as they had in the preceding three days, so that any changes in blood sugar levels would not be a result of eating fattier or sweeter meals than before. And there were changes.  During the three days of inactivity, volunteers' blood sugar levels spiked significantly after meals, with the peaks increasing by about 26 percent compared with when the volunteers were exercising and moving more.  What's more, the peaks grew slightly with each successive day. This change in blood sugar control after meals "occurred well before we could see any changes in fitness or adiposity," or fat buildup, due to the reduced activity, Dr. Thyfault says.  So the blood sugar swings would seem to be a result, directly, of the volunteers not moving much. Which is both distressing and encouraging news.  "People immediately think, 'So what happens if I get hurt or really busy, or for some other reason just can't work out for awhile?'"  Dr. Thyfault says. "The answer seems to be that it shouldn't be a big problem. " Studies in both humans and animals have found that blood sugar regulation quickly returns to normal once activity resumes. The spikes during inactivity are natural, after all, even inevitable, given that unused muscles need less fuel and so draw less sugar from the blood. The condition becomes a serious concern, Dr. Thyfault says, only when inactivity is lingering, when it becomes the body's default condition.  "We hypothesize that, over time, inactivity creates the physiological conditions that produce chronic disease," like Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, regardless of a person's weight or diet. To avoid that fate, he says, keep moving, even if in small doses.  "When I'm really busy, I make sure to get up and walk around the office or jog in place every hour or so," he says.  Wear a pedometer if it will nudge you to move more. "You don't have to run marathons," he says.  "But the evidence is clear that you do need to move."  
  • Aseptika Limited (Activ8rlives) Simon Steven (CEO, NHS) yesterday announced that 5 million qualifying people with Long-Term Conditions will receive Personal Health Budgets, which means that for the first time, we can chose what healthcare we want to receive and how we want to receive it, rather than having the services provided that we don’t want or are ineffective. More patients to be given control of personal health budgets from April under ‘radical’ plans 9 July 2014 | By Alex Matthews-King, Pulse copyright Patients with long-term conditions, serious mental health conditions or learning difficulties will be given control of their own budgets to improve their health and care from April next year, the NHS England chief executive will announce later today. Speaking at the annual conference of the Local Government Association in Bournemouth, Simon Stevens will say that CCGs and local authorities will fund personal health budgets for patients, which will be key to keeping people with continuing care needs, including the elderly and frail, out of hospital. Think-tanks have proposed that GPs should control the administration of the scheme, but it is likely that patient will be able to delegate control of their budget. A statement from NHS England said: ‘The NHS will offer local councils across England a radical new option in which individuals could control their combined health and social care… At the same time, voluntary/Third Sector organisations will be commissioned locally to support personal care planning, advocacy and service ‘brokerage’ for these individuals enrolled in the IPC programme. Mr Stevens will say that patients must be given ‘Real power to shape their own care’. He will say: ‘If Beveridge was alive today he’d clock the fact that – given half a chance – people themselves can be the best ‘integrators’ of the health and social care they are offered.’ ‘We need to stop treating people as a collection of health problems or treatments. We need to treat to them as individuals whose needs and preferences should be seen in the round and whose choices shape services, not the other way round.’ The scheme has come under fire from GPs after pilot schemes allowed patients to spend them on non-traditional services including  theatre tickets, ready meals and complementary therapies.
  • In a recent World Health Organization (WHO) report it estimated that within the WHO European Region, almost one million deaths per year are attributable to insufficient physical activity. In many countries, therefore, physical inactivity is now considered one of the major causes of death. WHO’s Director-General during a recent opening address to the General Assembly, expressed deep concern about the increase worldwide of childhood obesity, with numbers climbing fastest in developing countries. Inactivity is the one thing you can change most easily and that will provide the greatest benefit to your health and wellbeing. Starting small with an increase in walking, adding more walking activities within your daily routine will bring benefits to your health and it’s free and available all hours! Overwhelming research shows that you could reduce the risk of a range of cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, some cancers, dementia and a host of mental illness symptoms just with 60 minutes activity each day. Notice that we do not say exercise, just activity. Building up your stamina through walking, with an aim to achieve 10,000 steps daily once you are fitter, equates to about 60-70 minutes of moderate activity daily. This may be the best prescription your doctor can ever give you. You may not have the time to do this amount of walking in one session, so spread it out during the course of your day by parking further from work or getting off the bus or train a stop earlier and walk the remaining part of your journey. At Activ8rlives we call this “Park and Stride”! Take the stairs and not the lift, or walk to the shops for those last minute groceries rather than driving. Be creative but take time to enjoy the pleasure and the health benefits of being more active. It saves money too. Starting a car for short journeys uses more fuel because the car engine is cold. It’s much cheaper to walk or cycle. But as always please seek advice from your Doctor before you embark on a new programme of exercise.
