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Tired Mind, Tired Body

29 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 22 January 2014

New research published in the Journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise has found that the chemical by-products of being mentally exhausted can stop you from pushing your body to its physical limits. The good news is that you might be able to train yourself to resist the overwhelming effects of cognitive exhaustion, something the British Ministry of Defence is looking into with the help of Professor Samuele Marcora, from the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at the University of Kent.

Moral Distress
Have you ever been in a situation where you know what the right thing to do is morally, but something is preventing you from doing it? It is a situation that nurses can sometimes find themselves in and the concept is known as moral distress. If it builds up it can lead to some nurses burning out altogether. Ann Gallagher, who is the editor of the Journal Nursing Ethics and a reader at Surrey University tells Health Check more about it.

Some people find their minds wander more than others, but until the last decade, this attention to our own thoughts was not studied much. Now new research led by Sophie Forster, a lecturer in psychology at Sussex University in the UK, has found that those people whose minds wander the most are also the most easily distracted by other things going on around them. They are also less happy than other people. Her research has been published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.

Dance and Cognition
Learning complicated dance steps can be challenging, as the celebrities on the popular BBC programme Strictly Come Dancing discover every week. But one technique used by dancers, known as marking, can improve performance. As illustrated in a new study conducted by professor Margaret Wilson, a psychologist at University of California Santa Cruz. Claudia Hammond discusses this and challenges her two left feet with British Strictly Come Dancing star Robin Windsor.

(Picture: Exhausted British troops in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Credit: Marco Di Lauro, Getty Images)


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