Health Bites

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 June, 2011, 12:00am



Yes, that's equal to eight, but it's also the 'danger zone' for catching flu on a flight, according to new research published in Emerging Infectious Diseases, a publication of the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. You are in this zone if there is a sick passenger seated up to two seats in front, two seats behind or two seats to either side of you. Researchers found that the risk for flu rose 3.6 per cent if you sat within two rows and 7.7 per cent if you were within two seats. Study author Dr Paul Kelly, an associate professor at Australian National University in Canberra, suggests changing seats, wearing a mask, washing hands and avoiding touching one's face to minimise the chances of getting sick. Being in good health, getting a good night's rest and eating healthily also help.

Berry yourself

Eating half a kilo of strawberries every day can fend off various conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. In a new study published in the journal Food Chemistry, 12 healthy volunteers who were fed that amount of Sveva variety strawberries daily for two weeks boosted the antioxidant capacity of their blood plasma. It also improved the resistance of their red blood cells to oxidative stress, which may lead to various illnesses and speed up ageing. The Italian and Spanish scientists are now analysing if eating smaller quantities and/or other strawberry varieties produce the same effects.

Girl power

There's nothing like a few lean, mean beauties to give you - both guys and gals - a kick in the rear and get you back on that exercise regime. Chinese tennis star Li Na, along with six other world-class female athletes, share their inspirational life stories, fitness routines and goals as part of Nike's 'make yourself' campaign. Surf, admire their toned muscles and be inspired to achieve your fitness goals.

Coming clean

The high temperature and amount of detergent in a dishwasher doesn't stop fungi from breeding in the machine, researchers from Slovenia's University of Ljubljana found. More than six in 10 swabs taken from the rubber seals of 189 household dishwasher doors in 101 cities around the world were found to contain some form of fungi. The most common type was black yeast, which researchers say is unlikely to threaten the well-being of healthy people, but needs more research to determine whether it may cause humans harm.

Stretch and tone

Yoga Room is offering a free 'yoga on the beach' class on Sunday, July 31, at 5.30pm at Repulse Bay. E-mail to register. Or try Powerflow Pilates with Andrea (HK$300 per person) on Saturday, July 16, 2pm at Pure Fitness IFC Mall. Call 8129 8000 to sign up.