Group Training can Boost Happiness

OXFORD –  Science has proved it: People do better as a team. Researchers from Oxford University have found that team players can tolerate twice as much pain as those who work alone.

The study, which carried out tests on 12 rowers after a vigorous workout in a virtual boat, suggests that exercising together appears to increase the level of the feel-good endorphin hormones naturally released during physical exertion.

Writing in Biology Letters, the authors speculate these hormones may underpin an array of communal activities.

Physical exertion releases endorphins and that these are responsible for the sometimes euphoric sensations experienced after exercising are facts already known.

However, in the new study, researchers from Oxford University’s Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology found this response was heightened by the synergistic effect of rowing together.

After 45 minutes of either rowing separately or in a team of six, the researchers measured their pain threshold by how long they could tolerate an inflated blood pressure cuff on the arm, reports The BBC.xercise increased both groups’ ability to tolerate pain, but the difference was significantly more pronounced among the team rowers.

This, they said, was a measure of an increased endorphin release.

“The results suggest that endorphin release is significantly greater in group training than in individual training even when power output, or physical exertion, remains constant,” said lead author Emma Cohen.

“The exact features of group activity that generate this effect are unknown, but this study contributes to a growing body of evidence suggesting that synchronized, coordinated physical activity may be responsible,” the expert added.

8 Million Americans Seriously Consider Suicide Annually

WASHINGTON — More than 8 million Americans seriously consider suicide each year, according to a new government study.

About 32,000 suicides occur in the United States each year, but a new study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration indicates that many more give the idea serious thought.

The new SAMHSA report is based on a survey of 46,190 people aged 18 and older. In the past, the question about suicide had only been asked of people who reported major depression but in 2008 it was added to all questionnaires.

Other findings:

— People 18 to 25 years old were far more likely to have seriously considered suicide in the previous year (6.7 percent) than those 26 to 49 (3.9 percent).

— Just 2.3 percent seriously considered suicide among those 50 or older.

— Among people with a substance abuse disorder, 11 percent had considered suicide, compared to 3 percent for people without such disorders.

On the Net:  SAMHSA: www.samhsa.gov