Tag Archives: Most

World’s most unusual commutes: share your pictures and stories

A strong coffee and a good book is, for many people, all that’s required to get through the journey to work. But for those who prefer to beat the rush hour by swimming, kitesurfing or paragliding to the office, the daily commute can be a little more demanding and a lot more fun.

Do you avoid traffic jams and packed trains by commuting on horseback or climbing into a canoe? We want to hear from those intrepid readers around the world who opt for more unusual means to get to work – such as Benjamin David, who swims 1.2 miles (2km) down the Isar in Munich everyday.

If your commute is out of the ordinary, we’d like to see what it looks like and hear about your experiences. Show us your pictures and tell us what you enjoy most about your journey and how and why you’ve turned your commute into a daily adventure. We will feature some of the best stories and photos in a gallery and accompanying article.

Share your commuting experiences with us now by clicking on one of the blue “contribute” buttons – or, if you’re out and about, you can also use the Guardian app and search for “GuardianWitness assignments”.

  • GuardianWitness is the home of user-generated content on the Guardian. Contribute your video, pictures and stories, and browse news, reviews and creations submitted by others. Posts will be reviewed prior to publication on GuardianWitness, and the best pieces will feature on the Guardian site.

World’s most unusual commutes: share your pictures and stories

A strong coffee and a good book is, for many people, all that’s required to get through the journey to work. But for those who prefer to beat the rush hour by swimming, kitesurfing or paragliding to the office, the daily commute can be a little more demanding and a lot more fun.

Do you avoid traffic jams and packed trains by commuting on horseback or climbing into a canoe? We want to hear from those intrepid readers around the world who opt for more unusual means to get to work – such as Benjamin David, who swims 1.2 miles (2km) down the Isar in Munich everyday.

If your commute is out of the ordinary, we’d like to see what it looks like and hear about your experiences. Show us your pictures and tell us what you enjoy most about your journey and how and why you’ve turned your commute into a daily adventure. We will feature some of the best stories and photos in a gallery and accompanying article.

Share your commuting experiences with us now by clicking on one of the blue “contribute” buttons – or, if you’re out and about, you can also use the Guardian app and search for “GuardianWitness assignments”.

  • GuardianWitness is the home of user-generated content on the Guardian. Contribute your video, pictures and stories, and browse news, reviews and creations submitted by others. Posts will be reviewed prior to publication on GuardianWitness, and the best pieces will feature on the Guardian site.

World’s most unusual commutes: share your pictures and stories

A strong coffee and a good book is, for many people, all that’s required to get through the journey to work. But for those who prefer to beat the rush hour by swimming, kitesurfing or paragliding to the office, the daily commute can be a little more demanding and a lot more fun.

Do you avoid traffic jams and packed trains by commuting on horseback or climbing into a canoe? We want to hear from those intrepid readers around the world who opt for more unusual means to get to work – such as Benjamin David, who swims 1.2 miles (2km) down the Isar in Munich everyday.

If your commute is out of the ordinary, we’d like to see what it looks like and hear about your experiences. Show us your pictures and tell us what you enjoy most about your journey and how and why you’ve turned your commute into a daily adventure. We will feature some of the best stories and photos in a gallery and accompanying article.

Share your commuting experiences with us now by clicking on one of the blue “contribute” buttons – or, if you’re out and about, you can also use the Guardian app and search for “GuardianWitness assignments”.

  • GuardianWitness is the home of user-generated content on the Guardian. Contribute your video, pictures and stories, and browse news, reviews and creations submitted by others. Posts will be reviewed prior to publication on GuardianWitness, and the best pieces will feature on the Guardian site.

World’s most unusual commutes: share your pictures and stories

A strong coffee and a good book is, for many people, all that’s required to get through the journey to work. But for those who prefer to beat the rush hour by swimming, kitesurfing or paragliding to the office, the daily commute can be a little more demanding and a lot more fun.

Do you avoid traffic jams and packed trains by commuting on horseback or climbing into a canoe? We want to hear from those intrepid readers around the world who opt for more unusual means to get to work – such as Benjamin David, who swims 1.2 miles (2km) down the Isar in Munich everyday.

If your commute is out of the ordinary, we’d like to see what it looks like and hear about your experiences. Show us your pictures and tell us what you enjoy most about your journey and how and why you’ve turned your commute into a daily adventure. We will feature some of the best stories and photos in a gallery and accompanying article.

Share your commuting experiences with us now by clicking on one of the blue “contribute” buttons – or, if you’re out and about, you can also use the Guardian app and search for “GuardianWitness assignments”.

