Most people begin exercising at the start of the new year in order to lose any weight gained over the fall holidays. But a new study, which tracked the health habits of 2,235 men over 35 years, found that exercise does more than slim you down. It decreases your risk of dementia, too.
Cardiff University researchers identified five healthy behaviors that are important in living a disease-free lifestyle. They are regular exercise, non-smoking, healthy body weight, a healthy diet, and low alcohol consumption.
There was a 60 percent decline in dementia and cognitive function for the participants who followed four or five of the behaviors. More important, exercise was the leading mitigating factor.
“The size of reduction in the instance of disease owing to these simple healthy steps has really amazed us and is of enormous importance in an aging population,” said Principle Investigator Professor Peter Elwood from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine. “What the research shows is that following a healthy lifestyle confers surprisingly large benefits to health—healthy behaviors have a far more beneficial effect than any medical treatment or preventative procedure.
“Taking up and following a healthy lifestyle is however the responsibility of the individual him or herself,” Elwood continued. “Sadly, the evidence from this study shows that very few people follow a fully healthy lifestyle. Furthermore, our findings reveal that while the number of people who smoke has gone down since the study started, the number of people leading a fully healthy lifestyle has not changed.”
Dr. Doug Brown, director of research and development at the Alzheimer’s Society, said that what is good for the heart is also good for the head.
“This study provides more evidence to show that healthy living could significantly reduce the chances of developing dementia,” Brown said. “These large, longitudinal studies are expensive and complicated to run, but are essential to understand how dementia can be prevented. We are calling on the G8 Summit next week to commit to greater funding of important studies such as this one, which give us hope for reducing the impact of dementia in the future.”
Exercise, then, is the true fountain of youth. Not only does it boost creativity and help you maintain a healthy weight, it looks like it now helps keep your brain sharp. And keeping our wits about us is something I think we can all agree on.
Hiring frontline employees who represent ethnic groups can help businesses succeed with minority customers, according to a recent University of Texas at Arlington study.
Elten Briggs, associate professor of marketing at UT Arlington, and Detra Montoya, clinical associate professor of marketing at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, wrote the paper, “Shared ethnicity effects on service encounters: A study across three U.S. subcultures,” and it was published in the Journal of Business Research.
Briggs and Montoya conducted an experiment and a survey to analyze the influence of shared ethnicity on consumer behavior and found that since Asian and Hispanic cultures, for example are more collectivist than individualistic, they may be more susceptible to shared ethnicity effects in the marketplace.
“The study showed that culture plays an important role in the interaction between businesses and customers,” Briggs said. “Customers may feel like they have some common ground with the service representative or sales person if there is a shared ethnicity.”
As businesses continue to diversify, it’ll be more and more important to consider the influence of culture, especially between customers and employees.
“The future of business will involve an increasing diversity of the customer base of many firms, both within the U.S. and internationally,” said Rachel Croson, dean of the UT Arlington College of Business. “The businesses that succeed will be those that understand how to customize the experience they give these customers. Dr. Briggs’ work identifies how to do this effectively, and will have important implications for both the practice and theory of marketing.”
Briggs hopes the research will help businesses improve marketing outreach.
“The study shows that if I work for a service or sales company, my company should reflect the audience I am seeking,” Briggs said. “When customers share the same ethnicity with their salesman or customer service agent, they generally have a more favorable perception of the business.”
There was a lot of industry news this past week you may have missed. Here are some headlines that caught our eyes.
Building ‘Tension’: An Inside Look at NIN’s Massive Arena Tour
“The band’s shows are famous for their over-the-top visuals, and massive arena performances are where frontman Trent Reznor and art director Rob Sheridan really flex their muscles, pummeling audiences with an audio-visual experience that often feels closer to a big-budget Hollywood movie than a traditional rock concert.”
Winter Classic Crew Ready to Make Michigan Stadium Center of NHL Universe
“[Dan] Craig and roughly 200 workers will spend the next week preparing an NHL-caliber rink on Michigan’s football field and plans to have the first sheet of ice sprayed down by next Thursday.”
How to Fix the Broken Venue Model
“The traditional convention center model is broken and at least two major venues have begun experimenting with new ways to fix it.”
Molecular Gastronomy for Lunch on Campus
“The show starts with spheres of balsamic dressing on a bed of romaine and ends with a huge tank of liquid nitrogen turning cannoli ice cream into a space-age spectacle.”
