For many of us, our approach to typing on a smartphone is something we stumble upon. Unlike composing words on a typewriter or computer keyboard, there is no widely taught, proper way.
If speed is the goal, however, a study of around 37,000 people suggests that one particular approach is better than others: Writing with two thumbs and embracing autocorrect, but avoiding predictive text.
“That is basically the trick of typing quickly,” said Dr Per Ola Kristensson, a professor of interactive systems engineering at the University of Cambridge and one of the authors of the study, which was presented at a human-computer interaction conference in Taipei.
The study focused on the stubbornly persistent Qwerty keyboard, which was originally designed to minimise mechanical typing jams in typewriters. Despite questions about its utility and the emergence of alternate systems, much of the world still relies on the setup.
To conduct the study, researchers asked volunteers from around 160 countries to memorise a series of sentences and write them both on desktop keyboards and mobile phones.
There has never been another typing study on this scale, according to the researchers, but they said that when they compared their findings with smaller studies, the gap in speed between the two devices appeared to be shrinking. When smartphones first came out, people typed about 20 to 25 words per minute, said Dr Anna Feit, a researcher in human-computer interaction at ETH Zurich and another author of the study. Now people average 37 to 40 words per minute, she said.
As the authors write in their study, the average person is nearly 70 per cent as fast on a phone as on a laptop. One remarkable typist hit 85 words per minute on a mobile device.
Dr Pedro Lopes, a professor of human-computer interaction at the University of Chicago, who was not involved in the study, said the results signalled a “paradigm shift”. That change is even more evident among young people. On average, subjects between the ages of 10 and 19 were about 10 words per minute faster on smartphones than people in their 40s.
One unexpected finding was that a significant number of subjects used a two-finger typing system on full-size computer keyboards. However they approached typing, those who used predictive text generally wrote more slowly. Examining word predictions and making a choice is far slower than using autocorrect, Dr Kristensson said.
Dr Jack Dennerlein, an ergonomics researcher at Northeastern University’s Bouvé College of Health Sciences, said the study reinforced what other studies have shown: Two-handed typing is faster than one-handed typing.
But the limits on speed involve more than the kind of keyboard or the dexterity of the individual. There is also the element of imagination, said Dr Kristensson, who is an inventor of gesture typing, a swiping technique intended to save time. No matter the system, people cannot exceed 120 words a minute, he said, because they cannot come up with what to say that quickly.
“Typing rates are bounded by our creativity,” he said.
Regardless of speed, most of us are not that original: Half of the words people text are the most frequently used 200 words in English, he said.
So I did a little test this week. I asked a few non-gym goers what kind of aerobic activity they did and their answer caught me off-guard.
Most told me they don’t have a flair for aerobics and can’t keep up with the teacher’s moves. Or couldn’t coordinate their legs and hands.
One told me she liked Zumba, but not aerobics.
I was gobsmacked.
Yes, the majority thought “aerobic” meant doing aerobic dance classes – the older ones even associated aerobic with Jane Fonda!
When I rephrased my question and asked if they did any cardiovascular endurance or something to increase their stamina level, thankfully, some understood.
Perhaps because fitness has been part of my life as long as I can recall, I assumed everyone knew what aerobic exercise was.
Aerobic dance is a form of aerobic exercise, but aerobic exercise isn’t just limited to aerobic dance.
Here’s a little lesson on aerobic exercise.
Whether you call it aerobic or cardiovascular or cardiorespiratory endurance, it’s the same thing: getting your heart pumping and oxygenated blood flowing, with the goal of improving your cardiorespiratory health.
Aerobic means something that occurs in the presence of, and requires or uses, oxygen.
So, when the body is able to supply adequate oxygen to sustain performance for long periods of time, this is called aerobic exercise.
Examples include brisk walking, running, cycling and rowing.
On the contrary, an anaerobic activity is the type where you get out of breath in just a few moments.
Examples include when you lift heavy weights for improving strength, when you sprint or when you climb a steep hill.
Basically, you go all out in short bursts of activity, leaving you breathless.
Depending on preferences, some people tend towards aerobic exercises, instead of anaerobic ones.
You can also do an aerobic activity and turn it into an anaerobic one, and vice versa.
It all depends on the intensity in which you are performing the activity.
There are many forms of aerobic activity, and almost any physical activity that is done at a mild to moderate pace can be considered aerobic.
The heart rate increases linearly with exercise effort and this is often used as a measure of the required intensity of exercise.