  • GuardianWitness is the home of user-generated content on the Guardian. Contribute your video, pictures and stories, and browse news, reviews and creations submitted by others. Posts will be reviewed prior to publication on GuardianWitness, and the best pieces will feature on the Guardian site.

World’s most unusual commutes: share your pictures and stories

A strong coffee and a good book is, for many people, all that’s required to get through the journey to work. But for those who prefer to beat the rush hour by swimming, kitesurfing or paragliding to the office, the daily commute can be a little more demanding and a lot more fun.

Do you avoid traffic jams and packed trains by commuting on horseback or climbing into a canoe? We want to hear from those intrepid readers around the world who opt for more unusual means to get to work – such as Benjamin David, who swims 1.2 miles (2km) down the Isar in Munich everyday.

If your commute is out of the ordinary, we’d like to see what it looks like and hear about your experiences. Show us your pictures and tell us what you enjoy most about your journey and how and why you’ve turned your commute into a daily adventure. We will feature some of the best stories and photos in a gallery and accompanying article.

Share your commuting experiences with us now by clicking on one of the blue “contribute” buttons – or, if you’re out and about, you can also use the Guardian app and search for “GuardianWitness assignments”.

  • GuardianWitness is the home of user-generated content on the Guardian. Contribute your video, pictures and stories, and browse news, reviews and creations submitted by others. Posts will be reviewed prior to publication on GuardianWitness, and the best pieces will feature on the Guardian site.

‘Some see crying in front of patients as unprofessional. Most see it as being human’

Working in healthcare can be emotionally fraught. Not only are staff working under increasing pressure but they are faced with humanity at its most vulnerable. They encounter death and witness in a week more than what most people might see over a lifetime.

Compassion is also a key part of any role in healthcare. It’s only natural that staff should need an emotional release under such circumstances. But is crying in front of patients a good idea? Does it detract from their grief or does it help professionals seem more human? Six healthcare professionals share their experiences.

‘I don’t think it helps to cry in front of patients in certain situations’

I was working a long, 14-hour shift in a busy London hospital just before Christmas. I had been looking after a man with heart failure and we were running out of options. The man and his son were well aware of the gravity of the situation. I asked my registrar to re-review when the man started to lose consciousness. When I asked desperately what our next treatment strategy would be, he looked at me carefully, then looked down and said nothing. The realisation washed over me that we couldn’t save him; the man was going to die, and his family would not see him at Christmas. I lost control of my emotions momentarily; [my colleague] put a hand on my shoulder, then asked me to get a cup of tea and sit down, and come back when I was ready. The man passed away that evening.

It’s OK to show emotion – positive or negative – and it becomes easier with experience. However, I don’t think it helps to cry in front of patients in certain situations. The emotion of the moment shouldn’t be about the doctor – it’s about the patient and their family. Their grief is what matters most. You also need to keep your emotions under control to make the best decisions for the patient. Ben White, registrar in gastroenterology and general internal medicine

‘Once the feelings fade, so does the passion’

Crying in front of patients is part and parcel of nursing. Whether it’s bad news, stress or confrontation, crying has and will always happen. Some see it as unprofessional; most see it as being human. After five years, including a four-year stint in A&E, I still cry after every death I witness. One day I saw this as weakness and said to the doctor I was with, “I can’t believe I still cry every time!” I was embarrassed by my tears. He turned and said: “The day you don’t cry is when you should stop nursing.” Those words hit home. Now when the tears come I’m not ashamed because once the feelings fade, so does the passion. Donna Thomas, spinal surgery ward

‘The tears I’ve seen from paramedics are more likely borne from burnout’

I’ve never seen a paramedic crying in front of a patient. The tears I’ve seen and have experienced are more likely borne from the seething soup of frustration, burnout, bullying, fatigue and the chronic, ulcerating ache of rock-bottom morale. I’ve heard more examples of people crying into a mirror as they don their uniform before leaving for work – sobbing to their reflection, trying to convince themselves that they must push through another shift of utter shit.

I know public perception will favour the image of a weeping paramedic being comforted by her crewmate after failing to resuscitate a young child, and this narrative probably dovetails with the belief that paramedics regularly attend genuine emergencies – but both versions of our story are far from reality.


The emotion of the moment ​​shouldn’t be about the doctor – it’s about the patient ​and their family

Ben White

Although a crying paramedic would be unreservedly comforted by their colleagues, once out of sight and earshot, eyebrows would be raised, shoulders would be shrugged and their mental resilience would be questioned. Crying would probably be considered a sign of weakness.

