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1. Computer Games

Researchers have found that computer games can improve children’s hand-eye coordination, their grip on science, even their IQ.

A British study of 700 children found that simulation games developed children's strategic thinking and planning skills. And researchers from the Department of Computing Science at the University of Alberta suggest that computer games can be a GREat way to explain physics concepts.

2. Listening to Loud Music

There's scientific evidence that the GREater the music's intensity, the more pleasure it brings, according to research from Britain's University of Manchester. It has to do with the vestibular system, which is responsible for balance; when sound waves set it off, it sends a positive message to the brain.

3. Pounding the Pavement

Running, particularly on roads, has been blamed for wear and tear on the knees, which can lead to osteoarthritis. But a new study shows that those who run regularly are actually less likely to develop the condition than those who don't.

Regular running can also reduce pain. A study at California's Stanford University found that older people engaging in regular exercise reported 25 percent less musculoskeletal pain than did sedentary people.

4. Dairy — Fat or No-Fat?

A Harvard University study of nearly 19,000 women reported that high intake of low-fat dairy foods was associated with a GREater risk of anovulatory infertility (infertility caused by the lack of ovulation), while intake of high-fat dairy foods was associated with a lower risk.

In a long-term study of 2,375 men, researchers in Wales found that those who consumed the most dairy were about 60 percent less likely to develop "metabolic syndrome." This is a cluster of symptoms, such as high blood pressure and elevated blood-lipid and glucose levels, that can lead to diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

5. Texting, Not Talking

You may see text messages as another nail in the coffin of face-to-face human interaction. But a 2008 survey commissioned by Samsung Telecommunications America, in Dallas, found that 53 percent of teen respondents and 51 percent of parent respondents felt that text messaging improved teen-parent relationships.

Texting allows kids to stay in touch without feeling that their parents are intruding too much into their lives. It meets that balance between the kids' right to privacy and the parents' wish for connection.

6. Caffeine

There's growing evidence that caffeine might actually be good for you. A number of studies have flagged coffee as combatting or delaying the development of Parkinson's disease in men. Although doctors don't prescribe coffee to Parkinson's patients, experts believes caffeine may be helpful to those whose blood pressure drops substantially because of their illness, and sometimes advises these people to drink a caffeinated beverage with their meals.

Other studies have suggested that caffeine can help prevent gallstones; may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease; and can enhance athletic performance.

7. Sunshine

For years, health-care authorities have warned us about the sun's damaging effects. But researchers are increasingly finding that sunshine, in moderation, can be beneficial. We know that sunlight prompts our bodies to produce vitamin D, which helps develop and maintain strong, healthy bones. Recent studies indicate that vitamin D also helps prevent colorectal, breast and prostate cancers, as well as autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis and Type 1 diabetes.

8. Sugary Soft Drinks

A 2005 study from the University of Texas found that in a group of 622 participants studied over eight years, those who regularly drank diet soft drinks were far more likely to become overweight than those drinking the same amount of non-diet drink.

Diet soft drinks may lull you into a false sense of security. Animal experiments indicate that artificial sweeteners disrupt appetite control by breaking the conditioned association between sweetness and calorie intake. In such cases, the response is to increase calorie consumption, which leads to weight gain.

9. Booze

It's well known that red wine in moderation helps protect against heart disease, but the healing benefits of drink don't stop there. If you're a beer aficionado, take heart: Studies in both the Netherlands and the Czech Republic have discovered that the rich vitamin B6 content in beer can prevent the buildup of homocysteine, an amino acid, high levels of which have been linked to heart attacks. Beer also contains poly-phenols — which, in wine, are lauded for controlling LDL cholesterol.



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