Health Notes: Too much, too little exercise bad for mental health; some women opt out of exercise to upkeep hairstyles

Too much exercise could be bad for mental health and some black women are avoiding exercise to upkeep hairstyles.

You want the latest information about health, physical activity, exercise and wellness, but perhaps you'd rather not wade through the techno-science garble that makes most reports hard to read, let alone understand or pass on to customers. In SNEWS Health Notes, an occasional series, we take a look at recent research that is pertinent to your business and explain it in a way that makes sense. If you have suggestions or comments, let us know by emailing

>>Too much, too little exercise bad for mental health

According to a recent article in the journal Preventative Medicine, too exercise could actually have some negative impacts on your mental health. But one has to read the article closely to see that it also says that too little exercise has the same negative impact. So what they’re telling us, basically, is just like Goldilocks needed porridge that was just the right temperature, we need just the right amount of exercise.

The study’s researchers came to this conclusion after analyzing the self-reported data on physical activity and mental health symptoms from 7,674 adults who responded to the 2007 U.S. Health Information National Trends Survey, which is run by the National Cancer Institute. 

The results showed that the optimal amount of exercise is somewhere between 2.5 to 7.5 hours a day. People who got exercise within that range were 1.39 times more likely to have better mental health states than those who didn’t exercise within that range.

We think the stories capping this study just give folks who don’t workout another excuse not to do so. Most people don’t get the recommended 30 minutes of exercise a day, so we’re not too sure they’re going to be upping that to dangerous levels.

So what? But stress to your customers that it’s not just about too much exercise, it’s about too little. Those who don’t get at least 2.5 hours a day of exercise a week have their mental health impacted in the same way.

For the scientifically minded: Find the free abstract, and a link to purchase the article, here.

>>Some black women avoid exercise to upkeep hairstyles

An article recently published in the Archives of Dermatology summarized results from a study at Wake Forest University that concluded that 50 percent of the black women surveyed modified their exercise habits to accommodate their hairstyles.

The study surveyed a total of 123 black women between the ages of 21 to 60. The responses showed that those who exercised less owing to hair concerns were 2.9 times less likely to exercise more than 150 minutes of exercise a week.

The reason, researchers say, is hair care is both tedious and costly for black women. Some salons charge up to $40 to get hair straightened per pop, so women don’t want to sweat.

The study suggests that women who avoid exercise because of hair concerns contact their dermatologists to discuss hair management strategies so they can get in the recommended amount of exercise.

So what? This means that some viable customers are not exercising and perhaps you can suggest some activities that will keep the women active while keeping them not so sweaty. Accessories could be a good sell.

For the scientifically minded: Get the free abstract, and find a link to the paid article, here.