Placeholder Content Image

"Apparently, my time is up": Veteran Channel 7 anchor's abrupt departure

<p>Veteran Channel 7 anchor Sharyn Ghidella is leaving the network. </p> <p>After an almost two-decade career at the broadcaster's Brisbane bureau, the evening co-presenter announced her abrupt departure in an <a href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/current-affairs/veteran-channel-7-anchor-sharyn-ghidella-informs-staff-of-her-immediate-departure-from-network/news-story/27acc9efc07bdd91a424bf28e7f1ae34" target="_blank" rel="noopener">all-staff email</a>, which was seen by news.com.au, on Friday. </p> <p>In the all-staff email reportedly seen by news.com.au, Ghidella said that her exit didn't pan out the way she'd hoped. </p> <p>“After 17 years at 7, apparently, my time is up,” she wrote.</p> <p>“It’s not quite how I expected it to end after 38 years in the industry, but hey, that’s TV.</p> <p>“I will certainly miss the friendships and the fun we have had, around what is, the serious business of news.”</p> <p>She was reportedly offered the opportunity to farewell viewers but declined. </p> <p>“I’m making a clean break, and I probably won’t get the chance to bid you farewell in person,” Ghidella she continued in the email. </p> <p>“But please know that I have held all of you in the highest regard during my time on the mountain and I thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for everything you did to ensure we made it to air each night.”</p> <p>Ghidella also shared a statement on her <a href="https://www.facebook.com/sharyn.ghidella/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Facebook</a> page, talking about the changes Seven has underwent recently, including introducing a comedy segment and horoscope report to their national news offering. </p> <p>“I’m also not one to have my evening news served up with humour and horoscopes either, so, to be honest, it is time to go,” Ghidella wrote.</p> <p>Former newspaper editor Anthony De Ceglie, who replaced Craig McPherson as the network’s news director in April has also commended Ghidella for her "significant contribution" to the station. </p> <p>“We are grateful for her hard work and are sorry to see her go. She leaves with sincere thanks from everyone at Seven and our very best wishes for the future,” De Ceglie told news.com.au. </p> <p>Seven Brisbane’s Director of News Michael Coombes added, “For 17 years, Sharyn has been a welcome guest in lounge rooms across Queensland – always professional, always reliable, always warm.</p> <p>“But for all of us, she is so much more. A mentor, a colleague, a friend. I have nothing but admiration and gratitude for Sharyn. And we wish her every success for the future.”</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

TV

Placeholder Content Image

Plastic Free July is a waste of time if the onus is only on consumers

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bhavna-middha-1061611">Bhavna Middha</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ralph-horne-160543">Ralph Horne</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p>Every year, the <a href="https://www.plasticfreejuly.org/">Plastic Free July</a> campaign asks us to refuse single-use plastic. The idea is that making a small change in our daily lives will collectively make a big difference. And hopefully, better behaviour will stick and become a habit.</p> <p>The intent is good, but consumers shouldn’t have to bear full responsibility for plastic pollution. Individual sacrifices – particularly temporary ones – <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0301421509004728">won’t make a significant difference</a>.</p> <p>Governments, manufacturers and retailers need to get serious about tackling this problem. If Plastic Free July put pressure on the supply side of the equation, rather than demand, it could be more successful.</p> <p>Our research spans food packaging including plastics, waste, sustainable consumption and social practices. We know consumer demand is only one part of the picture. Eliminating plastic waste requires broader systemic changes.</p> <h2>The cabbage dilemma</h2> <p>Research shows consumers generally want to do the <a href="https://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/news/news-articles/the-conversation-on-sustainability-has-changed">right thing by the environment</a> but find it <a href="https://theconversation.com/households-find-low-waste-living-challenging-heres-what-needs-to-change-197022">challenging</a>.</p> <p>Coming out of a supermarket with no packaging is difficult. There are few unpackaged food items and even when there is a choice, the unpackaged item may be more <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/want-your-fruit-and-veg-without-the-plastic-you-ll-have-to-pay-more-20231107-p5eib4.html">expensive</a>.</p> <p>Have you ever been stuck in the supermarket, choosing between the large head of cabbage you know you won’t finish before it goes bad, or the plastic-wrapped half-cabbage you really need?</p> <p>Consumers should not be forced to choose between food waste (another huge problem) or plastic waste. Maybe there’s another way. For example, why not sell cabbages of different sizes? Why do we need to grow such large heads of cabbage anyway?</p> <p>Both plastic consumption and food waste can be addressed by changing how we produce and distribute certain foods.</p> <h2>Governments, manufacturers and retailers must drive change</h2> <p>The onus for reducing plastic consumption and waste should be placed firmly on those who make plastic and profit from selling their products, as well as those who make and sell products wrapped in plastic packaging.</p> <p>Research has shown just <a href="https://www.csiro.au/en/news/All/News/2024/April/Global-study-finds-more-than-half-of-branded-plastic-pollution-linked-to-56-companies?utm_source=pocket_shared">56 companies</a> globally are responsible for more than half of the branded plastic pollution that ends up in the environment.</p> <p>Companies profit from using plastics because it is cheaper to use than changing to alternatives, such as cardboard or compostable materials, or using less packaging. This means companies choosing to avoid using plastics face unfair competition.</p> <p>It’s a tough habit to kick. Industry-led <a href="https://productstewardship.us/what-is-epr/#:%7E:text=Stewardship%20can%20be%20either%20voluntary,product%20stewardship%20required%20by%20law">voluntary schemes</a> are <a href="https://www.insidewaste.com.au/91038-2-product-stewardship-schemes/">limited in terms of both participation and outcomes</a>. Many companies are failing to meet their own <a href="https://www.asyousow.org/report-page/2024-plastic-promises-scorecard">plastic reduction goals</a>.</p> <p>Governments need to step in and force companies to take responsibility for the plastic and packaging they manufacture. In practice, this could involve similar schemes to the container deposit scheme for beverage containers, or returning plastics to stores.</p> <p>Replacing voluntary schemes with mandatory regulations and increased producer responsibility means companies will have to <a href="https://www.insidewaste.com.au/91038-2-product-stewardship-schemes/">invest in long-term changes designed with care</a>.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UnXVU-06ciI?wmode=transparent&amp;start=1" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">What’s Plastic Free July?</span></figcaption></figure> <h2>Cities are built around plastic</h2> <p>Our previous research has shown plastic performs an essential role in some, <a href="https://rgs-ibg.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/geoj.12457">constrained circumstances</a>. We found vulnerable householders often rely on plastic to make life manageable, such as using plastics to cover belongings on the balcony, or using plastic cutlery and plates in student apartments with minimal kitchen space. This includes people with accessibility needs, people relying on public transport to shop for groceries, or people who are financially constrained or living in small high-rise <a href="https://theconversation.com/we-cant-keep-putting-apartment-residents-waste-in-the-too-hard-basket-200545">apartments</a>.</p> <p>Unsustainable lifestyles are not so much a choice as a product of poorly planned cities, housing and regulations. It is all very well if you are mobile and well-located, but if you live in a <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-08/food-deserts-have-serious-consequences-for-residents-experts/6605230">poorly serviced</a> distant suburb and <a href="https://www.unsw.edu.au/newsroom/news/2023/01/are-you-living-in-a-food-desert--these-maps-suggest-it-can-reall">transport groceries or takeaway food</a> or buy things on the go, then plastic is perhaps the only current affordable way to make it work.</p> <p>So campaigns and solutions that do not consider how <a href="https://rgs-ibg.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/geoj.12457">everyday lives and economy</a> are intertwined with plastics can <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s42949-024-00149-w">exclude people and spaces</a> who can’t access the alternatives.</p> <p>For example, there are ways to make <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1745-5871.12464">convenience eating more sustainable</a> in education settings. We have shown how <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1745-5871.12390">canteens and microwaves</a> in shared spaces can enable people to access affordable food with their friends, as in <a href="https://www.charlesabroad.cz/post/german-university-canteens-why-do-they-beat-the-czech-ones">University Mensa in Germany</a>.</p> <p>Our <a href="https://cur.org.au/project/tackling-food-related-single-use-plastics-in-diverse-consumption-contexts/">new research</a> will explore how single-use food-related plastics and packaging form an integral part of our daily lives, including shopping, work, cooking and storage.</p> <p>Sometimes new policies inadvertently disadvantage certain groups and communities, such as the aged, less mobile, people living in apartments, or low socio-economic groups. Before we roll out new policies and regulations, we need to understand the roles these materials play and the kinds of services and value they provide.</p> <p>We aim to develop a framework to inform policies and strategies that enable a just and inclusive transition to reduced plastic use.</p> <h2>What about after July?</h2> <p>Plastic Free July and similar campaigns are based on idea that making a temporary change will lead to more permanent lifestyle changes. But research shows temporary shifts are <a href="http://www.demand.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/DEMAND2016_Full_paper_42-Shove.pdf">very different</a> to <a href="https://pure.manchester.ac.uk/ws/portalfiles/portal/32468813/FULL_TEXT.PDF">structural, permanent shifts</a> in <a href="https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9781315816494-1/introduction-social-practices-intervention-sustainability-beyond-behaviour-change-yolande-strengers-cecily-maller?context=ubx&amp;refId=d608abad-39f9-4bb2-8754-56e9e2000c5e">practices</a>.</p> <p>Supermarkets will still wrap items in plastic and sell single-use plastic, even if we try to buy less during Plastic Free July.</p> <p>Ultimately, the focus should be on designing effective infrastructure and policy solutions for lasting results, considering how demand for plastic is produced in the first place.</p> <p>Some of these changes will require a shift in community expectations and food culture.</p> <p>Rather than pointing the finger at consumers, let’s get to work on redesigning our cities. We need to rethink how everyday practices, manufacturing and distribution systems are structured to eliminate plastic waste.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/233436/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bhavna-middha-1061611">Bhavna Middha</a>, ARC DECRA and Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Urban Research, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ralph-horne-160543">Ralph Horne</a>, Associate Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research &amp; Innovation, College of Design &amp; Social Context, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/plastic-free-july-is-a-waste-of-time-if-the-onus-is-only-on-consumers-233436">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Home & Garden

