Study Hall: Spring 2016

Yoga: It’s Good for Your Bones

Practicing yoga may be an effective way to treat osteoporosis, according to a new study led by Loren M. Fishman, a Columbia physician who specializes in rehabilitative medicine. From 2005 to 2015, Fishman followed 227 older men and women — 83 percent of whom had osteoporosis or its precursor, osteopenia — who agreed to complete a twelve-minute yoga routine every other day. By the end of the study, he found, participants had denser bones in their legs, hips, and lower backs than when they began.


That’s My Boy

Men are more likely to take paternity leave for a son than for a daughter, according to a new study by researchers at Columbia, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of Virginia. The researchers, led by Columbia professor of social work Jane Waldfogel, assessed the effects of California’s paid family-leave insurance program and also found that fathers in the state are more likely to take paternity leave if they work in a female-dominated profession, such as teaching or nursing.


The Pay Gap Is Totally Depressing

According to a new study published in Social Science & Medicine, the gender pay gap puts women at increased risk of depression and anxiety. Researchers from Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health analyzed surveys of 22,581 working Americans and found that women whose income is lower than that of their male counterparts are almost two and a half times more likely to suffer from depression and four times as likely to suffer from anxiety.


Eat Right, Sleep Tight

A diet consisting primarily of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean meats can improve the quality of your sleep. That’s the conclusion of a study led by Columbia nutritionist Marie-Pierre St-Onge. The results, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, show that people experience deeper, more restorative sleep after healthy meals.


Too Busy to Commute

A new paper by Columbia economist Lena Edlund, PhD student Maria Micaela Sviatschi, and Cecilia Machado ’10GSAS suggests that the gentrification of US inner cities is being driven, in part, by a “reduced tolerance for commuting” among urban professionals, who are working longer hours than in the past. “Long hours render non-work time scarce, planting low-utility activities such as commuting in the cross-hairs,” the authors write.


¿Qué Pasa con Esa?

Despite pledges from US movie studios to cast more Latinos in prominent roles, the proportion of Latino lead actors and actresses in blockbuster films actually decreased between 2000 and 2013, from 2.8 to 1.4 percent, according to research by Frances Negrón-Muntaner and colleagues at Columbia’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race.

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