101 ACT FACTS

Posted on June 19th, 2013 by Seth Nickinson

act-logo-health

    1. In the course of a lifetime, the resting heart will have pumped enough blood to fill 13 supertankers.
    2. Your heart is the strongest muscle of your body and beats about 100,000 times in a day.
    3. A person breathes 7 quarts of air every minute.
    4. Your tongue is the only muscle in your body that is attached at only one end.
    5. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn at rest.
    6. Your body is designed to release 70% of its toxins through breathing. Breathing properly – both while awake and asleep – is a key to good health.
    7. The width of your arm span stretched out is (just about exactly) equal to your height.
    8. We’re sitting, on average, for 9.3 hours per day—far more than the 7.7 hours we spend sleeping.
    9. The effects of gravity on the upright human posture are powerful: you are as much as 1 full inch taller in the morning than in the evening. And astronauts ‘grow’ by nearly 3 inches when released from the force of the earth’s gravity.
    10. Every year your body replaces 98% of your atoms.
    11. People who suffer from gum disease are twice as likely to have a stroke or heart attack. 
    12. The average human body contains enough fat to make seven bars of soap.
    13. The average human body contains enough iron to make a small nail.
    14. Every cigarette smoked cuts an estimated 11 minutes of life on average, more time than it takes to enjoy that one cigarette.
    15. Facial hair is the fastest growing hair on the body. If the average man never shaved his beard it would grow to over 30 feet during his lifetime, longer than a killer whale.
    16. Scientists have counted over 500 different liver functions. You may not think much about your liver except after a long night of drinking, but the liver is one of the body’s hardest working, largest and busiest organs.
    17. A cough releases an explosive charge of air that moves at speeds up to 60mph. A sneeze can exceed speeds of 100mph.
    18. There’s no proven benefit to antibacterial hand soap over regular soap – either way, you need to lather well with warm water (singing your ABCs is the best way to ensure it’s long enough)
    19. Your risk of skin cancer doubles once you’ve had 5 sunburns, and 42% of us get sunburned at least once a year. Yikes. Apply sun screen with an SPF of at least 30 to protect against UVA and UVB rays.

act-logo-meals

  1. The perimeter of the grocery store is where 90% of the healthy food is.
  2. Every time you lick a stamp, you’re consuming 1/10 of a calorie.
  3. 99% of the world eats too much salt. The highest is Kazakhstan (6,000mg /day) and the lowest are Kenya and Malawi (2,000 mg / day). The American Heart Association recommends just 1,500 mg a day, but Americans average 3600 mg.
  4. Just because a box says “whole grain” on it, it doesn’t make it healthy. Whole grain bread is still a processed food.
  5. Eating at night does not make you fat – overeating does.
  6. Caffeine has been called the most popular drug in the world. All over the world people consume caffeine on a daily basis in coffee, tea, cocoa, chocolate, some soft drinks, and some drugs.
  7. The Rx on prescriptions literally means “take,” from the Latin word “recipe.” No wonder Hippocrates said “”Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
  8. Around 8% of children and 2% of adults have some kind of food allergy. This occurs when the body’s immune system incorrectly assumes a certain food protein is harmful and attacks it. 
  9. Both regular soda and diet soda increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes. So cut the soda altogether and try water or 100% juice.
  10. It takes approximately 12 hours for your body to fully digest a meal.
  11. The acid in your stomach – hydrochloric acid –  is strong enough to dissolve razorblades.
  12. After eating too much, your hearing is less sharp. If you’re heading to a concert or a lecture after a big meal you may be doing yourself a disservice.
  13. There are about 10 packets of sugar in a 12-ounce can of soda. The average American adult drinks 500 cans of soda every year, estimating about 52 pounds of sugar consumed in soft drinks alone. Fruit drinks, sports drinks and even some chocolate milk are other types of sugary drinks. Go for water – flat or bubbly – or unsweetened iced tea, instead.
  14. Vegetarians have a lower incidence of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
  15. Cheese, beans (especially soybeans), eggs, and nuts all provide powerful sources of protein in a plant-based diet
  16. Kiwis, guavas, red peppers, Brussels sprouts, and cantaloupe are among the high sources of Vitamin C that you might not expect