The harder you work, the faster the heart beats to keep up.
During exercise, blood vessels in the muscles dilate and blood flow is increased in order to increase the available oxygen supply to meet the energy needs of the body.
The additional oxygen that must be taken into the body after vigo-rous exercise to restore all energy systems to their normal states is called oxygen debt.
The more aerobic capacity the body has, the more oxygen is available to the working muscles, which delays the onset of lactic acid at a given work intensity.
Lactic acid is mainly produced in muscle cells and red blood cells. It forms when the body breaks down carbohydrates to use for energy during times of low oxygen levels.
Your body’s oxygen level might drop during intense exercise and when you have an infection or disease.
Symptoms include a burning feeling in your muscles, cramps, nausea, weakness and feeling fatigued.
When you exercise, your body needs to burn some fuel, which is supplied in the form of carbohydrates and fat.
Fat contains nine calories per gramme whereas carbohydrate has only four. So, you get more energy and can go further on a gramme of fat than on a gramme of carbohydrate.
However, you need more oxygen to burn fat because it’s denser than carbohydrate. Hence, only after roughly 30 minutes of exercise does your body start tapping into your fat store and use it as fuel.
In short, for moderate-level activities, you’ve got to work out longer to get into the fat-burning zone.
Fret not, the good news is that your body gets more efficient at using oxygen and burning fat when you do regular aerobic exercise.
How much exercise you require depends on what your health and fitness goals are.
According to the 2018 edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans published by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), aerobic exercise varies by three components:
● Intensity – how hard a person works to do the activity, such as moderate (the equivalent of brisk walking) or vigorous (the equivalent of running or jogging).
● Frequency – how often a person does aerobic activity.
● Duration – how long a person does an activity in any one session.
The US HHS recommends that adults aim to get 150 to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity, or 75 minutes to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, a week.
As the names would imply, the difference between moderate-intensity exercise and high-intensity exercise is in the intensity of the workout, or the degree to which you’re pushing yourself.
In addition, you should do balance and stretching activities to enhance your flexibility, as well as muscle-strengthening workouts, two or more times a week.
Whatever your preferred exercise intensity, it’s important to choose activities that you enjoy and will stick with in the long run.
Walking, jogging, hiking, dancing and gardening are all great forms of aerobic exercise that you can easily integrate into your day.
After all, aerobic exercise does wonders to improve your health, even if you perform it in shorter segments throughout the day.
From my observation, the ones who like high intensity exercises tend to have a short fuse and a lot of pent-up emotions.
These exercises give them a chance to release their frustrations. After an activity, they’re always much calmer and can think better.
The calmer ones prefer the likes of yoga and taichi.
In reality, the aggressive ones should be incorporating yoga into their routine, and the calmer ones, a bit of high intensity exercises. This would give their characters more balance.
Every session of aerobic exercise should include a warm-up and cool-down.
Remember to always warm up by gradually increasing the pace and intensity of the exercise.
This allows the blood flow to slowly increase the temperature of the muscles, and decreases the likelihood of a muscle or joint injury.
The warm-up should last around seven to 10 minutes.
The cool-down session should last a similar amount of time as the warm-up, with the pace gradually decreasing.
Stretch at the end, when the muscles are warm and toasty.
Every activity carries some risks and you should pay attention to your body’s signals that something is wrong.
If you’re physically sick or simply exhausted, take a break from exercise.
When you return to your regimen, scale back on the intensity or difficulty level to minimise sore muscles and stress on joints.
Do consult your doctor before you embark on an exercise programme.
Those who suffer from diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, arthritis, asthma or other health conditions may need additional safety guidelines for exercise.
About 80% of cases that have the potential to donate organs have been rejected by family members, said Dr Raja Farah Faizura Raja Shahruddin, head of Transplantation Unit, Medical Development Division, Health Ministry.
She said that is why only about 20 to 30 people donate their organs each year after getting the consent and approval from the family of the organ donor.
“They (the families) for various reasons disagree with family members who have pledged to donate organs, including refusing to allow the body to be mutilated, fear of delaying the funeral and some even say they do not know about the wishes of the deceased to donate his/ her organs,“ she said.
She said this after launching the National Organ Donation Awareness Week (and heart to heart talk) here today, officiated by the Health Ministry medical development division director Datuk Dr Bahari Tok Muda Che Awang Ngah.
According to the Health Ministry statistics, as of Sept 31 this year, 431,833 or 1.3% of Malaysians have pledged as organ donors after death and the number is still low compared with other countries.
