The Check-Up: Today’s Top Health Headlines

The health-and-fitness buzz around the Web this AM

The wireless tattoo. Photograph by John Rogers

• Here’s a reason to put down the remote: An Australian study of 11,000 adults found that for every hour of TV watched after the age of 25, a person’s lifespan is shortened by about 22 minutes. Yes, you read it right—that’s PER HOUR. Are you doing some quick tabulations right about now? We certainly are.

• And for some good news, another recent study found that people who exercise for just 15 minutes a day may actually boost their lifespan by three years. The Taiwan study, which looked at 400,000 volunteers, also found that people who averaged 92 minutes per week of exercise had a “14-percent reduced risk of premature death from all causes, and a 10-percent reduced risk of death from cancer.”

• Brainiacs at Northwestern University invented a wireless electronic tattoo that sticks to the skin and, when used in medical settings, could enable monitoring of body-system functioning, including heart, muscle and brain activity. The tattoos are flexible, stretchable and completely removable. And get this: “They adhere to the skin the same way it is believed a gecko’s foot adheres temporarily to a surface: through an electrostatic phenomenon called the van der Waals force. Tape or glue is not necessary.” How’s that for some mad science?