During my nine years of frontline experience, sometimes I did feel like crying, but I would usually stamp on whatever the trigger was. Robin Ibbott, former paramedic, now a locum

‘Loss of professional composure helps nobody’

There would be nothing worse than someone feeling that they were the subject of the saying, “laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone”. However, “weep with” feels different from “weep in front of”. A sense of shared sorrow might be comforting; loss of professional composure helps nobody. The answer might be different for patients and for relatives – and remember that the sorrow and loss will be much more enduring for any who are bereaved than it is for those who provided professional care. Paul Gray, chief executive, NHS Scotland

‘It’s difficult to say when crying is OK and when it’s not’

I was sitting across from the mother of a child who was terminally ill. We were talking about planning for the end of her life. I’d known this family for a number of years and no one was ready to lose her.

As her mother showed me photos of her child smiling – something we thought she might never do with her complex and life-limiting condition – she cried and I cried with her. I was there to comfort and support her, not the other way round. But this felt right. It was an acknowledgement of how much this child and her family meant to me and how much I cared.

I’ve only ever cried with patients and families when they have been crying too. It feels right when my feelings and responses are mirroring theirs, when we’re sharing the same emotions. There’s solidarity in that. For me, as a nurse, it would feel wrong to be more upset than the family. It’s their moment, not mine. It wouldn’t be right if they felt the need to comfort me or if I was visibly distressed and they weren’t. At those times I go to colleagues for support.

It’s difficult to say exactly when crying is OK and when it’s not. So much of this is about gut feeling and going with what feels natural and right in the moment. Becky Platt, matron for children’s services

‘I heard one story that made me sob. I felt so unprofessional’

I have always cried too easily. When I was pregnant this became ridiculous – I cried when the man in the red shirt on Star Trek died and if anyone criticised me. I would well up when patients told me a sad story, but at eight months pregnant one lady told me such a harrowing story of motherhood that made me well up, weep and then sob. She cried too and we sat with tissues between us long after the appointment should have finished. I felt so unprofessional and didn’t want anyone else to see. I blamed my red eyes on pregnancy allergies and told no one the truth for a long time. I left soon after on maternity leave, but when I returned I said hello to her in the waiting room. She had an appointment with another doctor that day but asked if she could come back for her next appointment to my list. She said that I understood what she had been through. Hilary Kinsler, consultant psychiatrist

Join the Healthcare Professionals Network to read more pieces like this. And follow us on Twitter (@GdnHealthcare) to keep up with the latest healthcare news and views.

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Most important meal of the day? Skipping breakfast may be linked to poor heart health

From the full English to a continental croissant, the importance of a hearty breakfast has long been debated – now scientists say skipping the morning meal could be linked to poorer cardiovascular health.

The findings reveal that, compared those who who wolfed down an energy-dense breakfast, those who missed the meal had a greater extent of the early stages of atherosclerosis – a buildup of fatty material inside the arteries.

But, the researchers add, the link is likely to be down to indirect effects.

“People who skip breakfast, not only do they eat late and in an odd fashion, but [they also] have a poor lifestyle,” said Valentin Fuster, co-author of the research and director of Mount Sinai Heart in New York and the Madrid-based cardiovascular research institute, the CNIC.

The research is part of a larger study that will follow the participants over a decade or more to see how disease in the arteries progresses.

Published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the research looked at the health and diets of 4,052 middle-aged bank workers, both men and women, with no previous history of cardiovascular disease.

At the start of the study, which is partly funded by the Spanish bank Santander, participants completed a detailed questionnaire into what they had eaten and when over the previous 15 days.

Body mass index, cholesterol levels and other measures were collected, together with data including the participants’ smoking status, educational attainment and level of physical activity. Imaging techniques were used to track the extent of the early, sub-clinical stages of atherosclerosis in six arteries, including those around the heart, thighs and neck.

The results reveal that, compared to those tucking into more than 20% of their daily calories at breakfast, those who consumed next to nothing for breakfast had a greater extent of atherosclerosis.

While almost 57% of those eating a high-energy breakfast had sub-clinical atherosclerosis, the figure was almost 75% among those who skipped the meal. The trend held once factors including age, sex, smoking status, high blood pressure, diabetes and waist circumference were taken into account.

That, say the authors, suggests the pattern of eating, and the amount consumed, is of importance, with Fuster convinced that skipping breakfast disrupts the body’s internal clock, meaning that individuals end up eating more calories and at unusual times.