Meanwhile, National Organ Donation Public Awareness Action Committee chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said many cases occurred when families disagreed to the deceased individuals donating the organs even though they had pledged to do so.
He said donors were expected to share information about their desire to donate organs with their families and their immediate relatives so that no problems arise when having one’s organs harvested after death.
“For example, someone who has the organ donation pledge card is involved in an accident, then the doctor will first ask the family of the donor (for approval) but unfortunately the donor’s family does not agree because they do not know about the wishes of the deceased.
“So this being a constraint, I hope more donors explain why they register as organ donors with their families and immediate relatives because they have the responsibility to influence and convince them,“ he said.
Malaysia is planning to introduce strict regulations on the sale and use of electronic cigarettes and vaporisers, health officials said on Tuesday (Oct 1), as countries around the world move to ban devices that have been linked to deaths and youth addiction.
India, which has the second-largest population of adult smokers in the world, banned the sale of e-cigarettes last month as it warned of a vaping “epidemic” among young people.
Public health officials in the United States recommended against using e-cigarettes after 12 deaths and 805 cases of illnesses linked to e-cigarette use were reported.
The global market for e-cigarettes was worth US$15.7 billion (S$21.74 billion) in 2018, according to data from Euromonitor International, and is projected to more than double to US$40 billion in 2023.
Malaysia wants to club e-cigarettes and vaporisers together with tobacco products under a single law that would prohibit promotions and advertising, usage in public areas and use by minors, the Health Mnistry said.
“Increasingly more studies have shown vape/electronic cigarettes… are still harmful to human health. Furthermore, vapes/e-cigarettes are still not proven to be an effective modality to quit smoking,” it said in an e-mail.
The ministry said the recent spate of deaths and illnesses linked to e-cigarette use in the United States added urgency to Malaysia’s review of its policies.
An estimated five million Malaysians aged 15 and older are smokers out of a total population of about 32 million, according to the most recent national health and morbidity survey by the Health Ministry in 2015.
The final draft of the new Tobacco Control and Smoking Act has been completed and submitted to the attorney-general for a final review, the ministry said.
“We really hope that the new Act can be tabled in Parliament next year,” the ministry’s e-mail said.
Tobacco products in Malaysia are currently regulated under the Food Act but there are no specific regulations governing the sale and use of vaporisers and e-cigarettes.
However, a ban on vaporiser liquids containing nicotine has been in place since November 2015.
The world’s vaping industry, which has seen rapid growth, has faced growing public backlash over concerns of increased use by young people.
In a letter to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last month, a bipartisan group of US senators urged an immediate ban on pod and cartridge-based e-cigarettes, which they say are favoured by youths, until it can be proven the products are safe.
India’s nationwide prohibition, the world’s first, would cut off a huge future market from e-cigarette makers such as Juul Labs and Philip Morris International, which have plans to expand their operations in the country.
Determined is probably an apt description of Navi Indran Pillai who beat cancer not once but two times in her life.
The brave and spirited 29-year-old from Shah Alam, Selangor was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 when she was only 22.
Her dreams, one of which was to become a classical indian dancer, had to be put on hold as she underwent aggressive treatments to battle the illness.
She beat the disease in 2014 and left to further her studies in Australia.
In 2018 however, Navi found out that she had metastatic breast cancer that had spread to her liver and backbone and so began another round of treatments that almost broke her. Though the treatments were debilitating, Navi was determined to get better.
Navi is better now – and cancer-free – but she has to undergo lifelong treatment to stay well. The treatments are costly and so, to ease her family’s financial burden, the gutsy young woman is taking to the stage, with guidance from her guru, Guruvayur Usha Dorai, to dance.
The student of Indian classical dance hopes to raise funds through her performance to help her parents pay for her treatment.
Her dance performance, Dhanvantrim Nruthyam #kissedbycancer, will take place on 12 Oct at the Shantanand Auditorium, Temple of Fine Arts, Kuala Lumpur.
Increasing nut consumption by just half a serving (14g or half an ounce) a day is linked to less weight gain and a lower risk of obesity, suggests a large, long-term observational study, published on Sept 23, 2019, in the online journal BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health.
Substituting unhealthy foods such as processed meats, french fries and potato chips with a half a serving of nuts may be a simple strategy to ward off the gradual weight gain that often accompanies the ageing process, suggest the researchers.