Placeholder Content Image

Woman dies after police fail to respond to 000 call in time

<p>A delayed police response is under investigation after a woman in her 40s died when police officers took almost an hour to respond to a 000 call. </p> <p>Sarah Miles, a mother-of-three from Byron Bay, died after she was allegedly beaten by her boyfriend in her home on Saturday morning.</p> <p>A triple-0 call was made at 1:30am after neighbours reportedly heard screams coming from the house, but NSW Police didn’t acknowledge the call until 2:25am.</p> <p>By the time they arrived on the scene, they found Miles fighting for life in her final moments.</p> <p>She was unconscious but breathing, with “obvious injuries” to her head caused by a physical assault, NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Peter McKenna said.</p> <p>“Police assisted her and called for an ambulance immediately (which) arrived very shortly after, but unfortunately, her condition deteriorated, and she died at the scene,” McKenna said.</p> <p>“The delay in the timing of police acknowledging that call and attending the scene has given me enough concern that I’ve asked for an independent review of this investigation as to what that delay was and if it was justified."</p> <p>“We want to see what happened from the time that call was made, how the radio operator dispatched that call, the circumstances around the timings until it was acknowledged and until police attended.”</p> <p>The NSW Police Homicide Squad is working separately with local officers to investigate Miles’ death.</p> <p>McKenna said the force takes domestic violence very seriously and the issue is at the “top of our priority list”.</p> <p>“It is one of the most serious crimes there is, and we will do everything we can to take this as seriously as we can and make sure people are held to account and put before the courts,” he said.</p> <p>Miles's partner, Dwayne John Creighton, 31, was arrested at the scene and taken to Lismore Police Station, where he was charged with one count of murder.</p> <p><em>Image credits: 7News</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

John Farnham steps out at son's wedding for first time since jaw surgery

<p>Beloved Aussie rock legend John Farnham exuded pride and joy as he stepped out in style at his son Robert's wedding on the weekend. After enduring extensive surgery due to oral cancer, Farnham, now cancer-free, appeared in high spirits at the intimate wedding of his oldest son and his new wife, Melissa.</p> <p>The 74-year-old icon looked remarkably well and largely unchanged since his challenging surgery in August 2022. In the heartwarming photos shared on Instagram, John posed alongside his son, both beaming with happiness. John looked dapper in a black suit with a bronze tie and matching pocket square, while Rob opted for a stylish white tux with black accents.</p> <p>The joyous occasion was beautifully captured in a series of family photos, including John's wife, Jill, and other close family members. Fans flooded the comments with heartfelt messages, celebrating the happy family and John's remarkable recovery. "Such a beautiful father and son pic," one fan wrote, while another added, "Congratulations to you both. It's so nice to see your Dad, he looks fantastic! Love to you all."</p> <p>The bride, Melissa, looked stunning in an off-the-shoulder ivory gown, posing for romantic photos with her new husband against the lush backdrop of their wedding venue. Rob's touching caption on Instagram encapsulated the joy of the day: "Shared the happiest moment with my favourite person in the universe and she said I do. Melissa, my life is forever better that you’re apart of it. You looked radiant, beautiful and elegant. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us and I’m truly honoured to have you by my side as my wife for life❤️."</p> <p>The couple had announced their engagement in November 2022, with Rob expressing his excitement about their future together: "My best friend and love of my life said yes to marrying me. I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you."</p> <p>John Farnham's presence at the wedding was particularly special, as it marked a year since his successful battle against cancer. In August 2023, Farnham revealed he was cancer-free, a triumph after numerous surgeries and a challenging recovery process. In a heartfelt statement, he shared his gratitude: "It's been a year since my first surgery and to be honest, I've lost count as to how many other procedures there have been since then. But, I'm home now and I'm a very grateful and happy man. I'm sitting here in my living room lapping up the attention from my beautiful wife, Jill, my boys Rob and James, and my mini Schnauzer, Edmund."</p> <p>Throughout his recovery, John's family provided updates on his progress. His son Robert shared that his father was "doing fantastic" after a 12-hour surgery for throat cancer and was even dancing a little and walking his dog regularly. "He's really, really happy. He's doing really good, he's super positive," Robert said in an interview.</p> <p>While it is unlikely that John will perform again after his extensive surgery, the love and joy he shared at his son's wedding are a beautiful reminder of life's precious moments.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Relationships

Placeholder Content Image

New link to Madeleine McCann suspect revealed for the first time

<p dir="ltr">Detectives have uncovered an email account belonging to convicted paedophile Christian Brueckner that ties him to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, a court has heard. </p> <p dir="ltr">Detective Titus Stampa told a court that the German FBI had identified two email accounts linked to the man, but was unable to discuss one of them because it was “related to the killing” of the child. </p> <p dir="ltr">The second email account was used for trading child pornography images with people online. </p> <p dir="ltr">However, the account had all of the messages deleted from the first half of 2007: the time Maddie vanished.</p> <p dir="ltr">Detective Stampa refused to confirm if the “murder” account contained any “photos”, but he said investigators were also in possession of a hard drive related to the “murder” which he was not allowed to discuss.</p> <p dir="ltr">The detective told the court, “An external hard drive is also belonging to the killing case – and I am not allowed to talk about it.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Asked about the account used for swapping child sex abuse images, Detective Stampa said, “I can remember that things were ‘massively’ deleted in the inbox.</p> <p dir="ltr">“There was nothing in there from January 2007.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The revelation offered the first glimpse into the physical proof that has led German investigators to believe Brueckner kidnapped and killed Maddie.</p> <p dir="ltr">Brueckner has long been the main suspect in the case of Maddie’s disappearance, after a key witness came forward in 2017 to report the man, who claimed that while discussing the McCann case, Brueckner said, “She didn’t scream.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Madeleine was last seen when she was just three years old in 2007 in Praia da Luz on Portugal’s Algarve coast, when she was on holiday with her family. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: MGG/Shutterstock Editorial </em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Spending too much time on social media and doomscrolling? The problem might be FOMO

