Five Medical Takeaways From 2017

The medical news from 2017 abounds. Great strides were takin in wonderful things like coming closer to a cure for HIV and cancer. Organs are being grown in petri dishes. Robots are doing increasingly difficult surgeries. It is all very exciting, but to the average person, the medical takeaways from 2017 are much simpler. Here are my top 5.

1. Stand Up — In September, a new study was published which should scare office workers everywhere. Even if you exercise, sitting for long periods of time is a risk factor of early death. So, at least every 30 minutes, STAND UP!

Read: Stand up for better health

2. Trash the Sweeteners — In July, a review of the scientific evidence on artificial sweeteners was released. Diet Coke addicts shuddered. Not only is there no evidence swapping the no-cal fake stuff for sugar will help you lose weight, over time, they may cause weight gain, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. If you need something sweet, may as well go for the real stuff and focus on moderation.

3. Say No to Drugs — For the the second year in  a row, the life expectancy in America has gone down, all because of the opioid epidemic. Two thirds of all drug overdoses are from opioids, with the total number rising more than 20%. If you are in pain, don’t demand a quick fix. Seek alternative methods like physical therapy and non-addictive pain killers. And, of course, educate your children.

READ: Overdose, it can happen in your home

4. Have More Sex — In March, a study was published echoing pretty much what married couples already know. More sex = better marriage. The most interesting part of the study to me was this … the afterglow from sex lasts 48 hours. Shoot for 2 – 3 times a week and you and your partner will be on cloud 9.

READ: Exercises to improve your sex life

5. Sleep Soundly — Lots of research continues to be done on the link between health and sleep habits. Links between sleep and Alzheimer’s, sleep and academics, sleep and stress, sleep and obesity, sleep and depression and more were either discovered or strengthened by studies in the past year. In fact, the Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to three Americans who produced groundbreaking research on circadian rhythm. It is important. Sleep more. Sleep well.

READ: Are you getting enough sleep?

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Author: Karen Latimer

Dr. Latimer is a Family Physician and Wellness & Parenting Coach. She works with parents who want to feel more confident when helping their children and coaches young adults to help them better navigate college life and transitions. Contact her at to learn more. She is the author of two Audible Originals, Take Back the House -- Raising Happy Parents and Worry Less, Parent Better. She is also the co-founder of the app that makes your life easier and puts social in a healthier place -- List'm.