May 9, 2012 - Researchers at the Mayo Clinic say that sitting in front of a computer screen may seem like inactivity, but it could be giving your brain a workout. It may even help protect your brain from cognitive decline. In a new study, the researchers found that people who reported using the computer and participating in moderate physical activity, like walking or swimming, were less likely to experience age-related memory loss, compared with people who did either of the activities on its own. Why the combination appears to be cognitively protective is still unclear. The researchers speculate that physical exercise increases good health in general or is a marker for a generally healthy lifestyle, which also affects the health of the brain, particularly the regions involved with memory.
Also, a new survey of Fortune 100 companies finds that the health care overhaul, contrary to the claims of its authors, created some perverse incentives for employers to drop workers from company insurance plans. Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee surveyed the top 100 companies about how much they spent on health care. The results suggested it would be far more attractive for companies to drop workers from those plans than keep them. Even after paying a penalty of $2,000 per employee, the companies stand to save $28.6 billion in 2014 alone by shifting employees to health insurance exchanges governed by strict federal standards. The new exchanges would offer several choices of plans, and workers would get generous federal subsidies, which only phase out at about $88,000 income.