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kim-m-caudwell-1258935">Kim M Caudwell</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/charles-darwin-university-1066">Charles Darwin University</a></em></p> <p>For as long as we have used the internet to <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/07/email-ray-tomlinson-history">communicate and connect with each other</a>, it has influenced how we think, feel and behave.</p> <p>During the COVID pandemic, many of us were <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953622007985">“cut off” from our social worlds</a> through restrictions, lockdowns and mandates. Understandably, many of us tried to <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0258344">find ways to connect online</a>.</p> <p>Now, as pandemic restrictions have lifted, some of the ways we use the internet have become concerning. Part of what drives problematic internet use may be something most of us are familiar with – the fear of missing out, or FOMO.</p> <p>In <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12888-024-05834-9">our latest research</a>, my colleagues and I investigated the role FOMO plays in two kinds of internet use: problematic social media use and “doomscrolling”.</p> <h2>What are FOMO, problematic social media use and doomscrolling?</h2> <p>FOMO is the fear some of us experience when we get a sense of “missing out” on things happening in our social scene. Psychology researchers have been studying FOMO for <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2013.02.014">more than a decade</a>, and it has consistently been linked to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8283615/">mental health and wellbeing</a>, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0376871624001947">alcohol use</a> and <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2021.106839">problematic social media use</a>.</p> <p>Social media use becomes a problem for people when they have difficulty controlling urges to use social media, have difficulty cutting back on use, and where the use has a negative impact on their everyday life.</p> <p>Doomscrolling is characterised by a need to constantly look at and <a href="https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20210226-the-darkly-soothing-compulsion-of-doomscrolling">seek out “bad” news</a>. Doomscrollers may constantly refresh their news feeds or stay up late to read bad news.</p> <p>While problematic social media use has been around for a while, doomscrolling seems to be a more recent phenomenon – <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7735659/">attracting research attention</a> during and following the pandemic.</p> <h2>What we tried to find out</h2> <p>In our study, we wanted to test the idea that FOMO leads individuals to engage in problematic use behaviours due to their difficulty in managing the “fear” in FOMO.</p> <p>The key factor, we thought, was <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/b:joba.0000007455.08539.94">emotion regulation</a> – our ability to deal with our emotions. We know some people tend to be good at this, while others find it difficult. In fact, greater difficulties with emotion regulation was linked to experiencing <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S088761852100058X">greater acute stress related to COVID</a>.</p> <p>However, an idea that has been gaining attention recently is <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/psychology/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.636919/full">interpersonal emotion regulation</a>. This means looking to others to help us regulate our emotions.</p> <p>Interpersonal emotion regulation can be helpful (such as “<a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11031-016-9569-3">affective engagement</a>”, where someone might listen and talk about your feelings) or unhelpful (such as “<a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2F0012-1649.43.4.1019">co-rumination</a>” or rehashing problems together), depending on the context.</p> <p>In our analyses, we sought to uncover how both <em>intrapersonal</em> emotion regulation (ability to self-manage our own emotional states) and <em>interpersonal</em> emotion regulation (relying on others to help manage our emotions) accounted for the link between FOMO and problematic social media use, and FOMO and doomscrolling, respectively.</p> <h2>What we found – and what it might mean for the future of internet use</h2> <p>Our findings indicated that people who report stronger FOMO engage in problematic social media use because of difficulty regulating their emotions (intrapersonally), and they look to others for help (interpersonally).</p> <p>Similarly, people who report stronger FOMO are drawn to doomscrolling because of difficulty regulating their emotions intrapersonally (within themselves). However, we found no link between FOMO and doomscrolling through interpersonal emotion regulation.</p> <p>We suspect this difference may be due to doomscrolling being more of a solitary activity, occurring outside more social contexts that facilitate interpersonal regulation. For instance, there are probably fewer people with whom to share your emotions while staying up trawling through bad news.</p> <p>While links between FOMO and doomscrolling have been observed before, our study is among the first to try and account for this theoretically.</p> <p>We suspect the link between FOMO and doomscrolling may be more about having more of an online presence <em>while things are happening</em>. This would account for intrapersonal emotion regulation failing to help manage our reactions to “bad news” stories as they unfold, leading to doomscrolling.</p> <p>Problematic social media use, on the other hand, involves a more complex interpersonal context. If someone is feeling the fear of being “left out” and has difficulty managing that feeling, they may be drawn to social media platforms in part to try and elicit help from others in their network.</p> <h2>Getting the balance right</h2> <p>Our findings suggest the current discussions around <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/psychology-group-says-infinite-scrolling-social-media-features-are-par-rcna147876">restricting social media use for young people</a>, while controversial, are important. We need to balance our need for social connection – which is happening increasingly online – with the <a href="https://www.biomedcentral.com/collections/spia#tab-3">detrimental consequences </a> associated with problematic internet use behaviours.</p> <p>It is important to also consider the nature of social media platforms and how they have changed over time. For example, adolescent social media use patterns across various platforms are <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10964-019-01060-9">associated with</a> different mental health and socialisation outcomes.</p> <p>Public health policy experts and legislators have quite the challenge ahead of them here. Recent work has shown how loneliness is <a href="https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0190033">a contributing factor</a> to all-cause mortality (death from any cause).</p> <p>We have long known, too, that social connectedness is <a href="https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0190033">good for our mental health</a>. In fact, last year, the World Health Organization established a <a href="https://www.who.int/news/item/15-11-2023-who-launches-commission-to-foster-social-connection">Commission on Social Connection</a> to help promote the importance of socialisation to our lives.</p> <p>The recent controversy in the United States around the ownership of TikTok illustrates how central social media platforms are to our lives and ways of interacting with one another. We need to <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/article/2024/may/27/dominic-andre-tiktok-ban">consider the rights of individuals</a> to use them as they please, but understand that governments carry the responsibility of <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2023/apr/04/what-does-tiktoks-ban-on-australian-government-devices-mean-for-its-future">protecting users from harm</a> and safeguarding their privacy.</p> <hr /> <p><em>If you feel concerned about problematic social media use or doomscrolling, you can speak to a healthcare or mental health professional. You can also call <a href="https://www.lifeline.org.au/">Lifeline</a> on 13 11 14, or <a href="https://www.13yarn.org.au/">13 YARN</a> (13 92 76) to yarn with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander crisis supporters.</em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/230980/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kim-m-caudwell-1258935">Kim M Caudwell</a>, Senior Lecturer - Psychology | Chair, Researchers in Behavioural Addictions, Alcohol and Drugs (BAAD), <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/charles-darwin-university-1066">Charles Darwin University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/spending-too-much-time-on-social-media-and-doomscrolling-the-problem-might-be-fomo-230980">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Technology

Placeholder Content Image

"It's timeless": Apple Music reveals best albums of all time

<p>Apple Music has compiled their list of the top 100 albums of all time, with the number one spot dividing music lovers. </p> <p>Said to be “a modern 21st-century ranking of the greatest records ever made,” the list was compiled by Apple Music’s team of experts “alongside a select group of artists, songwriters, producers, and industry professionals.”</p> <p>“The list is an editorial statement,” the streaming giant said in a press release, “fully independent of any streaming numbers on Apple Music - a love letter to the records that have shaped the world music lovers live and listen in.”</p> <p>Taking out the number one spot, which has divided music lovers, is Lauryn Hill’s 1998 magnum opus <em>The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.</em></p> <p>The album beat out other iconic works such as <em>Abbey Road</em> by The Beatles and <em>Thriller</em> by Michael Jackson for the top spot, as well as newer records such as <em>Back to Black</em> by Amy Winehouse and <em>Blonde</em> by Frank Ocean. </p> <p>Following the big reveal, Apple Music’s global creative director, Zane Lowe, described Hill’s album as one that “has not dated, not even a fraction”.</p> <p>“In fact, it feels more fresh and more relevant the more you listen to it … There are a lot of young artists hearing it, and it’s becoming part of their artistic DNA,” he said.</p> <p>“It’s inspiring and influencing them … It’s timeless.”</p> <p>While <em>The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill</em> is certainly popular after selling over 20 million copies and making it one of the best-selling albums of all time, not everyone was so sure it deserved top spot on the list.</p> <p>“Album is fire but no way this gets #1 of all albums,” one user wrote on X, formerly Twitter, while another account declared simply: “BLASPHEMY.”</p> <p>“The most overrated album in history. I’m not saying it’s not good but come on,” a user wrote.</p> <p>Many people also insisted Jackson’s “Thriller” deserved to be number one.</p> <p>“That album had no miss, but Michael Jackson thriller is no 1,” an X user said.</p> <p>“I feel like Michael got snubbed,” another agreed.</p> <p>Check out the top 20 of the coveted list below. You can see the top 100 list in its entirety <a href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/music/best-albums-of-all-time-revealed/news-story/620abfb3fc0279559eff1cbbbb552b80" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a>.</p> <p>20. Pet Sounds – The Beach Boys</p> <p>19. The Chronic – Dr. Dre</p> <p>18. 1989 (Taylor’s Version) – Taylor Swift</p> <p>17. What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye</p> <p>16. Blue – Joni Mitchell</p> <p>15. 21 – Adele</p> <p>14. Highway 61 Revisited – Bob Dylan</p> <p>13. The Blueprint – Jay-Z</p> <p>12. OK Computer – Radiohead</p> <p>11. Rumours – Fleetwood Mac</p> <p>10. Lemonade – Beyoncé</p> <p>9. Nevermind – Nirvana</p> <p>8. Back to Black – Amy Winehouse</p> <p>7. good kid, m.A.A.d city (Deluxe Version) – Kendrick Lamar</p> <p>6. Songs in the Key of Life – Stevie Wonder</p> <p>5. Blonde – Frank Ocean</p> <p>4. Purple Rain – Prince & The Revolution </p> <p>3. Abbey Road - The Beatles</p> <p>2. Thriller - Michael Jackson</p> <p>1. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill – Lauryn Hill</p> <p><em>Image credits: Ruffhouse Records / Apple Records / Epic Records</em></p> <div class="media image" style="caret-color: #000000; color: #000000; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration: none; box-sizing: inherit; margin-bottom: 24px; display: flex; flex-direction: column; align-items: center; width: 705.202209px; max-width: 100%;"> </div>

