The Checkup: How You Should Be Washing Your Hands (You’re Definitely Doing It Wrong) 

• If you’ve been slapping some soap on your hands, rubbing them together for a few seconds, rinsing, and calling that a good wash, we’ve got news for you: A new study published in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology says you should actually be using this 43-second, six-move — yes, it’s a LOT to remember — method to effectively get rid of germs when washing your hands. [Women’s Health]
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How a Man’s Fitbit May Have Helped Save His Life in Camden ER

There is never any shortage of crazy Fitbit news (remember that time $35,000 worth of counterfeit Fitbits were seized in Philly?), but this news takes the cake, in my opinion: As Gizmodo reports, doctors at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden used information from a man’s Fitbit app to help to determine the proper medical procedure to treat his heart condition with, possibly saving his life. Crazy, right? Read more »

The Checkup: The Piece of Gym Equipment That’s Way Germier Than a Toilet Seat

• You are about to do so much cringing. A new study examined bacteria samples from gym equipment at large fitness chains around the country and spoiler alert: Gym equipment is covered in bacteria. And the most digusting of all? Free weights, with 362 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. BRB, going to wash my hands forever. [Women’s Health] Read more »

Study: Yelp Pretty Good at Helping Patients Pick Hospitals

Jefferson-Hospital-University-JEFF-FUSCO-940X540

Want to figure out how to get the best health care in town? Check out Yelp.

New Penn research — published in April issue of the journal Health Affairs — suggests the crowdsourced review site offers hospital assessments that line up closely with more formal, government-approved appraisals, and is often more comprehensive in its outlook.

“Yelp reviews are in real time and often written by patients for patients,” Dr. Raina M. Merchant, director of the Penn Social Media and Health Innovation Lab, said in an announcement of the research results. Read more »

Your Daily SEPTA Ride Is Good for You (This Is Not a Joke)

Most days, I don’t think my commute on the El is doing much for my life — I mean, aside from upping my gratitude for Purell and providing me with some great dinner-party stories. (“One time, on my way home from work, a human being barked at me — yes, like a dog — for 15 minutes straight.” That is a true story.) But a new study published in the Lancet found that taking public transportation to work instead of driving actually does do you some good, at least when it comes to your waistline, Fast Company reports. Read more »

The Checkup: This Is Why You Get Eye Boogers

• You know when you wake up with eye boogers? Or worse, you wake up next to someone else with gnarly eye boogers? Well, turns out that gunk is a combo of mucus, dust, lint, bacteria and dead skin cells, and the reason you have eye boogers in the morning and is because you’re not flushing your eyes out at night by blinking. Not that any of this information makes them any less gross. [Refinery29]
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The Checkup: How to Burn Way More Calories Without Ever Really Exercising

• Good news for all the gym haters of the world: There’s a little something called Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, which encompasses everyday movements that aren’t necessarily considered exercise. Think: gesturing with your hands when you talk, tapping your foot while your work at your laptop, and taking a walking meeting. And get this: According to the brains behind it, upping NEAT can help folks burn up to 850 more calories in a day — without ever really exercising. [Fast Company] Read more »

CHOP Doc Gets $1 Million to Further Pediatric Cancer Research

The Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania at UPENN.

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia | Photo by Jeff Fusco

It’s the end of the workweek and we could all use a good, stress-relieving happy cry, couldn’t we? Well, here we go: The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Dr. Richard Aplenc, who has been working with pediatric blood cancer at CHOP since 2000, was just awarded a $1 million grant by Hyundai Hope on Wheels to further pediatric cancer research and hopefully take a step toward transforming the way acute myeloid leukemia, which currently has a cure rate of between 50 and 60 percent, is treated. As he says, “We are very, very excited. This gives us resources to do something we wouldn’t be able to do before.”

If you are tearing up right now (because money to help sick kids!), feel no shame: I might’ve teared up as I was talking to Dr. Aplenc, which is significantly more embarrassing. Read more »

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