“Skipping breakfast in the morning by itself is not the problem; the problem is what you eat afterwards,” he said, adding that the study also found that those who skipped breakfast were – among other traits – more likely to be obese, have high blood pressure, frequently consume alcohol, smoke, and eat high levels of red meat.

But the study has limitations, not least that just 3% of participants said they missed breakfast, with the majority of breakfast-eaters consuming a low-calorie meal. Moreover, measurements were only taken at one point in time, and it isn’t clear whether, for example, obese individuals were missing breakfast to lose weight.

Naveed Sattar, professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow who was not involved with the study, said that the research did not show that disruption of the body clock was behind the link. “It might be that there is something about having regular meals throughout the day that somehow regulates your appetite [and] means you don’t over-consume calories – that there is something about eating breakfast per se – [but] I don’t think you can answer from this study,” he said.

But, he added, skipping breakfast could be a useful marker to help identify those who need encouragements and support with their lifestyle. “This is just a way to recognise people who have high risk,” he said.

Most important meal of the day? Skipping breakfast may be linked to poor heart health

From the full English to a continental croissant, the importance of a hearty breakfast has long been debated – now scientists say skipping the morning meal could be linked to poorer cardiovascular health.

The findings reveal that, compared those who who wolfed down an energy-dense breakfast, those who missed the meal had a greater extent of the early stages of atherosclerosis – a buildup of fatty material inside the arteries.

But, the researchers add, the link is likely to be down to indirect effects.

“People who skip breakfast, not only do they eat late and in an odd fashion, but [they also] have a poor lifestyle,” said Valentin Fuster, co-author of the research and director of Mount Sinai Heart in New York and the Madrid-based cardiovascular research institute, the CNIC.

The research is part of a larger study that will follow the participants over a decade or more to see how disease in the arteries progresses.

Published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the research looked at the health and diets of 4,052 middle-aged bank workers, both men and women, with no previous history of cardiovascular disease.

At the start of the study, which is partly funded by the Spanish bank Santander, participants completed a detailed questionnaire into what they had eaten and when over the previous 15 days.

Body mass index, cholesterol levels and other measures were collected, together with data including the participants’ smoking status, educational attainment and level of physical activity. Imaging techniques were used to track the extent of the early, sub-clinical stages of atherosclerosis in six arteries, including those around the heart, thighs and neck.

The results reveal that, compared to those tucking into more than 20% of their daily calories at breakfast, those who consumed next to nothing for breakfast had a greater extent of atherosclerosis.

While almost 57% of those eating a high-energy breakfast had sub-clinical atherosclerosis, the figure was almost 75% among those who skipped the meal. The trend held once factors including age, sex, smoking status, high blood pressure, diabetes and waist circumference were taken into account.

That, say the authors, suggests the pattern of eating, and the amount consumed, is of importance, with Fuster convinced that skipping breakfast disrupts the body’s internal clock, meaning that individuals end up eating more calories and at unusual times.

“Skipping breakfast in the morning by itself is not the problem; the problem is what you eat afterwards,” he said, adding that the study also found that those who skipped breakfast were – among other traits – more likely to be obese, have high blood pressure, frequently consume alcohol, smoke, and eat high levels of red meat.

But the study has limitations, not least that just 3% of participants said they missed breakfast, with the majority of breakfast-eaters consuming a low-calorie meal. Moreover, measurements were only taken at one point in time, and it isn’t clear whether, for example, obese individuals were missing breakfast to lose weight.

Naveed Sattar, professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow who was not involved with the study, said that the research did not show that disruption of the body clock was behind the link. “It might be that there is something about having regular meals throughout the day that somehow regulates your appetite [and] means you don’t over-consume calories – that there is something about eating breakfast per se – [but] I don’t think you can answer from this study,” he said.

But, he added, skipping breakfast could be a useful marker to help identify those who need encouragements and support with their lifestyle. “This is just a way to recognise people who have high risk,” he said.

Most important meal of the day? Skipping breakfast may be linked to poor heart health

From the full English to a continental croissant, the importance of a hearty breakfast has long been debated – now scientists say skipping the morning meal could be linked to poorer cardiovascular health.

The findings reveal that, compared those who who wolfed down an energy-dense breakfast, those who missed the meal had a greater extent of the early stages of atherosclerosis – a buildup of fatty material inside the arteries.

But, the researchers add, the link is likely to be down to indirect effects.

“People who skip breakfast, not only do they eat late and in an odd fashion, but [they also] have a poor lifestyle,” said Valentin Fuster, co-author of the research and director of Mount Sinai Heart in New York and the Madrid-based cardiovascular research institute, the CNIC.