Music

Placeholder Content Image

Yoko Ono selling John Lennon's New York home for first time in 50 years

<p>For the first time in 50 years, the house where John Lennon and Yoko Ono lived in New York City has hit the market.</p> <p>The brick, bluestone and terra cotta structure at 496 Broome St. was the first home the pair bought together in New York City before they moved to the Upper West Side of Manhattan. </p> <p>Yoko Ono has held onto the property since she first bought it with the late Beatles member, and has now listed it with her son with JLL Real Estate, for an asking price of $US5.5 million ($8.23m AUD).</p> <p>“The building on Broome St. was sort of like a base for their artistic ventures,” Philip Norman, author of “John Lennon: The Life,” told the <em><a href="https://nypost.com/2024/05/21/real-estate/yoko-ono-lists-former-nyc-home-for-5-5m/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">New York Post</a></em>. “Bank Street was their salon, where people could just walk in.”</p> <p>First built in 1885, the two-storey building has an open-plan format, with a gallery-like ground floor space with 14.4-foot-high ceilings, an open kitchen and a lofted bedroom.</p> <p>On the second floor, there’s a live-work space and a recording studio.</p> <p>“496 Broome St. is both a unique piece of New York history and popular culture and a prime investment opportunity for the right buyer,” said Paul Smadbeck, who holds the listing.</p> <p>“Versatile zoning and its location in one of the city’s most desirable and trendsetting neighbourhoods offers an exciting opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind property.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Mediapunch / JLL Real Estate </em></p>

Real Estate

Placeholder Content Image

Petition to put Gina Rinehart's portrait in Times Square goes viral

<p>When Gina Rinehart's portrait featured in an exhibition at the National Gallery in Canberra, she <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/entertainment/art/gina-rinehart-demands-for-national-gallery-to-remove-her-portrait" target="_blank" rel="noopener">demanded</a> it be taken down. </p> <p>The gallery refused, and said it would stay hanging in the gallery until the end of the end of the exhibit on July 21st. </p> <p>Rinehart's outrageous request to take down the artwork went viral on social media, and even saw her feature on Stephen Colbert's late night TV show. </p> <p>Now, comedian Dan Ilic has started a <a href="https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/put-vincent-namatjira-s-work-in-times-square#/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">petition</a> to get the artwork displayed in New York City's iconic Times Square. </p> <p>Ilic told <em><a href="https://www.thenewdaily.com.au/news/2024/05/21/rinehart-times-square" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The New Daily</a></em> that it is important to celebrate Australia’s art and artists, because “not many other people are”.</p> <p>“The person who was seeking for it to be removed has a unique place in Australian culture and politics, and uses their power for things that are very much in line with their interests,” he said.</p> <p>“Us, using our own power as a community to try and leverage a lot of little people’s contributions to this celebration of great Australian art, is a great thing.”</p> <p>Ilic said people approached him to launch the fundraising campaign because “I’ve become the person to do such things”.</p> <p>“I happened to go to an art event on the weekend with some people who know [artist] Vincent Namatjirawell and I asked them to check if he would like it,” he said.</p> <p>“He said it’s very funny, so we went ahead with it.”</p> <p>A 10-minute slot in Times Square costs $16,000, however Ilic is campaigning to raise $30,000 to beam Rinehart’s portrait into one of the busiest locations on the planet, with any excess money being donated to Indigenous-led youth climate network Seed Mob.</p> <p>He said, “By the very nature of that organisation, they’re at odds with a lot of what big corporations like Hancock Prospecting are all about.”</p> <p>Ilic said he was confident about passing the $30,000 goal and making the 10-minute slot a reality, after already raising over 70 percent of his goal.</p> <p>“There is an old maxim in crowdfunding: If you reach 50 per cent within the 50 per cent mark of time, you’ll get the rest,” he said.</p> <p>“We hit that earlier this morning and it’s about halfway now, so I think we’ll get the rest.”</p> <p>Ilic has previously campaigned to have features in Times Square, with one such ad highlighting Australia's lack of climate change action ahead of the COP26 meeting in 2021. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Dan Ilic - Indiegogo</em></p>

International Travel

Placeholder Content Image

A tax on sugary drinks can make us healthier. It’s time for Australia to introduce one

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-breadon-1348098">Peter Breadon</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/grattan-institute-1168">Grattan Institute</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jessica-geraghty-1530733">Jessica Geraghty</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/grattan-institute-1168"><em>Grattan Institute</em></a></em></p> <p>Sugary drinks cause weight gain and <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41574-021-00627-6">increase the risk</a> of a range of diseases, including diabetes.</p> <p>The <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2792842">evidence shows</a> that well-designed taxes can reduce sugary drink sales, cause people to choose healthier options and get manufacturers to reduce the sugar in their drinks. And although these taxes haven’t been around long, there are already signs that they are making people healthier.</p> <p>It’s time for Australia to catch up to the rest of the world and introduce a tax on sugary drinks. As our new Grattan Institute <a href="https://grattan.edu.au/report/sickly-sweet/">report</a> shows, doing so could mean the average Australian drinks almost 700 grams less sugar each year.</p> <h2>Sugary drinks are making us sick</h2> <p>The share of adults in Australia who are obese has tripled since 1980, from <a href="https://theconversation.com/mapping-australias-collective-weight-gain-7816">10%</a> to more than <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-conditions-and-risks/waist-circumference-and-bmi/latest-release">30%</a>, and diabetes is our <a href="https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/about-diabetes/diabetes-in-australia/">fastest-growing</a> chronic condition. The costs for the health system and economy are measured in the billions of dollars each year. But the biggest costs are borne by individuals and their families in the form of illness, suffering and early death.</p> <p>Sugary drinks are a big part of the problem. The more of them we drink, the greater our risk of <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41574-021-00627-6">gaining weight</a>, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2963518/">developing type 2 diabetes</a>, and suffering <a href="https://academic.oup.com/eurpub/article/31/1/122/5896049?login=false">poor oral health</a>.</p> <p>These drinks have no real nutrients, but they do have a lot of sugar. The average Australian consumes <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-conditions-and-risks/apparent-consumption-selected-foodstuffs-australia/latest-release">1.3</a> times the maximum recommended amount of sugar each day. Sugary drinks are responsible for more than one-quarter of our daily sugar intake, more than any other major type of food.</p> <p>You might be shocked by how much sugar you’re drinking. Many 375ml cans of soft drink contain eight to 12 teaspoons of sugar, nearly the entire daily recommended limit for an adult. Many 600ml bottles blow our entire daily sugar budget, and then some.</p> <p>The picture is even worse for disadvantaged Australians, who are more likely to have <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-conditions-and-risks/diabetes/latest-release">diabetes</a> and <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-conditions-and-risks/waist-circumference-and-bmi/latest-release">obesity</a>, and who also consume the most sugary drinks.</p> <h2>Sugary drink taxes work</h2> <p>Fortunately, there’s a proven way to reduce the damage sugary drinks cause.</p> <p>More than <a href="https://ssbtax.worldbank.org/">100 countries</a> have a sugary drinks tax, covering most of the world’s population. <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2792842">Research</a> shows these taxes lead to higher prices and fewer purchases.</p> <p>Some taxes are specifically designed to encourage manufacturers to change their recipes and cut the sugar in their drinks. Under these “tiered taxes”, there is no tax on drinks with a small amount of sugar, but the tax steps up two or three times as the amount of sugar rises. That gives manufacturers a strong incentive to add less sugar, so they reduce their exposure to the tax or avoid paying it altogether.</p> <p>This is the best result from a sugary drinks tax. It means drinks get healthier, while the tax is kept to a minimum.</p> <p>In countries with tiered taxes, manufacturers have slashed the sugar in their drinks. In the United Kingdom, the share of products above the tax threshold <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1003025">decreased dramatically</a>. In 2015, more than half (52%) of products in the UK were above the tax threshold of 5 grams of sugar per 100ml. Four years later, when the tax was in place, that share had plunged to 15%. The number of products with the most sugar – more than 8 grams per 100ml – declined the most, falling from 38% to just 7%.</p> <p>The Australian drinks market today looks similar to the UK’s before the tax was introduced.</p> <p>Health benefits take longer to appear, but there are already promising signs that the taxes are working. Obesity among primary school-age girls has fallen in <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1004160">the UK</a> and <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2786784">Mexico</a>.</p> <p>Oral health has also improved, with studies reporting fewer children going to hospital to get their teeth removed in <a href="https://nutrition.bmj.com/content/6/2/243">the UK</a>, and reduced dental decay <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33853058/">in Mexico</a> and <a href="https://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(23)00069-7/abstract">Philadelphia</a>.</p> <p>One <a href="https://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(23)00158-7/fulltext">study from the United States</a> found big reductions in gestational diabetes in cities with a sugary drinks tax.</p> <h2>The tax Australia should introduce</h2> <p>Like successful taxes overseas, Australia should introduce a sugary drink tax that targets drinks with the most sugar:</p> <ul> <li>drinks with 8 grams or more of sugar per 100ml should face a $0.60 per litre tax</li> <li>drinks with 5–8 grams should be taxed at $0.40 per litre</li> <li>drinks with less than 5 grams of sugar should be tax-free.</li> </ul> <p>This means a 250ml Coke, which has nearly 11 grams of sugar per 100ml, would cost $0.15 more. But of course consumers could avoid the tax by choosing a sugar-free soft drink, or a bottle of water.</p> <p>Grattan Institute <a href="https://grattan.edu.au/report/sickly-sweet/">modelling</a> shows that under this tiered tax, Australians would drink about 275 million litres fewer sugary drinks each year, or the volume of 110 Olympic swimming pools.</p> <p>The tax is about health, but government budgets also benefit. If it was introduced today, it would raise about half a billion dollars in the first year.</p> <p>Vested interests such as the beverages industry have fiercely resisted sugary drink taxes around the world, issuing disingenuous warnings about the risks to poor people, the sugar industry and drinks manufacturers.</p> <p>But our new report shows sugary drink taxes have been introduced smoothly overseas, and none of these concerns should hold Australia back.</p> <p>We certainly can’t rely on industry pledges to voluntarily reduce sugar. They have been <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/public-health-nutrition/article/trends-in-sugar-content-of-nonalcoholic-beverages-in-australia-between-2015-and-2019-during-the-operation-of-a-voluntary-industry-pledge-to-reduce-sugar-content/EE662DE7552670ED532F6650C9D56939">weak</a> and misleading, and <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2024/apr/10/sugar-increase-in-fanta-and-sprite-prompts-calls-for-new-tax-on-australia-food-and-drinks-industry">failed to stick</a>.</p> <p>It will take many policies and interventions to turn back the tide of obesity and chronic disease in Australia, but a sugary drinks tax should be part of the solution. It’s a policy that works, it’s easy to implement, and most Australians <a href="https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/9/6/e027962">support it</a>.</p> <p>The federal government should show it’s serious about tackling Australia’s biggest health problems and take this small step towards a healthier future.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/228906/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-breadon-1348098">Peter Breadon</a>, Program Director, Health and Aged Care, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/grattan-institute-1168">Grattan Institute</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jessica-geraghty-1530733">Jessica Geraghty</a>, Senior Associate, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/grattan-institute-1168">Grattan Institute</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/a-tax-on-sugary-drinks-can-make-us-healthier-its-time-for-australia-to-introduce-one-228906">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Food & Wine

