All features (lifestyle)

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Olympic Stadium (Photo: London 2012)

Olympic impact

On 9 September 2012, six weeks of Olympic and Paralympic frenzy came to a close in London's Olympic park, marking the beginning of a legacy set to last decades. There is little in the way of precedent for such huge projects – so how can we better understand their successes, challenges, and impacts?

Eating pizza and watching TV

Stark levels of physical inactivity

Research findings from the ESRC Centre for Market and Public Organisation, and Monash, RMIT Melbourne and Lancaster universities, show high levels of physical inactivity in the English population.

Couple in bed

More partners, less sex: UK sexuality uncovered

We debut early and carry on into older age, but have sex less often than before, according to findings on Brits' sexual behaviour from the third NATSAL survey. However, the frequency of sex for has fallen from over six times to just under five per month over the past decade.

Cigarette in ashtray

Cutting the smoking habit

The annual NHS Stoptober campaign has been launched, helping smokers to quit through a month-long programme. Research shows the challenges of developing effective programmes to quit smoking, the links between smoking and low income, and secondary smoking motivations such as weight control.

Grandfather and child

More childcare for grandparents

The number of children looked after by grandparents, and the length of time that grandparents spend on childcare is rising according to a study using data from the ESRC-funded Understanding Society survey.

Bangladeshi woman

Healthier living: Cardiff or Bangladesh?

A comparison of Bangladeshi women living in Cardiff and in Bangladesh shows poorer health among those living in Cardiff, with considerably more obesity. A less active lifestyle and a more unhealthy diet are the main reasons.


Cities sap our powers of concentration

New ESRC- funded research shows that if you live in an isolated rural area you are likely to concentrate better than if you live in a city.


Health of mummies revealed by 'Digging into Data'

New research on mummies challenges the conventional belief that fatty arteries are caused by unhealthy lifestyles. The study came about through the Digging into Data Challenge, a research initiative co-funded by the ESRC.

Working mum

Working or shirking? Home-working and staff performance

An evaluation of home-working showed a dramatic increase in employee performance and reduction in staff turnover, according to findings from a team including Professor Nicholas Bloom from ESRC's Centre for Economic Performance.

Understanding Society logo

Second wave of data from large-scale survey

The second full set of data from the Understanding Society survey has been released, marking a milestone in the extensive longitudinal research project covering 30,500 households.

Beer bottles

Calling time on binge drinking

The Home Office has launched a consultation on measures to reduce alcohol consumption. But what are the most effective interventions? ESRC-funded researchers have explored the motivations and measures connected to binge drinking.

Elderly couple

Happy relationships may help you keep fit

Stable, nurturing relationships may help you stay fit and healthy, according to new ESRC-funded research. The study found that being in supportive relationships with low levels of conflicts and stress may help some individuals keep slim and physically active.

Burger and fries

'Fat tax' ineffective in countering obesity

Taxing unhealthy foods in a bid to persuade people to eat a better diet would be an ineffective way of tackling obesity. A study of inequalities in diet and health concludes that a so-called 'fat tax' would hit the poor hardest while failing to produce any significant health benefits.

Child and computer

Long-distance mothering through new media

Migrant women maintain their emotional and parenting bond with left-behind children through frequent use of new media - including mobile phone, texting, email, webcam calls and instant messaging.

Smoking on screen

Smoking on the silver screen

Tobacco advertising and sponsorship are more strictly regulated than ever – and yet many films accessible to children and young people still contain images of smoking.

Olympic Stadium (Photo: London 2012)

Early impacts for London 2012 Games

The preparations for the 2012 Olympic Games in London are having a positive impact across several areas, according to a pre-games report funded by the ESRC. Environmental, economic and socio-cultural factors are included in the study.

Sleepless woman

Pillow talk

New research finds we are sleeping less than ever with consequences for our health, wellbeing and family life. How and why did we lose the ability to get a good night’s sleep? Sarah Womack investigates.

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