7 Things You Need To Know Today (December 7, 2017)

Photo: Kristine Weilert

1. Use this emerging body of research as an excuse to work less.

A new body of research shows that all work and no play leads to increased risk for heart disease, strokes, depression, and even death. On the flip side, taking your vacation days and breaks during the day leads to increased productivity during working hours, and people who take their vacations often get raises and bonuses more than their counterparts who don't. (BBC)

2. Even if you have paid maternity leave, women are prone to more judgment than men.

Will you take your full leave? How much will you disconnect—will you work from home? These are questions pregnant female leaders are constantly confronted with. But what about men? Sadly, "the truth is that their choices will never be scrutinized as heavily by others, and few people will really question whether it matters if they are good fathers as well as good business leaders." (Quartz)

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3. Have your drink, and eat it, too.

A new company called Lolistraw is now churning out straws that are both compostable and edible. Made from a seaweed-based material, they are designed to feel and look like plastic, without the waste. (Fast Company)

4. Going for a walk outside is almost always a good idea, unless you're dealing with massive pollution.

According to new research out of the Lancet journal on people over age 60, exercising on polluted streets rather than in open spaces like parks essentially cancels out any health benefits you're getting from regular exercise. "When you walk, your airways open up...and your blood vessels dilate, or open up...and these effects can last for a few days," said study author Dr. Fan Chung. "When you do this in a polluted place, these effects are much smaller, so you've lost the benefits of exercise." (CNN)

5. Researchers may have figured out a way to prevent obesity.

According to new research out of the Washington University School of Medicine, mice who had been engineered with genes to activate a protein pathway didn't gain weight after eight weeks of eating a high-fat diet. Those who didn't have that pathway activated, however, became obese. (Science Daily)

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6. Sadly, you might be one of Time's people of the year.

The year 2017 has been powerful for women's voices, as they've stepped forward to demand equality, respect, and for their mistreatment to be seen. To acknowledge this huge moment in history, Time magazine has named the women of the #metoo movement as their people of the year, calling them the Silence Breakers. "Even more powerful than the fact that women are finally standing up against the harassment and abuse is the fact that they're standing together," mbg wrote about the powerful story. (mindbodygreen)

7. New research validates your FOMO.

If you think everyone's life looks better than yours on social media, you're not alone. A new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that people believe other people's lives are richer and more active than their own, despite consistently ranking ourselves as happier, smarter, healthier, and more moral than our peers. Here's to appreciating our own green grass! (The Cut)

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