Placeholder Content Image

How much time should you spend sitting versus standing? New research reveals the perfect mix for optimal health

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/christian-brakenridge-1295221">Christian Brakenridge</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/baker-heart-and-diabetes-institute-974">Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute</a></em></p> <p>People have a pretty intuitive sense of what is healthy – standing is better than sitting, exercise is great for overall health and getting <a href="https://theconversation.com/could-not-getting-enough-sleep-increase-your-risk-of-type-2-diabetes-225179">good sleep is imperative</a>.</p> <p>However, if exercise in the evening may disrupt our sleep, or make us feel the need to be more sedentary to recover, a key question emerges – what is the best way to balance our 24 hours to optimise our health?</p> <p><a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00125-024-06145-0">Our research</a> attempted to answer this for risk factors for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. We found the optimal amount of sleep was 8.3 hours, while for light activity and moderate to vigorous activity, it was best to get 2.2 hours each.</p> <p><iframe id="dw4bx" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/dw4bx/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <h2>Finding the right balance</h2> <p>Current health guidelines recommend you stick to a <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/topics/physical-activity-and-exercise/physical-activity-and-exercise-guidelines-for-all-australians/for-adults-18-to-64-years">sensible regime</a> of moderate-to vigorous-intensity physical activity 2.5–5 hours per week.</p> <p>However <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2019.02.031">mounting evidence</a> now <a href="https://doi.org/10.2337/dc14-2073">suggests</a> how you spend your day can have meaningful ramifications for your health. In addition to moderate-to vigorous-intensity physical activity, this means the time you spend sitting, standing, doing light physical activity (such as walking around your house or office) and sleeping.</p> <p>Our research looked at more than 2,000 adults who wore body sensors that could interpret their physical behaviours, for seven days. This gave us a sense of how they spent their average 24 hours.</p> <p>At the start of the study participants had their waist circumference, blood sugar and insulin sensitivity measured. The body sensor and assessment data was matched and analysed then tested against health risk markers — such as a heart disease and stroke risk score — to create a model.</p> <p>Using this model, we fed through thousands of permutations of 24 hours and found the ones with the estimated lowest associations with heart disease risk and blood-glucose levels. This created many optimal mixes of sitting, standing, light and moderate intensity activity.</p> <p>When we looked at waist circumference, blood sugar, insulin sensitivity and a heart disease and stroke risk score, we noted differing optimal time zones. Where those zones mutually overlapped was ascribed the optimal zone for heart disease and diabetes risk.</p> <h2>You’re doing more physical activity than you think</h2> <p>We found light-intensity physical activity (defined as walking less than 100 steps per minute) – such as walking to the water cooler, the bathroom, or strolling casually with friends – had strong associations with glucose control, and especially in people with type 2 diabetes. This light-intensity physical activity is likely accumulated intermittently throughout the day rather than being a purposeful bout of light exercise.</p> <p>Our experimental evidence shows that <a href="https://diabetesjournals.org/care/article/39/6/964/29532/Benefits-for-Type-2-Diabetes-of-Interrupting">interrupting our sitting</a> regularly with light-physical activity (such as taking a 3–5 minute walk every hour) can improve our metabolism, especially so after lunch.</p> <p>While the moderate-to-vigorous physical activity time might seem a quite high, at more than 2 hours a day, we defined it as more than 100 steps per minute. This equates to a brisk walk.</p> <p>It should be noted that these findings are preliminary. This is the first study of heart disease and diabetes risk and the “optimal” 24 hours, and the results will need further confirmation with longer prospective studies.</p> <p>The data is also cross-sectional. This means that the estimates of time use are correlated with the disease risk factors, meaning it’s unclear whether how participants spent their time influences their risk factors or whether those risk factors influence how someone spends their time.</p> <h2>Australia’s adult physical activity guidelines need updating</h2> <p>Australia’s <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/topics/physical-activity-and-exercise/physical-activity-and-exercise-guidelines-for-all-australians/for-adults-18-to-64-years">physical activity guidelines</a> currently only recommend exercise intensity and time. A <a href="https://www.uow.edu.au/media/2023/why-adults-need-to-move-more-stop-sitting-and-sleep-better-.php">new set of guidelines</a> are being developed to incorporate 24-hour movement. Soon Australians will be able to use these guidelines to examine their 24 hours and understand where they can make improvements.</p> <p>While our new research can inform the upcoming guidelines, we should keep in mind that the recommendations are like a north star: something to head towards to improve your health. In principle this means reducing sitting time where possible, increasing standing and light-intensity physical activity, increasing more vigorous intensity physical activity, and aiming for a healthy sleep of 7.5–9 hours per night.</p> <p>Beneficial changes could come in the form of reducing screen time in the evening or opting for an active commute over driving commute, or prioritising an earlier bed time over watching television in the evening.</p> <p>It’s also important to acknowledge these are recommendations for an able adult. We all have different considerations, and above all, movement should be fun.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/228894/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/christian-brakenridge-1295221"><em>Christian Brakenridge</em></a><em>, Postdoctoral research fellow at Swinburne University, Centre for Urban Transitions, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/baker-heart-and-diabetes-institute-974">Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-much-time-should-you-spend-sitting-versus-standing-new-research-reveals-the-perfect-mix-for-optimal-health-228894">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Julie Goodwin shares her top tips for perfect potatoes every time

