Why Being an ‘Active Couch Potato’ Is Bad for Your Health

Did you know that even if you exercise regularly, you may be what researchers call an “active couch potato?” Consider this: If you exercise 30 to 45 minutes a day—completing your daily workout all at one time—it is easy to still spend 80 to 90 percent of your waking hours sitting. A study in England … Continue reading Why Being an ‘Active Couch Potato’ Is Bad for Your Health

A Battle Against ‘Superbugs’ in a New Medical Era

Have you heard of “superbugs?” Superbugs are bacteria that have gained the superpower to survive in the presence of antibiotics—medicines developed to slow or kill the growth of bacteria. Antibiotics are widely used to treat infections and to prevent infections after surgery. Because antibiotics are effective and convenient, doctors prescribe them often, which may lead … Continue reading A Battle Against ‘Superbugs’ in a New Medical Era

Type 2 Diabetes and You: It’s Complicated

People in the U.S. continue to eat diets high in saturated fat and get little exercise. And more and more of them are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. While many people with diabetes make lifelong lifestyle changes to control their blood sugar, others may not understand that eating too much sugar when they have … Continue reading Type 2 Diabetes and You: It’s Complicated

Running on Empty: No Oxygen Needed!

Take a deep breath in. Now breathe out. Each time we breathe, oxygen enters the bloodstream to keep our organs alive and working. When oxygen can’t get to our body’s tissues, they begin to fail. This is true of all organs, but most of all the brain. In conditions like stroke and cardiac arrest—when the … Continue reading Running on Empty: No Oxygen Needed!

2018’s Most-read Posts

December is here again, and we’ve tackled another year of physiology facts on the I Spy Physiology blog. This year, we’ve delved into topics ranging from the link between childhood stress and medical problems in adulthood, to how researchers use virtual reality in the classroom to teach physiology, to the many reasons why marriage is … Continue reading 2018’s Most-read Posts

The ‘Holidaze’: What Happens in Your Body to Cause a Hangover

‘Tis the season for holiday parties—which may include a flurry of festive cocktails that sound too delicious not to try. Overindulge and you may wake up feeling groggy with a pounding head and a mouth drier than a month-old pine tree. Hangovers are no fun, that’s for sure. So how did you go from being … Continue reading The ‘Holidaze’: What Happens in Your Body to Cause a Hangover

Circulatory Failure: When Blood Pressure Dips Too Low

We often hear about high blood pressure and how it can be dangerous to health, but low blood pressure isn’t talked about as much. For most people, a blood pressure reading lower than 90/60 mmHg may cause lightheadedness but otherwise is unlikely to cause long-term harm. However, in cases of severe disease or major injury, … Continue reading Circulatory Failure: When Blood Pressure Dips Too Low

Spotlight On: Circadian Rhythm

The phrase “circadian rhythm” seems to appear with increasing frequency in the news. The study of circadian rhythm also got a boost when the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to three pioneering researchers in this area. But many people may not understand what it means and why it’s important. All biological … Continue reading Spotlight On: Circadian Rhythm

Pumpkins: Orange, Tasty and Good for Your Health

Leaves are falling, the air is crisp and everywhere you turn, mums and hay bales decorate yards and front porches. With autumn in full swing and Thanksgiving coming up, the grocery store shelves are heavy with root vegetables and squashes, especially pumpkins. In addition to the seasonal appeal, pumpkin contains nutrients that are good for … Continue reading Pumpkins: Orange, Tasty and Good for Your Health

Maybe She’s Born with It: Genetics Give Competitive Swimmers Their Edge

Competitive swimming is a demanding sport that requires maintaining a high level of activity—while partially submerged in the water—without being able to breathe naturally. It’s a sport—like any form of exercise—that may not be suited to everyone. Years of research have shown that competitive swimmers have larger lungs and better lung function than non-swimmers. In … Continue reading Maybe She’s Born with It: Genetics Give Competitive Swimmers Their Edge