(Image: Matthew Ryan Williams/WIRED)
Fashion industry elites found their way to Fair Park in Dallas for one of the season’s biggest events, the Chanel Métiers d’Art runway show, on December 10. Celebrities—such as Kristen Stewart, Lauren Hutton, and Dakota Fanning—were among the 1,000 people who attended the coveted invite-only show planned by Chanel’s Artistic Director Karl Lagerfeld.
The event’s three parts—a “drive-in” screening of Lagerfeld’s short film, The Return, which featured classic cars in Fair Park’s Automobile Building; a runway show styled like a rodeo arena; and an after party—were planned exclusively by Chanel’s international events team, who had complete control over the final look.
And it looked fabulous, fitting for the classy Chanel fashion house, which proves that non-traditional events can happen successfully in venues more accustomed to meetings, concerts, or games. As usual, it comes down to details, details, details.
“Our primary consideration is always what other events or activities are occurring simultaneously/concurrently given the fact that we are a complex of venues, museums, and a public park,” said Daniel Huerta, the executive general manager for Fair Park and an IAVM member. “Other considerations were traffic management, grounds and event security, and limited access. We vowed to work with the show to insure that no word or photos would leak out ahead of the event in regards to the build out of sets, props, plans, etc. We dedicated a large amount of staff hours to insure that the event was a success, but in all honesty it wasn’t handled much differently that other events we host throughout the year. It required a bit more team work given the number of days required for the move-in and set up.”
Considering the nature of the event and who all attended, security was definitely a high priority.
“Event security was handled by our contractor, Platinum Services, and the Chanel security team,” Huerta said. “There were six walk-throughs of security to make certain that everyone involved was on the same page. Everyone knew what was happening, when it was happening, how it was to be handled, etc., and no exceptions were made. A credential system and check-in area was established with limited access for staff unless our services were requested. We did not allow use of cellular or electronic devices inside the building, as we didn’t want the client to lose the ‘wow factor’ via social media tweets or pics ahead of the party.”
Once the party began, though, it was the talk of the town, reaffirming Dallas’ premier place in the fashion world, as well as Fair Park’s ability to host with style and class.
(Image: Nancy Martin Koen)
It’s the end-of-year prediction time! That part of the year where we all become armchair soothsayers, waxing wisdom to whomever will listen.
One person to listen to, though, is Ryan Holmes, CEO of HootSuite. He wrote an article on FORTUNE today about five predictions for social media in 2014. His No. 1 prediction is the rise of ephemeral social networks, such as Snapchat (it’s a image and video sharing site where the content disappears after one to 10 seconds). However, one of his predictions really stood out: social media as a job requirement.
“You know the old guy who’s been at the company forever and still can’t figure out email?,” Holmes wrote. “If you don’t get up to speed on social media in 2014, you’ll be that guy.”
Holmes, in fact, says that there are “13 times as many jobs advertised on Indeed.com that mention the use of social media,” compared to last year.
“Not only are departments like marketing, sales, and customer service expected to be on Twitter and Facebook, teams as diverse as R&D, logistics, and HR are increasingly using internal networks like Yammer to streamline operations,” he wrote. “Social media has grown so critical to the workplace, in fact, that major universities are beginning to offer certificate programs for socially inept corporate types to get up to speed.”
And why should you need good social media skills? Because customers are increasingly using it to interact with businesses (which is another of Holmes’ predictions).
“A 2012 Nielsen survey shows more than half of all customers now turn to social media for redress; meanwhile, some 81 percent of Twitter users expect a same-day response to questions and complaints,” he wrote.
Personally, I’ve had more issues resolved correctly via social media than I have by email or a phone call. My praise and complaints hit the Twitter airwaves before anywhere else. Going forward, the smart businesses are the ones who quickly respond to customers on social media.
“With paid social media now in customers’ arsenal, 2014 may mark the beginning of the end of abysmal customer service at major airlines, credit card companies, banks, and other repeat offenders, characterized by endless phone wait times and those automated ‘phone trees’,” Holmes wrote.
Check out the article for the rest of his predictions, and please let us know in the comments your own industry predictions for 2014. Also, if you’re on Twitter, let us know so we can follow you (please follow me, too: @pimplomat).