<p dir="ltr">Who doesn't love a good, hearty, delicious serving of fluffy and decadent potatoes?</p> <p dir="ltr">Original <em>MasterChef Australia</em> champion Julie Goodwin has shared her ultimate hacks for cooking the perfect potatoes every time, whether they’re mashed, roasted or baked.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to Julie, there are three key things every home cook needs to keep in mind the next time potatoes are on the menu. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Make sure you have the right potatoes </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Depending on whether you want baked, mashed, roasted, or any other way you want to prepare your potatoes, it all starts in the supermarket. </p> <p dir="ltr">"I find that for things like mashed potatoes and gnocchi and rostis you want a floury potato, so the general rule is dirty potatoes for those things," Julie told <em><a href="https://kitchen.nine.com.au/latest/julie-goodwin-top-three-tips-to-cook-potatoes-robertson-potato-festival/4d16ba12-bf14-4af2-990e-dcf0e89c30ee">9Honey</a></em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">"And then for stuff like potato salads, boiled baby potatoes, and potato bake, it's better to have a waxy potato because they hold their substance better. And those are the ones that are sold clean, so things like the Pontiac and Desiree with the pink skin or the washed potatoes with the white skin."</p> <p dir="ltr">"If you want to use them in an Irish stew to break down and thicken the sauce you've got to use a floury potato," she says. "So tend to your dirty ones."</p> <p dir="ltr">She says that if you're buying a clean, waxy potato, you won't have to peel them since the skin is supposed to be edible.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, if you're buying a dirty, floury potato, then you're going to want to peel the dirt off first and then wash off the residue.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Get those crispy edges </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">As every home cook knows, the key to the perfect roasted potato is for the inside to be soft and fluffy while the outside stays crispy. </p> <p dir="ltr">It can be a tricky balance to master, but Goodwin says there's a simple way to get it right every time.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I like to par boil them before I roast them. Just so that they go a bit fluffy around the edges," she explains. "What happens is those bits go really crispy and lovely."</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Let the flavour flow </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">When it comes to seasoning your potatoes, it's hard to know what flavours will suit your dish best. </p> <p dir="ltr">According to Goodwin, more is less when you season potatoes, so it's best to close the spice cabinet.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Salt is absolutely the number one, pepper's beautiful [but] it depends on what the meal is," she says. "So if you're doing a bit of a Portuguese or Spanish inspired meal you might put some paprika on there.”</p> <p dir="ltr">"But I really love rosemary and that's beautiful if you pound that up with your salt and put it on the potatoes that makes it really nice."</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images / Instagram</em></p>

Food & Wine

Placeholder Content Image

King Charles returns to public duties for the first time since diagnosis

<p>King Charles has made his first official public appearance since being diagnosed with cancer in February. </p> <p>In a symbolic appearance on Tuesday morning, the royal visited the Macmillan Cancer Centre at the University College Hospital donning a navy pinstripe suit with a light blue shirt and a pink dinosaur tie.</p> <p>The monarch was joined by his wife, Queen Camilla, with the couple sporting huge smiles as they waved to the crowd outside of the London hospital. </p> <p>The royal couple met with clinicians, patients and families of patients during the visit, and when asked by one patient how his treatment was going, Charles replied: "I'm alright, thank you".</p> <p>In one photo Charles can be seen tenderly placing his hand on the arms of a patient as he spoke with them. </p> <p>One patient discussed her chemotherapy with Charles, who who told her: “I’ve got to have my treatment this afternoon as well,” according to the <em>Mirror</em>.</p> <p>He also shared his reaction to finding out about his diagnosis for the first time, telling one patient: “It’s always a bit of a shock, isn’t it, when they tell you?”</p> <p>The King's hospital visit comes just days after the Palace released a statement confirming that he was showing progress with his treatment and would be resuming official duties. </p> <p>“His Majesty The King will shortly return to public-facing duties after a period of treatment and recuperation following his recent cancer diagnosis,”  it read, before announcing the visit to the cancer centre. </p> <p>“This visit will be the first in a number of external engagements His Majesty will undertake in the weeks ahead.”</p> <p>Despite this, his upcoming summer schedule would not be a full one, with events like the King's Birthday parade, known as Trooping the Colour, and the Royal Ascot, being undertaken on a case-by-case basis. </p> <p>He also plans to host the Emperor and Empress of Japan in late June. </p> <p>“As the first anniversary of the Coronation approaches, Their Majesties remain deeply grateful for the many kindnesses and good wishes they have received from around the world throughout the joys and challenges of the past year,” the statement concluded. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

"Last chance, Mr Banducci": Woolies CEO threatened with jail time

<p>Outgoing Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci has been threatened with jail time for refusing to answer questions about price gouging at a fiery Senate enquiry. </p> <p>The parliamentary probe into supermarket prices has seen Banducci be grilled by senators about how the supermarket raked in record-breaking profits during the ongoing cost of living crisis. </p> <p>During the enquiry on Tuesday, Banducci was repeatedly warned by committee chair and Greens senator Nick McKim about giving evasive answers when asked about his company's return on equity.</p> <p>Banducci repeatedly told the committee that return on equity was not his focus, and Woolworths is instead more interested in return on investment, refusing the question and prompting a 15-minute adjournment. </p> <p>When the enquiry resumed, a similar exchange occurred, leading to another warning for the Woolworths chief executive.</p> <p>"Last chance, Mr Banducci," McKim said.</p> <p>"Do you accept that return on equity is an accepted measure of the financial profitability of a company?"</p> <p>When Banducci replied that "we measure return on investment", the committee was suspended.</p> <p>Its return immediately saw another round of the same questions and answers, with McKim warning Banducci about the consequences of not answering questions clearly.</p> <p>"It is open to the Senate to hold you in contempt, and that carries potential sanctions including up to six months imprisonment for you," he said after saying the Woolworths boss could simply say he didn't know the answer and take the question on notice.</p> <p>"That's why this is a critical matter so I'd just ask you to address your mind with absolute clarity, please, to the question I am asking."</p> <p>"I put it to you the reason you don't want to focus on return on equity is because you don't like the story that it's telling, which is that you are basically profiteering and making off with massive profits at the expense of farmers at the expense of your workers and at the expense of Australian shoppers who you are price gouging," Greens senator McKim said.</p> <p>The enquiry is still ongoing, with Coles counterpart Leah Weckert set to address the same Senate committee later on Tuesday as the government continues to probe allegations of price gouging.</p> <p><em>Image Credits: ABC - Four Corners</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

SecondBite's Feed the Future Program: cultivating hope, one meal at a time

<p>In a world where food insecurity continues to plague communities, there shines a beacon of hope in the form of <a href="https://secondbite.org/">SecondBite</a>. Since its inception in 2005, SecondBite has worked tirelessly to rescue and redistribute surplus food, ensuring that no Australian goes to bed hungry. Now, with the launch of their Feed the Future program, they are taking their commitment to combating hunger and waste to new heights.</p> <p>The impact of SecondBite's efforts is truly staggering. Having already rescued and redistributed the equivalent of almost 300 million meals, they have become a lifeline for countless individuals and families facing food insecurity across the nation. But as the demand for their services continues to rise, so too does the need for support from generous donors and supporters.</p> <p>At the heart of SecondBite's purpose is the belief that every Australian deserves access to nutritious food, regardless of their circumstances. Through their Feed the Future program, they are not only addressing immediate hunger but also working towards a future where hunger and food waste are relics of the past.</p> <p>One individual who embodied this spirit of generosity was the late Frank Costa AO, a prominent Australian businessman and philanthropist. His unwavering commitment to giving back to the community lives on through a generous $1 million donation to SecondBite's Future Trust, ensuring that his legacy of compassion and service will continue to make a difference for years to come.</p> <p>“Frank was so passionate about health and the role that nutritious food plays in keeping us healthy,” says his widow, Shirley Costa. “He always said that the best way to preserve your health is to put the right food in your body, in particular, fruit and vegetables. He felt genuinely proud to provide a service to people, but also to contribute to their health and happiness. And he hoped that his gift would allow SecondBite to continue this legacy.”</p> <p><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-70396" src="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/SecondBite_Hero_02.jpg" alt="" width="770" height="500" /></p> <p>For those considering leaving a gift to SecondBite in their will, the Feed the Future program offers a unique opportunity to create a lasting impact. By becoming a member, supporters can join a community of like-minded individuals dedicated to building a future where no one goes hungry.</p> <p>Membership in the Feed the Future program comes with a range of exclusive benefits, including a certificate of recognition, a special lapel pin, invitations to events, and even a symbolic apple tree to plant in your garden as a testament to your commitment to ending hunger.</p> <p>But perhaps the greatest reward of all is the knowledge that your gift will help SecondBite continue their vital work, providing nourishment, hope and dignity to those in need. Together, we can create a future where every Australian has a place at the table, and no one is left behind.</p> <p><img class="alignnone wp-image-70420 size-full" src="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/Cropped-Image_secondbite_770.jpg" alt="" width="770" height="500" /></p> <p>“If you share our vision of a place at the table for all Australians, so that every child, woman and man has access to a regular nutritious food supply,” says SecondBite co-founder Ian Carson, “please consider joining our Feed the Future program and making a gift to SecondBite in your Will.”</p> <p>To learn more about how you can support SecondBite's Feed the Future program and make a difference in the lives of those facing food insecurity, contact their team today at 1800 263 283 or visit <a href="https://secondbite.org/gifts-in-will/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">secondbite.org/gifts-in-will</a>.</p> <p>Join us in cultivating a brighter future for all Australians, one meal at a time.</p> <p><em>Images: Supplied.</em></p> <p><em>This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with SecondBite.</em></p>