  • The Huntingdon Fun Runs are an ideal way to get started with a goal to lose weight, get fit and de-stress. With the introduction this year of the 1K Fun Run it will encourage many first time runners to get out there and give it a go. The popularity of Fun Runs are growing each year across the country, and it shows that running or walking a Fun Run is something almost anyone can do. One thing to remember; whether you are walking a gentle 3K, running the 1K or training for the 10K run, preparation is key to crossing the finish line on the day. Here are our top 10 tips for your Fun Run preparation. 1. Training - As a novice to Fun Runs, try not to overdo it as you risk injury if you are not used to it, so take it easy and start off with a daily walk, then try brisk walking and work up to a slow jog when your stamina improves. You should never put your body under excessive pressure. 2. Drink plenty - You will need to be well hydrated for your run, so avoid caffeine, alcohol and drink lots of water. To avoid getting a stitch, sip rather than gulping water before and while you train. 3. Rest day - Give your body a break but you can still be active by taking a leisurely swim or a casual walk. 4. Race plan - Decide if you are going to start at the front or back of the field, at either side or in the middle of the pack and what pace you are aiming for? 5. Footwear – Having a good pair of trainers is crucial and it is advisable not to wear new trainers for a run, so break them in several weeks before the big day. 6. Food for fuel - Plan what you will eat the day of your run and be sure to time your breakfast so you do not get cramps. Listen to your body and you will know whether you need an energy snack before your run. You may have been told to load up on carbs, but don’t forget protein is just as important. 7. Get kit ready - Don’t wait until the morning to get your kit ready. The list might include: clothing, trainers, towel and clothing for afterwards, water, snacks, plasters, muscle supports if needed, money, phone, holder for valuables, and any medication. Just a word of warning to choose your underwear wisely! 8. Race logistics - Print off the run directions and get to know where all the facilities will be on the day, such as the bathrooms, registration desk, starting line, first–aid, bag area and of course, the finish line. There is nothing worse than arriving late and being flustered and rushed for the start of your run. 9. Good night’s sleep - Pre-race nerves are normal, especially if you are a first timer. The 1K and 3K Runs are all about having fun and taking part. So try to relax as much as you can and enjoy a good night’s sleep before your run. 10. Pamper feet - Some runners like to remove hard skin from their feet before the run. Try soaking your feet in warm water, gently remove any hard skin and then moisturise. Invest in a good pair of running socks with cushioning – they are well worth the investment! So that’s how you can prepare for the Hunts 3K and 1K Fun Runs. Best of luck on Sunday 15th June and have lots of fun joining in. Come and say hi to the Activ8rlives team in the Spectators Village. Remember to always seek advice from your Doctor before you embark on a new programme of exercise.
  • Activ8rlives (Aseptika Limited) The NICE guidelines are really welcome news to tackling the obesity epidemic. Activ8rlives was invented by Kevin Auton, who realised the value group support could bring to sustained behaviour change towards greater health and wellbeing after he and the rest of his family decided to work together to lose weight and improve their general fitness. While there was a great deal of information available, there were few real tools that could be used by a family to support this process of change. Being technologists, the Founders developed some simple tools, checklists and monitoring sheets which eventually became Activ8rlives. This has now grown into an integrated suite of products which is used by laypeople to empower them to become more active, maintain a healthy weight and manage long-term conditions and to stay well. Activ8rlives integrates simple monitoring devices which capture an individual’s range of health parameters. This information is brought together in the Company’s Cloud-based servers so that it can be viewed to warn of impending ill health and to maintain wellbeing. This also means that this information is available anywhere and at any time to the user. Thousands of Activ8rlives’ users have benefited and have sought their own solutions to improve their own activity levels, healthier eating and achieving a healthier weight by adopting self-management of their health through self-monitoring. Once the weight loss has been achieved we continue to provide tools that reward, encourage, gamify, engage and empower people to maintain healthy behaviours, incorporating one of the most important components of increased activity and self-management through self-monitoring at a fraction of the cost of GP led programmes? Obesity is a very complex condition and it is long overdue in addressing the problem. Being active, eating well and staying healthy is about making small changes to our lives. Being active is one of these challenges and Activ8rlives helps its 32,000 registered users to make simple changes, which can be fitted into already busy daily schedules so as to stay healthy.   Weight loss: NHS backs ‘lose a little, keep it off’ plans By James GallagherHealth and science reporter, BBC News New weight loss guidelines for the NHS in England will advise people to “lose a little and keep it off” for life. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) wants overweight people sent to slimming classes with the aim of a 3% weight loss. NICE said even such a small loss – probably of just a few pounds – would cut blood pressure and reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes and some cancers. Two in three adults in England are overweight – with a BMI higher than 25. Someone weighing 15st 10lb would need to lose just over six pounds to cut their weight by 3%. If they were 5ft 7in, their BMI would drop from 35 to 33. Anyone with a BMI of more than 30 is classed as obese. Prof Mike Kelly, the director of the centre for public health at NICE, said the guidelines were about lifelong change rather than yo-yo dieting, when the weight is piled back on after initial success. He said that required achievable goals: “We would like to offer an instant solution and a quick win, a much greater ambition if you like, but realistically it’s important to bear in mind this is difficult. “It is not just a question of ‘for goodness’ sake pull yourself together and lose a stone’ – it doesn’t work like that. “People find it difficult to do – it’s not something you can just wake up one morning and decide I’m going to lose 10 pounds, it takes resolve, it takes encouragement.” Obesity statistics One in four adults in England are obese A further 42% of men are classed as overweight The figure for women in 32% A BMI of 30-35 cuts life expectancy by up to four years A BMI of 40 or more cuts life expectancy by up to 10 years Obesity costs the NHS £5.1bn every year Source: National Institute of Health and Care Excellence
Self-monitoring