On average, American adults pile on one pound or nearly half a kilogramme every year. Gaining 2.5kg to 10kg in weight is linked to a significantly greater risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Nuts are rich in healthy unsaturated fats, vitamins, minerals and fibre, but they are calorie-dense, and therefore not often thought good for weight control. But emerging evidence suggests that the quality of what’s eaten may be as important as the quantity.
Amid modest increases in ave-rage nut consumption in the United States over the past two decades, the researchers wanted to find out if these changes might affect weight control.
They analysed information on weight, diet and physical activity in three groups of people: 51,529 male health professionals aged 40 to 75 enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow Up Study; 121,700 nurses aged 35 to 55 in the Nurses Health Study (NHS); and 116,686 nurses aged 24 to 44 in the Nurses Health Study II (NHS II).
Over more than 20 years of monitoring, participants were asked every four years to state their weight, and how often, over the preceding year, they had eaten a serving (28g or 1oz) of nuts, including peanuts and peanut butter.
Average weekly exercise – walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, racquet sports and gardening – was assessed every two years by questionnaire. It was measured in metabolic equivalent of task (MET) hours, which express how much energy (calories) is expended per hour of physical activity.
Average annual weight gain across all three groups was 0.32kg.
Between 1986 and 2010, total nut consumption rose from a quarter to just under half a serving per day in men; and from 0.15 to 0.31 servings per day among the women in the NHS study. Between 1991 and 2011, total daily nut consumption rose from 0.07 to 0.31 servings among women in the NHS II study.
Increasing consumption of any type of nut was associated with overall less long-term weight gain and a lower risk of becoming obese (defined as a BMI of 30 or more). Increasing nut consumption by half a serving a day was associated with a lower risk of putting on two or more kilogrammes over any four-year period.
A daily half-serving increase in walnut consumption was associated with a 15% lower risk of obesity.
Substituting processed meats, refined grains or desserts, including chocolates, pastries, pies and doughnuts, for half a serving of nuts was associated with staving off weight gain of between 0.41kg and 0.70kg in any four-year period.
Within any four-year period, upping daily nut consumption from none to at least half a serving was associated with staving off 0.74kg in weight, a lower risk of moderate weight gain and a 16% lower risk of obesity, compared with not eating any nuts.
And a consistently higher nut intake of at least half a serving a day was associated with a 23% lower risk of putting on five or more kilogrammes and of becoming obese over the same timeframe.
No such associations were observed for increases in peanut butter intake. The findings held true after taking account of changes in diet and lifestyle, such as exercise and alcohol intake.
However, the data relied on personal report, which may have affected accuracy, while only white, relatively affluent health professionals were included, so the findings may not be more widely applicable.
But the findings echo those of previous observational studies, note the researchers, who attempt to explain the associations they found.
They suggest that as chewing nuts takes some effort, it leaves less energy for eating other things, while the high fibre content of nuts can delay stomach emptying, making a person feel sated and full for longer.
Nut fibre also binds well to fats in the gut, meaning that more calories are excreted. And there is some evidence that the high unsaturated fat content of nuts increases resting energy expenditure, which may also help to stave off weight gain.
Snacking on a handful of nuts, rather than biscuits or potato chips. may help to ward off the weight gain that often accompanies ageing and is a relatively manageable way of helping to curb the onset of obesity, they suggest. And a nut habit is likely to be good for the planet, they add.
“In addition to the impact on human health, using environmentally-friendly plant-based protein, such as nuts and seeds, to replace animal sources of protein may contribute to the promotion of a global sustainable food system,” they write.
KUALA LUMPUR: The number of asthma cases saw an increase of 3.5% to 1,265 cases for the week of Sept 15 Sept to 21 compared to 1,222 cases in the previous week, due to the current haze blanketing most parts of the country since a few weeks ago.
Ministry of Health (MOH) Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said conjunctivitis cases also rose 51.4% to 403 cases on the same week, compared to 266 cases the week before.
“However, cases involving Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (Urti) showed a decline of 9.6%, (8,258 to 7,465 cases), in the same period,” he said in a statement today.
Noor Hisham said his ministry is constantly monitoring developments of health diseases related to the haze through its 33 Haze Sentinel Facilities around the country.
He advised the public especially those in the high risk groups such as the elderly and children and those with existing respiratory related ailments such as asthma, bronchitis and allergies to take appropriate preventive measures to limit the effects of the current haze.
Sejak minggu lalu, tular video rakaman penampakan pocong yang didakwa dirakam di Rancangan Kemajuan Tanah (RKT) Kesedar Paloh 3 di sini.