Food & Wine

Placeholder Content Image

"Finally felt like the right time": John Farnham's huge announcement

<p>John Farnham has announced his triumphant return one year on from his cancer surgery, sharing the news of a highly anticipated project. </p> <p>The 74-year-old Aussie music icon is set to tell his story in his own words with the release of his own candid memoir titled <em>The Voice Inside</em>. </p> <p>The autobiography, which will be released on October 30th, is co-written by Poppy Stockwell, who is the award-winning writer and director of the critically acclaimed biopic Finding the Voice.</p> <p>The book documents Farnham's early life and stardom growing up in Melbourne in the 1960s, to his comeback 1986 album <em>Whispering Jack</em>.</p> <p>It will recall the highs and lows of fame, including when his stellar career stalled, record companies turned their backs and he faced financial ruin.</p> <p><em>The Voice Inside</em> will also detail his shocking diagnosis of mouth cancer in 2022 which turned his life upside down. </p> <p>The book was announced on Farnham's Facebook page, with a statement sharing how he felt it was "the right time" to tell his story. </p> <p><iframe style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fjohnfarnham%2Fposts%2Fpfbid02tZwog7QbEW6AxDUxNMp3Kn5msAghjd9yUQe56optBdyX8ZL1DQFm4qvpUYsSjo2Rl&show_text=true&width=500" width="500" height="728" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>"Having been asked many times, it finally felt like the right time to sit down and tell my story," he said.</p> <p>"It is a very strange feeling looking back on my life, on the good and the bad, and now that I have started, it is all rushing back. I hope the book engages and entertains, because that’s what so much of my life has been about."</p> <p>The book will "chart John Farnham’s very personal and public journey, told in his own words and with his inimitable humour, insight, and humility."</p> <p>The post was quickly flooded with comments from fans eager to get their hands on the memoir, while many shared their well wishes as he continues his lengthy recovery from cancer. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Peter Brock's long-time partner passes away aged 77

<p>The motorsport community is mourning the loss of Bev Brock, a formidable figure whose unwavering support and dedication were instrumental in the legendary career of her former long-time partner, Peter Brock.</p> <p>Bev, aged 77, passed away at her Melbourne home on Sunday morning after bravely battling stage 4 cancer for two years.</p> <p>For almost three decades, Bev stood as a steadfast presence by Peter's side, both on and off the racetrack. While they were never married, their bond was undeniable, marking a partnership that transcended mere labels. From 1977 until their separation in 2005, Bev played an integral role in shaping Peter's remarkable motorsport journey, becoming synonymous with his successes and enduring legacy.</p> <p>Born on January 15, 1947, just outside Perth, Bev's early years hinted at the strength of character and resilience that would define her life. Among seven siblings, she cultivated a spirit of determination and compassion that would later leave an indelible mark on those around her. Following her passion for education, Bev pursued a career in teaching, imparting knowledge in science and home economics to countless students.</p> <p>Bev's life took a new trajectory when she met Peter Brock. Together, they navigated the highs and lows of motorsport, sharing a journey that was as exhilarating as it was demanding. Despite the challenges, Bev remained a pillar of support, balancing multiple roles with grace, intelligence and purpose. Her commitment to Peter's racing career was unwavering, whether she was managing logistics, offering counsel, or simply cheering from the sidelines.</p> <p>Beyond her contributions to motorsport, Bev's philanthropic endeavours reflected her generous spirit and compassionate nature – and her involvement with various charities culminated in the prestigious Order of Australia in 2016. From supporting The Skyline Foundation to her active engagement with Melbourne Rotary, Bev's impact extended far beyond the confines of the racetrack.</p> <p>In a heartfelt tribute, Bev's son, James Brock, honoured his mother's legacy:</p> <p>“Bev was a dedicated parent, always making time to make a costume for a play or help out on a school camp,” he wrote. “She dedicated her life to helping Peter’s racing career taking on multiple roles, all met with skill, smarts and purpose.</p> <p>“Bev was also involved with multiple charities earning her an Order of Australia in 2016.</p> <p>“Over the last few years she focused her time and passion on The Skyline Foundation, Melbourne Rotary, public speaking and her ever expanding family.</p> <p>“She leaves behind her three children, seven cherished grandchildren and a host of loved ones she wrapped into her life as though they were her own.</p> <p>“Her loss will be immense as her presence, wisdom and support can never be matched.”</p> <p>Universally known as "Bevo," she was not only the driving force behind Peter's success but also a cherished friend who selflessly cared for others. Despite her own battle with cancer, Bev remained a source of strength and inspiration, offering support and guidance to countless friends and acquaintances.</p> <p>As the motorsport community comes together to mourn Bev's passing, we reflect on a life lived with purpose, passion and unwavering dedication.</p> <p>Bev Brock may have left this world, but her spirit will forever race on in the hearts of those who knew and loved her.</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Qantas connects two destinations for the first time in 50 years

<p>Qantas has announced a new international route that will see Aussies connected to a popular holiday destination for the first time in 50 years. </p> <p>Two return flights will operate each week between Sydney and Papua New Guinea's Port Moresby, adding to the service already running to the island nation from Brisbane. </p> <p>“These flights will meet the growing demand from the business community for travel between Australia and Papua New Guinea,” Cam Wallace, CEO of Qantas International and Freight, said. </p> <p>“Our new Sydney service will save customers at least three hours in travel time on return trip by avoiding a stopover in Brisbane.”</p> <p>The route is the latest international service to be added to Qantas’ network out of Sydney, with the airline suggesting it will support both business and trade between Australia and Papua New Guinea.</p> <p>Trailing behind island nations such as Fiji and Indonesia, Papua New Guinea's tourism industry is steadily growing in popularity largely due to containing the world’s third largest rainforest, crystal clear waters, and 45,000km of coral reefs.</p> <p>As the number of annual travellers to PNG increases, so does accommodation options, with Marriott International announcing earlier this year that they would be expanding their accommodation into Papua New Guinea, marketing those wishing to have an “extended stay”.</p> <p>“We are thrilled to establish our inaugural foothold in Papua New Guinea with this milestone opening”, said Sean Hunt, area vice-president of Australia, New Zealand and Pacific for Marriott International, in a statement.</p> <p>“This is also a debut for the Marriott Executive Apartments brand in the region, allowing us to diversify our offering to cater to ambitious and adventurous travellers who seek a premium, trusted extended-stay experience.”</p> <p>While the new tourism initiatives have been put in place to help boost the economy of PNG, Papua New Guinea currently has travel advisory warnings in place, with SmartTraveller urging visitors to “exercise a high degree of caution in Papua New Guinea overall due to high levels of serious crime, with “higher levels” applying in some areas.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