act-logo-mind

  1. Having pets has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, decrease stress, and create increased opportunities for outdoor activity and exercise.
  2. Neuroscientists observe increases in gamma (high level) brain activity and the circuits that control happiness in experienced meditators, driven just by the mental activity of meditating.
  3. The brain generates as much energy as a 10-watt CFL light bulb, even when you’re sleeping. The cartoon image of a light bulb over your head when a great thought occurs isn’t too far off the mark!
  4. A 15-20 minute nap can help you consolidate new information, make up for missed sleep the night before, and dramatically cut levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
  5. People who eat more fruits and vegetables have measurably higher levels of happiness and mental well-being. The effect is stronger than not smoking and almost as impactful as being married. Five to seven servings a day seems to be the sweet spot.
  6. It’s impossible to tell if someone is really awake without close medical supervision. People can take cat naps with their eyes open without even being aware of it.
  7. Over 90% of diseases are caused or complicated by stress.
  8. Depressed people can alleviate their symptoms by as much as 47 percent with regular exercise.
  9. Anything less than five minutes to fall asleep at night means you’re sleep deprived. The ideal is between 10 and 15 minutes, meaning you’re still tired enough to sleep deeply, but not so exhausted you feel sleepy by day.
  10. The brain only takes up about 2 percent of our total body weight, but uses 20% of our body’s energy and oxygen
  11. Seventeen hours of sustained wakefulness leads to a decrease in performance equivalent to a blood alcohol-level of 0.05%
  12. Laughing lowers levels of stress hormones and strengthens the immune system.
  13. Nerve impulses to and from the brain travel as fast as 170 miles per hour.
  14. The human brain can hold 5 times as much information as the printed encyclopedia (remember it?)
  15. Divorced, widowed and separated people report more insomnia.
  16. It takes 17 muscles to smile and 43 to frown. Unless you’re trying to give your face a bit of a workout, smiling is a much easier option for most of us.

act-logo-family

  1. Time spent eating at home is a better predictor of academic success and emotional adjustment for kids than any of the following activities: school, homework,  athletics, arts and religious participation.
  2. In one day, some 4000 children and teenagers take up smoking.
  3. A new baby typically results in 400-750 hours lost sleep for parents in the first year
  4. Teenagers need as much sleep as small children (about 10 hrs) while those over 65 need the least of all (about six hours). For the average adult aged 25-55, eight hours is considered optimal.
  5. Every single hour of television watched after the age of 25 reduces the viewer’s life expectancy by 21.8 minutes.
  6. When a person becomes happy, a friend living close by has a 25 percent higher chance of becoming happy themselves. A spouse experiences an 8 percent increased chance and for next-door neighbors, it’s 34 percent.
  7. Don’t stick out your tongue if you want to hide your identity. Similar to fingerprints, everyone also has a unique tongue print!
  8. More than one-third of adults and over 12.5 million children and teens in the US are obese. In the last 30 years, obesity in children and teens has nearly tripled.
  9. If a child at age 10 is physically active on a consistent basis, for about an hour a day, they have a 75% less likelihood of being overweight as an adult.
  10. Spending time outside raises levels of Vitamin D, helping protect children from future bone problems, heart disease, diabetes and other health issues.
  11. Children who play outside are more physically active, more creative in their play, less aggressive, and show better concentration.
  12. The American Academy of Pediatrics has declared that daily unstructured free play is “essential for helping children reach important social, emotional, and cognitive developmental milestones as well as helping them manage stress and become resilient.”
  13. Exposing kids to ordinary, everyday green spaces has been shown be widely effective in reducing attention deficit (ADHD) symptoms in children.
  14. Children’s stress levels fall within minutes of seeing green spaces.
  15. The average American kid is exposed to almost 4 hours of background television per day — when the TV is on, but the child is engaged in another activity. Exposure to background television is linked to lower attention spans, fewer and lower-quality parent-child interactions and reduced performance in cognitive tasks.
  16. Teens who have infrequent family dinners — less than three per week — are twice as likely to have used tobacco and alcohol, 1.5 times as likely to have used marijuana, and twice as likely to say they can get their hands on drugs within an hour.
  17. Active kids score up to 40% higher on tests, show increased concentration and attention, and have improved attendance and discipline. 
  18. The average number of days away from work when someone is suffering from anxiety, stress, and related problems is 4x as much as for other non-fatal injury and illness cases