The research is part of a larger study that will follow the participants over a decade or more to see how disease in the arteries progresses.

Published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the research looked at the health and diets of 4,052 middle-aged bank workers, both men and women, with no previous history of cardiovascular disease.

At the start of the study, which is partly funded by the Spanish bank Santander, participants completed a detailed questionnaire into what they had eaten and when over the previous 15 days.

Body mass index, cholesterol levels and other measures were collected, together with data including the participants’ smoking status, educational attainment and level of physical activity. Imaging techniques were used to track the extent of the early, sub-clinical stages of atherosclerosis in six arteries, including those around the heart, thighs and neck.

The results reveal that, compared to those tucking into more than 20% of their daily calories at breakfast, those who consumed next to nothing for breakfast had a greater extent of atherosclerosis.

While almost 57% of those eating a high-energy breakfast had sub-clinical atherosclerosis, the figure was almost 75% among those who skipped the meal. The trend held once factors including age, sex, smoking status, high blood pressure, diabetes and waist circumference were taken into account.

That, say the authors, suggests the pattern of eating, and the amount consumed, is of importance, with Fuster convinced that skipping breakfast disrupts the body’s internal clock, meaning that individuals end up eating more calories and at unusual times.

“Skipping breakfast in the morning by itself is not the problem; the problem is what you eat afterwards,” he said, adding that the study also found that those who skipped breakfast were – among other traits – more likely to be obese, have high blood pressure, frequently consume alcohol, smoke, and eat high levels of red meat.

But the study has limitations, not least that just 3% of participants said they missed breakfast, with the majority of breakfast-eaters consuming a low-calorie meal. Moreover, measurements were only taken at one point in time, and it isn’t clear whether, for example, obese individuals were missing breakfast to lose weight.

Naveed Sattar, professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow who was not involved with the study, said that the research did not show that disruption of the body clock was behind the link. “It might be that there is something about having regular meals throughout the day that somehow regulates your appetite [and] means you don’t over-consume calories – that there is something about eating breakfast per se – [but] I don’t think you can answer from this study,” he said.

But, he added, skipping breakfast could be a useful marker to help identify those who need encouragements and support with their lifestyle. “This is just a way to recognise people who have high risk,” he said.

Seaside towns among most deprived communities in UK

Coastal communities are lagging behind inland areas, with some of the worst levels of economic and social deprivation in the UK, a report shows.

Comparison of earnings, employment, health and education data in local authority areas identified “pockets of significant deprivation” in seaside towns and a widening gap between coastal communities and the rest of the country.

The government has pledged to give £40m to coastal areas in an attempt to boost employment and encourage tourism. However, researchers said some communities were being overlooked by policymakers, who were preoccupied with more affluent centres.

Analysis by the Social Market Foundation (SMF) thinktank found that in 85% of Britain’s 98 coastal local authorities, people earned below the national average for 2016, with employees in seaside communities paid about £3,600 less.

The report commissioned by BBC Breakfast also found:

Torbay, North Devon, Gwynedd, Hastings and Torridge made up five of the 10 local authorities in Great Britain where people earned the lowest average pay.

Hartlepool, North Ayrshire, Torridge, Hastings, South Tyneside and Sunderland made up five of the 10 local authorities in Great Britain with the highest unemployment rate in the first quarter of 2017.

Neath Port Talbot, Blackpool, Bridgend, Sunderland, Barrow-in-Furness, Carmarthenshire, East Lindsey, South Tyneside, County Durham and Hartlepool made up half of the 20 local authorities in England and Wales with the highest proportion of individuals in poor health.

Great Yarmouth and Castle Point were the two local authorities in England and Wales with the smallest proportion of over-16-year-olds who had level four and above qualifications, such as higher apprenticeships and degrees.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that in 1997 economic output per person was 23% lower in coastal communities than non-coastal communities, while in 2015 the gap had widened to 26%.

Scott Corfe, SMF’s chief economist and author of the report, said poor infrastructure was contributing to the growing disparity between seaside towns and their inland counterparts.

“Many coastal communities are poorly connected to major employment centres in the UK, which compounds the difficulties faced by residents in these areas. Not only do they lack local job opportunities, but travelling elsewhere for work is also relatively difficult.

“Despite the evident social and economic problems which these places face, there is currently no official definition of a ‘coastal community’. The government needs to do more to track – and address – economic problems in our coastal towns.

“Particularly in the south-east, some coastal communities are pockets of significant deprivation surrounded by affluence – meaning their problems are often overlooked by policymakers.”