Daily digest September 23 2015

Missed the news? Read our summary of the latest health stories here

Home care visits ‘must last at least 30 minutes’

Carers should spend at least 30 minutes on home visits to older people in England, new guidance says.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance, part of a new gold standard for services, follows reports of carers making visits of 15 minutes or less.

NICE recommends a package of measures, which also includes ensuring people's carers are not changed often. But it acknowledged extra money would be needed to fund the measures, the BBC reports.

Read more on the BBC News website

Life expectancy for UK women lags behind Europe

Women in the UK are likely to die an average of two and a half years earlier than those in France, Spain and Italy, the Daily Mail reports.

The World Health Organization has warned that high alcohol and tobacco use and obesity remain ‘major public health concerns’ for all countries.

Its figures show that girls born in Britain in 2010 can expect to live for an average of 82.7 years. Only Denmark has a lower figure among 15 of the most developed countries on the continent.

The data also shows that the UK has the highest combined rates of obesity for women and men in Western Europe.

Read more on the Mail Online

People emit a ‘germ cloud’ as unique as a fingerprint, study finds

We are all surrounded by a personal ‘germ cloud’ as unique as a fingerprint, scientists have found.

The Telegraph reports that each of us gives off millions of bacteria from our human microbiome into the air around us every day, and that this cloud of bacteria can be traced back to us in laboratory tests.

The findings could help explain the mechanisms involved in the spread of infectious diseases in buildings, and might also help forensic scientists identify or determine where a person has been.

Read more on the Telegraph website

Fidgeting could be good for you

People who spend most of the day sitting down could undo some of the damage to their health by having a good fidget, researchers suggest.

The harmful effects of sitting down for too long are well established, with a series of studies now showing that spending hours in a chair each day can take years off a person’s life, the Guardian reports.

But a new study of more than 12,000 UK women suggests that those who fidget the most are apparently protected against the effects of sitting for long periods.

Those who sat still for hours on end were more likely to have died over the course of the study than those who tapped, wobbled or gently vibrated their limbs.

Read more on the Guardian website

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