act-logo-work

  1. A 2013 study concluded that American workers “lost” $134 million in productivity just on the first two days of NCAA basketball March Madness.
  2. Lost productivity due to presenteeism – being “at work, but out of it” is almost 7.5 times greater than that lost to absenteeism
  3. Long commute times make almost half of Americans less satisfied with their destinations. And approximately five million workers called in sick last year because they couldn’t take the stress of time spent in transit.
  4. Loud noise raises our levels of epinephrine (a hormone involved in our body’s fight-or-flight response), even if we don’t feel bothered by it . Where possible, headphones or earplugs make for the quickest fix. Longer-term solutions include carpeting, lining walls with sound-absorbent material, soaking up street sounds with thick curtains, and white noise machines.
  5. Too-chatty coworkers, keyboard clatter, copy machines, phones, outside disruptions and other problematic sounds also make us more inclined to sit in rigid positions. Try noise-cancelling headphones, earplugs, closing your door, or working with your co-workers to keep the workspace calm.
  6. Keeping the temperature between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit appears to be the best bet for a workplace. A too-cold office can make us perceive our workspace as less friendly.
  7. The average female office worker consumes a third of her daily calorie allowance – around 650 calories – on snacks such as chocolate. 49% attribute is primarily to boredom, rather than hunger.
  8. Air-cleaning indoor plants can reduce by up to 45% the symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome such as headache, fatigue, and coughing
  9. A NASA study has shown that beneficial indoor plants can rid the air of up to 89% of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  10. Numerous studies show that stretching at work is good for us. Pharmaceutical manufacturing employees boosted productivity and felt more attractive in two months. Firefighters substantially reduced joint injuries. Incorporate simple stretches into your workday!
  11. On average, 100 people choke to death on ballpoint pens every year.
  12. Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.

act-logo-body

  1. It takes about 2000 steps to walk a mile. So if you do your daily 10,000 steps, that’s a total of 5 miles!
  2. Poor diet and lack of exercise are responsible for at least 25 percent of healthcare costs incurred by working adults.
  3. Gym membership prices are negotiable.
  4. There are 1440 minutes in every day…schedule 30 of them for physical activity.
  5. No matter how flexible you are, you can’t kiss your elbow
  6. Research has shown that when people exercise by walking, they walk 30% longer if they walk to music.
  7. We naturally feel tired at two different times of the day: about 2:00 AM and 2:00 PM. It is this natural dip in alertness that is primarily responsible for the post-lunch dip.
  8. With regular exercise a 50-year-old man can get his heart’s aerobic capacity back to 20-year-old levels.
  9. It takes a 3500 calorie deficit to lose 1 pound.
  10. Men who exercise vigorously (e.g. 3 hours of running a week) are only one third as likely to experience erectile dysfunction as men who exercise very little or not at all.
  11. You burn more calories during the 23 hours you don’t exercise than the 1 hour you do.
  12. For each hour of regular exercise you get, you’ll gain about two hours of additional life expectancy, even if you don’t start until middle age. Punchline: exercise 30 minutes five times a week, live 3.4 years longer!
  13. Unless you weigh less than 100 pounds, it’s unlikely you need less than 1000 calories to lose weight.
  14. A person will burn 7 percent more calories if they walk on hard dirt compared to pavement.
  15. In one minute, a 150 pound person burns approximately 10 calories wakling up stairs and only 1.5 calories riding an elevator.
  16. The benefits of exercise are more than just for weight management. Exercise also combats stress, promotes better sleep and activates the immune system.
  17. When you take a step, you are using up to 200 muscles.
  18. Sex burns about 360 calories per hour.
  19. Every day the average person loses 60-100 strands of hair.
  20. People who exercise as little as 15 minutes a day have a 14 percent lower mortality risk than people who don’t exercise at all – that translates to 3 extra years of life by age 30.

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