The Pulse – June 13, 2014

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    How do you get people to be healthier—more active? Why take the stairs when there’s an elevator? Why walk to work when you can drive? Should you drink water out of a decrepit water fountain or buy a cold Coke out of a vending machine? There’s a movement underway called “healthy design” that’s advocating to create spaces, buildings, and workplaces in a way that persuade people to make healthy choices.

    Scary new diabetes numbers from the Centers for Disease Control came out this week—more than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes and one in four don’t even know they have it. We enlist the help of some Philly-based diabetes experts to understand how we’ve arrived at this health crisis and what’s being done to attempt to reverse the trend.

    Some families seem to hit the jackpot when it comes to smarts and success—think the Marsalis family, or the Emanuel brothers. We introduce you to triplets Samantha, Sydney, and Heather Butts, who all climbed to impressive perches in the medical community.

    We all forego sleep at times—to finish that all-important power-point presentation for work, to type up a grant proposal, or to pull all-nighters to study for exams and write ten-page papers. So, if we can boost our productivity in this way, why not try this more often? We take a look at segmented sleep patterns that promise to give you ten years of waking life back.

    In this week’s Patient Files—your stories of illness, healing and coping—we meet Thomas Dixon. A brain injury caused Dixon a serious, ongoing memory deficit, but he employed modern technology to help overcome it, tweeting his memories in hopes of holding on to them.

    They call it “vocal fry,” a modern and mostly annoying speech pattern affecting a growing population of girls and young women. Recent studies suggest that vocal fry may even hurt women’s chances of landing a job. Dr. Bethany Brookshire, aka “Scicurious,” joins us this week to talk about the new research.

    Each year “Living Beyond Breast Cancer” organizes an event called Yoga on the Steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It’s a celebration, a chanting ceremony, and free yoga class for survivors of breast cancer all rolled into one. This year, more than 1,500 people turned up to breath deeply, stretch their bodies and heal. Today, we bring you an audio postcard from that day.

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