Self-monitoring

Our strategy is to develop expert systems which can be used by laypeople and their healthcare service providers to better self-manage long-term conditions through self-monitoring at home

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Biomarker Tests

Biomarker Tests

A natural extension of this philosophy is the Company's development of a home-based test to predict flare-ups in chest infections (in people of all ages) who have long-term respiratory conditions, to reduce hospital admissions and improve healthcare

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Always Connected

Always Connected

Our strategy is to enable self-management through self-monitoring without needing PCs, Smartphones, Tablets and the dedicated medical touch screen devices that are often deployed in telemedicine.

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Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials

Aseptika is developing a home-based rapid and quantitative biomarker test for a common bacterial lung infection and 3rd generation devices for use with long-term lung disease sufferers. Clinical trials are underway with NHS partners to validate their clinical effectiveness.

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Corporate Wellness

Corporate Wellness

By supporting and providing your employees with the right tools to self-monitor their health and by encouraging and rewarding them, your employees can benefit from a healthier life and be more productive as a result

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Healthcare Collaborators

Healthcare Collaborators

We work with a highly talented team of collaborators, brilliant technologists, passionate clinicians, mentors/supporters in the NHS and of course, our customers and volunteers whom we adore

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Our Devices

BuddyBand Bluetooth Activity Tracker

The Activ8rlives BuddyBand is a wearable wristband with integrated Bluetooth 4.0, 3D Sensor, upgradable firmware, with data upload to FREE Smartphone App via Bluetooth 4.0 or USB to your PC (Windows or OSX). The BuddyBand allows you to track your activity levels and energy expenditure - especially useful as part of an exercise schedule or weight loss programme.

BuddyBand

Buddy Step Counter

The Activ8rlives Buddy step counter measures your activity and counts your steps throughout the day. With its integrated USB connector, it downloads your stored data directly into your FREE Activ8rlives online account via your PC/Mac.

Buddy Step

Body Analyser Bluetooth Smart Scales

Track your weight and body composition with our custom body analyser, beautifully finished in black. Weight, fat, water, muscle composition, visceral fat levels, bone % and BMI. Uploads data directly to our Free Smartphone App.

Body Analyser

Blood Pressure Bluetooth Monitor

The Activ8rlives Blood Pressure Bluetooth 4.0 monitor is an easy-to-use device that can measure your blood pressure — especially useful if you suffer from previously diagnosed conditions which result in high or low blood pressure. The monitor also measures the interval between your pulse waves and determines the standard deviation. If the standard deviation is above a certain level, it gives a warning of an irregular heart beat.

Blood Pressure Monitor

Pulse Oximeter Bluetooth 4.0

The Activ8rlives Pulse Oximeter Bluetooth 4.0 is a simple device which allows you to monitor aspects of your pulmonary and cardiovascular functions — especially if you have Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and need to track you oxygen saturation levels and pulse rate.

Pulse Oximeter

Peak Flow Meter

The Activ8rlives Peak Flow meter is a simple electronic device which allows you to monitor your lung function - especially useful if you have asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or Cystic Fibrosis and need to track your Peak Expiratory Flow (PEF) and Forced Expiratory Flow at 1 second (FEV1).

Peak Flow Meter

POGO Bluetooth USB Hub

Allows data from USB devices to upload to your Smartphone by Bluetooth 4.0, even if your Smartphone or Tablet do not have Bluetooth capability. Inserted into earphone socket of Smartphones and Tablets.

POGO Bluetooth USB Hub

Contactless Thermometer Bluetooth 4.0

The Activ8rlives Contactless Thermometer Bluetooth 4.0 is an easy-to-use device that can measure your body’s temperature. It sends information to your private personal Activ8rlives account via your Bluetooth 4.0 enabled Smartphone or Tablet so that you can see your precise temperature without contact and to help you keep track of your health and wellbeing.

Contactless Thermometer

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