Dalam video berdurasi 11 saat itu, kelihatan satu sosok berwarna putih berada di tengah jalan dan mengejar individu yang merakam.
Ketua kampung, Shamsudin Ismail berkata, beliau tidak meneliti video berkenaan namun katanya gangguan di kampungnya itu sudah berlaku sejak sekian lama.
“Terbaru, terdapat remaja yang nampak pocong di kawasan pejabat Kesedar Paloh 3. Dia maklumkan kepada saya sendiri penemuan misteri tersebut.
“Sebelum ini memanglah kawasan tersebut sering berlaku gangguan, tapi tidak pernah nampak kelibat yang pelik-pelik. Hanya mengganggu dengan bunyi-bunyian,” katanya kepada Sinar Harian hari ini.
Penduduk kampung, Supian Daud, 45, berkata, ada dakwaan mengatakan kejadian itu berlaku berhampiran kawasan rumahnya.
“Tapi bila saya perhatikan struktur jalan, ia bukan kawasan rumah saya. Di laluan Paloh 3, tiada jalan yang mempunyai garisan tengah.
“Lagipun, kawasan kampung saya berbukit tapi dalam rakaman itu, ia rata. Mungkin kawasan lain atau pun kampung Paloh di daerah atau negeri lain,” katanya.
Tambah Supian, sebelum ini tiada sebarang kejadian pelik yang berlaku di kawasan kampungnya.
Sementara itu, Imam Tua Masjid Keputeraan Paloh, Nik Badri Nik Abd Aziz berkata, sekiranya benar kejadian itu berlaku sehingga menimbulkan ketakutan dalam kalangan penduduk, ia memerlukan ikhtiar dari pusat perubatan Islam.
“Sebelum ini, saya tidak pernah tahu kejadian seumpama ini di Paloh 3 cuma di kawasan Gua Sejuk, saya pernah melalui kejadian aneh apabila melihat sendiri bungkusan berkain putih di tengah-tengah jalan.
“Jika ia menimbulkan kebimbangan dalam kalangan penduduk, kita kena usaha mencari individu yang lebih arif dan dalam masa sama, kita juga perlu berdoa memohon pelindungan daripada ALLAH SWT,” katanya.
Suruhanjaya Penyiaran Indonesia (KPI) mengeluarkan surat amaran kepada stesen televisyen tempatan, GTV pada 5 September lalu kerana menyiarkan filem The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, lapor akhbar The Jakarta Post kelmarin.
Dipaparkan di laman web KPI, surat itu menyatakan, penyiaran filem tersebut dianggap melanggar kod etika (P3) dan standard program (SPS).
Filem yang disiarkan pada pukul 11.14 pagi (waktu tempatan) , 6 Ogos lalu (waktu tempatan) menerusi program Big Movie Family GTV itu dikatakan mengandungi aksi ganas seperti memukul muka dengan kayu, menjatuhkan bola boling di atas kepala, melontar penukul ke muka dan membaling pasu kaktus menggunakan raket.
Ia disiarkan semula pada 22 Ogos lalu, pukul 3.02 petang di GTV.
KPI menganggap filem itu melanggar Artikel 14 P3, yang menyatakan bahawa unit penyiaran mesti mematuhi kepentingan kepada kanak-kanak dalam semua aspek penyiaran.
Sebuah siri animasi televisyen yang popular di Amerika Syarikat (AS), The SpongeBob SquarePants mengisahkan pengembaraan SpongeBob SquarePants dan rakan-rakannya di sebuah kejiranan fiksyen di dasar laut, Bikini Bottom.
Mula disiarkan pada tahun 1999, siri itu dijadikan filem, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie pada 2004. Filem keduanya, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water disiarkan pada 2015 sementara filem ketiga dijadualkan pada 2020.
Surat kepada GTV oleh KPI itu merupakan antara amaran yang dihantar terhadap 14 program televisyen lain.
Portal Kompas.com melaporkan bahawa Timbalan Ketua KPI, Mulyo Hadi Purnomo berkata, suruhanjaya itu hanya menghantar surat amaran.
“Menurut undang-undang, hanya surat amaran diberikan kerana ia merupakan kesalahan kali pertama,” katanya.
Berserta filem itu, KPI juga menghantar surat amaran terhadap Trans 7, ANTV, TV One, Metro TV, Trans TV dan stesen radio Gen FM kerana menyiarkan program yang dianggap tidak bersesuaian.