Demystifying Medicine One Month at a Time

Tag: 23 1/2 hours

Great Art Meets Dynamic Medical Teaching

I wrote a post for NPR’s Shots blog about back pain. The article arose out of a post I wrote here a few weeks ago. That’s right—GlassHospital, where we sow the seeds!

What I love about this latest Shots piece is that I was able to interview Doc Mike Evans, he of the famous animated whiteboard video “23 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?” that has racked up more than 4 million views on YouTube.

Evans is a lovely guy—down to earth, thoughtful, patient; he’s a father, husband, doctor, health educator, and still, at age 50, a hockey player. He didn’t even blink when I asked him several of the cliched questions he’s been asked many, many times.

Are those your hands in the videos?” –No.

Did you know ’23 1/2 Hours’ was mentioned on ‘Orange is the New Black?’ ” –Yes.

As with greatness in other realms, Evans makes what he does look effortless. But it’s not. Each video takes at least a month of research/writing/editing before his crew even gets to the filming stage. The filming and editing thereafter can take as long as another two months. That’s three months plus for videos pared down to 10 minutes or less. Information-rich videos that make the complex simple.

Rare is the video that makes you feel smarter just watching it. That’s what Evans does.

Post by NPR.

Sensible Ideas

patient-paradox-why-sexed-up-medicine-is-bad-margaret-mccartney-paperback-cover-artHappy New Year.

I came across this very reasonable list of healthy behaviors and thought I’d post them here for your enjoyment and commitment to be healthy in 2013. They come from a Scottish GP named Margaret McCartney, who writes frequently about common sense medical care on her blog, for the British Medical Journal, and for the Manchester Guardian. She’s also the author of the excellent book The Patient Paradox, which is unfortunately not in print in the U.S. (but you can order it from Amazon UK among other places):

Don’t smoke.
Don’t drink excessively, and not every day.
Eat a wide variety of foods, mainly fruits and vegetables.
Exercise daily, and if you can, make it sociable.
Have a job you like.
See people and do things you enjoy.
Stay reasonably trim.
And don’t be poor.

That last one is not meant to be cheeky–it simply refers to the fact that in terms of health outcomes, those at the low end of the income scale are proportionately more likely to die sooner than the rest of us.

And by popular demand, I’m again embedding the popular video “23 1/2 hours” below; it’s another evidence-based guide to being healthier in a simple fashion. It really comes down to moving our bodies–and the data shows that the benefits of SOME moving are much greater than more vigorous moving in those who already exercise. Nevertheless, if you’re already exercising, work on eating less, and making what you eat more fruits and vegetables. The point is simple–walk a minimum of 30 minutes per day. Do it with someone. Park farther away when you drive places. It won’t hurt you.

Go forth and walk!

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