International Travel

Placeholder Content Image

Princess Kate filmed in public for the first time since Christmas

<p>The Princess of Wales has been filmed for the first time since Christmas, after her absence sparked wild global <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/kate-middleton-s-disappearance-sparks-bizarre-conspiracy-theories" target="_blank" rel="noopener">speculation</a> on her whereabouts. </p> <p>Kate Middleton looked happy and relaxed in <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/royals/26766840/princess-kate-middleton-shopping-trip-video-william/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">recently published footage </a>of her shopping trip with her husband, Prince William. </p> <p>In footage exclusively obtained by <em>TMZ</em> and <em>The Sun, </em>the royal was filmed dressed comfortably in a hoodie and dark leggings, as she carried her shopping and walked alongside Prince William on their way to the car park. </p> <p>This is the first time the royal has been filmed in public since her <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/two-senior-royals-undergo-surgery" target="_blank" rel="noopener">"planned abdominal surgery"</a>, aside from two blurry <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/kate-middleton-spotted-for-the-first-time-since-surgery" target="_blank" rel="noopener">paparazzi pictures</a> of her in the backseat of a car, and reports that she was spotted <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/princess-kate-spotted-in-public-amid-wild-speculations" target="_blank" rel="noopener">out with her kids </a>on Saturday morning. </p> <p>Witnesses at Princess Kate's favourite farm shop reportedly said that she looked “happy, relaxed and healthy” as she ventured from her home in Windsor to the nearby store. </p> <p>“Kate was out shopping with William and she looked happy and she looked well," witnesses said at the time. </p> <p>“The kids weren’t with them but it’s such a good sign she was healthy enough to pop down to the shops.”</p> <p>The Princess' whereabouts has been the topic of speculation for weeks, with the Palace having to <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/palace-responds-to-bizarre-conspiracy-theories-about-kate-s-whereabouts" target="_blank" rel="noopener">speak out</a> against the wild conspiracy theories on social media. </p> <p>Her last public appearance was on December 25 during the royal family’s traditional walk to the Christmas morning service in Sandringham.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p> </p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

How long does menopause last? 5 tips for navigating uncertain times

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/yvonne-middlewick-1395795">Yvonne Middlewick</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/edith-cowan-university-720">Edith Cowan University</a></em></p> <p>Around half of the world’s population are women or people who menstruate – yet the way their body works can be a mystery, even to them.</p> <p>Most women will experience periods roughly every month, many will go through childbirth and those who live into midlife will experience menopause.</p> <p>While menopause is a significant time of change, it isn’t talked about much, other than as a punchline. This may contribute to keeping it a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/membership/2019/sep/21/breaking-the-menopause-taboo-there-are-vital-stories-we-should-continue-to-pursue">taboo topic</a>.</p> <p>So, what happens during menopause? How do you know when it is happening to you? And – the thing most women want to know – how long will it last?</p> <h2>What is menopause?</h2> <p>Menopause is <a href="https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-menopause">defined</a> as the permanent cessation of menstruation, which is medically determined to be one year after the final menstrual period. After this time women are considered to be postmenopausal.</p> <p>The <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26598775/">average age</a> of “natural menopause” (that is not caused by a medical condition, treatment or surgery) is considered to be around 51 years.</p> <p>However, natural menopause does not occur suddenly. <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Riitta-Luoto/publication/46425690_Prevalence_of_menopause_symptoms_and_their_association_with_lifestyle_among_Finnish_middle-aged_women/links/5c5704ac458515a4c7553c7b/Prevalence-of-menopause-symptoms-and-their-association-with-lifestyle-among-Finnish-middle-aged-women.pdf">Changes can begin</a> a number of years before periods stop and most often occur in a woman’s 40s but they can be earlier. Changes <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25686030/">can continue</a> for 10 years or more after periods have stopped.</p> <p>Using hormones such as the oral contraceptive pill or hormone intrauterine devices may make it more <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31934948/">difficult to determine</a> when changes start.</p> <p>Menopause that occurs <a href="https://www.womenshealth.gov/menopause/early-or-premature-menopause#:%7E:text=Menopause%20that%20happens%20before%20age,to%20come%20earlier%20than%20usual.">before 45</a> is called “early menopause”, while menopause before 40 is called “premature menopause”.</p> <h2>What about perimenopause?</h2> <p>Various <a href="https://www.menopause.org.au/hp/information-sheets/glossary-of-terms">terms</a> are used to describe this period of change, including “menopause” or “the menopause”, “menopausal transition”, “perimenopause” or “<a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12188398/">climacteric</a>”.</p> <p>These terms tend to refer to the period before and after the final menstrual period, when changes are considered to be related to menopause.</p> <p>The difficulty with the definition of menopause is it can only be decided retrospectively. Yet women can experience changes many years before their periods stop (a lead up usually called “perimenopause”). Also, any <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/sdfe/pdf/download/eid/1-s2.0-S0889854518300627/first-page-pdf">changes noticed</a> may not be associated with menopause (because people might not be aware of what to expect) or changes may be associated with a combination of factors such as stress, being busy or other health issues.</p> <h2>So, what is going on?</h2> <p>Through a feminist lens, menopause can be seen as a <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/354652248_The_volcano_within_a_study_of_women's_lived_experience_of_the_journey_through_natural_menopause">complex and diverse experience</a>, influenced by biological, psychological, social and cultural aspects of women’s lives.</p> <p>However, it is usually viewed from the biomedical perspective. This sees it as a biological event, marked by the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091302220300418">decline</a> in ovarian hormone levels leading to a reduction in reproductive function.</p> <p>The female reproductive system operates because of a finely tuned balance of hormones managed by the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6466056/#:%7E:text=The%20hypothalamic%2Dpituitary%2Dovarian%20(HPO)%20axis%20must%20be,priming%20the%20endometrium%20for%20implantation.">hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis</a>. International <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3340903/">experts</a> have developed a staging system for female reproductive ageing, with seven stages from “early reproductive” years to “late postmenopause”.</p> <p>However, female reproductive hormones do not just affect the reproductive system but <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091302220300418">other aspects</a> of the body’s function. These include the <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26007613/">neurological system</a>, which is linked to hot flushes and night sweats and disrupted sleep. Hormones may also affect the <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nrdp20154">heart and body’s blood circulation</a>, bone health and potentially the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091302220300418">immune system</a>.</p> <p>Menopausal hormone changes may <a href="https://www.thewomens.org.au/health-information/menopause-information/menopause-symptoms/">cause</a> hot flushes, night/cold sweats, mood swings, sleep disruption and tiredness, vaginal dryness.</p> <p>Medical confirmation of menopausal changes in women over 45 years is based on two biological indicators: vasomotor symptoms (those hot flushes and night sweats again) and an <a href="https://www.womenshealth.gov/menopause/early-or-premature-menopause#:%7E:text=Menopause%20that%20happens%20before%20age,to%20come%20earlier%20than%20usual.">irregular menstrual cycle</a>.</p> <p>In early perimenopause the changes to the menstrual cycle may be subtle. Women may not recognise early indicators, unless they keep a record and know what to watch for.</p> <h2>How long does it last?</h2> <p>The body demonstrates an amazing ability to change over a lifetime. In a similar way to adolescence where long-lasting changes occur, the outcome of menopause is also change.</p> <p>Research suggests it is difficult to give an exact time frame for how long menopausal changes occur – the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3085137/">average</a> is between four and eight years.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3085137/">Penn Ovarian Ageing Study</a> found 79% of the 259 participants experienced hot flushes starting before the age of 50, most commonly between 45 and 49 years of age.</p> <p>A later report on the same study found one third of women studied experienced <a href="https://womensmidlifehealthjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40695-016-0014-2">moderate to severe hot flushes</a> more than ten years after their periods had stopped. A <a href="https://journals.lww.com/menopausejournal/Abstract/2017/03000/Cultural_issues_in_menopause__an_exploratory.11.aspx">2017 study</a> found a small number of women continued to experience hot flushes and other symptoms into their 70s.</p> <p>So overall, the research cannot offer a specific window for perimenopause, and menopause does not appear to mark the end of changes for everyone.</p> <h2>5 tips for uncertain times</h2> <p>Shifts and changes can be recognised early by developing knowledge, paying attention to changes to our bodies and talking about menopause and perimenopause more openly.</p> <p>Here are five tips for moving from uncertainty to certainty:</p> <p><strong>1.</strong> talk to people and find out as much information as you can. The experiences of mothers and sisters may help, for some women there are familial similarities</p> <p><strong>2.</strong> notice any changes to your body and make a note of them, this will help you recognise changes earlier. There are <a href="https://www.redonline.co.uk/wellbeing/a36980118/menopause-apps/">menopause tracking apps</a> available</p> <p><strong>3.</strong> keep a note of your menstrual cycle: start date, duration, flow and note any changes. Again, an app might help</p> <p><strong>4.</strong> if you are worried, seek advice from a GP or nurse that specialises in women’s health. They may suggest ways to help with symptoms or refer to a specialist</p> <p><strong>5.</strong> remember changes are the indicator to pay attention to, not time or your age.</p> <p>Menopause is a natural process and although we have focused here on the time frame and “symptoms”, it can also be a time of freedom (particularly from periods!), reflection and a time to focus on yourself.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/195211/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lhosPUwWhfI?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Women speak about their experiences of menopause.</span></figcaption></figure> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/yvonne-middlewick-1395795">Yvonne Middlewick</a>, Nurse &amp; Lecturer, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/edith-cowan-university-720">Edith Cowan University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-long-does-menopause-last-5-tips-for-navigating-uncertain-times-195211">original article</a>.</em></p>

Body

Our Partners