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Yoga, Meditation on the Rise Among U.S. Adults and Kids
If you can flow from "downward dog" to "upward dog," then you're part the growing number of yogis in the U.S.
The questionnaire—administered every 5 years as part of the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)—is based on the responses of thousands of Americans about their health- and illness-related experiences.
The results show that roughly 14 percent of adults practiced yoga and meditation in 2017. That's up from about 9.5 percent and 4 percent respectively compared to a similar survey fielded five years ago.
More Americans are doing yoga and mediation, according to a nationally representative survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.
The percentage of children between ages 4 to 17 who practiced yoga in the past 12 months also jumped from 3.1 percent in 2012 to 8.4 percent in 2017. More youngsters are also meditating, from 0.6 percent in 2012 to 5.4 percent in 2017.
It's not clear what drove the increases, but two of the report authors, Tainya Clark and Lindsey Black, told CNBC it may be related to the popularity of meditation and yoga cellphone apps such as Headspace and Calm. Companies and schools are also offering such programs for employees and students, they added.
"Something really special is happening with our culture at a time when we need it most," Megan Jones Bell, Headspace's chief science officer commented to CNBC. "At a time when mental health problems are on the rise, something that improves focus and compassion is certainly something the world needs more of."
Here are some of the report's highlights among adults:
- Yoga was the most commonly used complementary health approach among U.S. adults in 2012 (9.5 percent) and 2017 (14.3 percent). The use of meditation increased more than threefold from 4.1 percent in 2012 to 14.2 percent in 2017.
- The use of chiropractors increased from 9.1 percent in 2012 to 10.3 percent in 2017.
- In 2017, women were more likely to use yoga, meditation and chiropractors in the past 12 months than men.
- Non-Hispanic white adults were more likely to use yoga, meditation and chiropractors than Hispanic and non-Hispanic black adults.
And here are some for children:
- The percentage of children aged 4-17 years who used yoga in the past 12 months increased significantly from 3.1 percent in 2012 to 8.4 percent in 2017.
- Meditation increased significantly from 0.6 percent in 2012 to 5.4 percent in 2017.
- There was no statistically significant difference in the use of a chiropractor between 2012 and 2017 (3.5 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively).
- In 2017, girls were more likely to have used yoga during the past 12 months than boys.
- In 2017, older children (aged 12-17 years) were more likely to have used meditation and a chiropractor in the past 12 months than younger children (aged 4-11 years).
- Non-Hispanic white children were more likely to have used yoga and a chiropractor in the past 12 months than non-Hispanic black children or Hispanic children.
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A powerful volcano on Monday rocked an uninhabited island frequented by tourists about 30 miles off New Zealand's coast. Authorities have confirmed that five people died. They expect that number to rise as some are missing and police officials issued a statement that flights around the islands revealed "no signs of life had been seen at any point,", as The Guardian reported.
"Based on the information we have, we do not believe there are any survivors on the island," the police said in their official statement. "Police is working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died, further to the five confirmed deceased already."
The eruption happened on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island, an islet jutting out of the Bay of Plenty, off the country's North Island. The island is privately owned and is typically visited for day-trips by thousands of tourists every year, according to The New York Times.
My god, White Island volcano in New Zealand erupted today for first time since 2001. My family and I had gotten off it 20 minutes before, were waiting at our boat about to leave when we saw it. Boat ride home tending to people our boat rescued was indescribable. #whiteisland pic.twitter.com/QJwWi12Tvt— Michael Schade (@sch) December 9, 2019
Michael Schade / Twitter
At the time of the eruption on Monday, about 50 passengers from the Ovation of Seas were on the island, including more than 30 who were part of a Royal Caribbean cruise trip, according to CNN. Twenty-three people, including the five dead, were evacuated from the island.
The eruption occurred at 2:11 pm local time on Monday, as footage from a crater camera owned and operated by GeoNet, New Zealand's geological hazards agency, shows. The camera also shows dozens of people walking near the rim as white smoke billows just before the eruption, according to Reuters.
Police were unable to reach the island because searing white ash posed imminent danger to rescue workers, said John Tims, New Zealand's deputy police commissioner, as he stood next to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a press conference, as The New York Times reported. Tims said rescue workers would assess the safety of approaching the island on Tuesday morning. "We know the urgency to go back to the island," he told reporters.
"The physical environment is unsafe for us to return to the island," Tims added, as CNN reported. "It's important that we consider the health and safety of rescuers, so we're taking advice from experts going forward."
Authorities have had no communication with anyone on the island. They are frantically working to identify how many people remain and who they are, according to CNN.
Geologists said the eruption is not unexpected and some questioned why the island is open to tourism.
"The volcano has been restless for a few weeks, resulting in the raising of the alert level, so that this eruption is not really a surprise," said Bill McGuire, emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London, as The Guardian reported.
"White Island has been a disaster waiting to happen for many years," said Raymond Cas, emeritus professor at Monash University's school of earth, atmosphere and environment, as The Guardian reported. "Having visited it twice, I have always felt that it was too dangerous to allow the daily tour groups that visit the uninhabited island volcano by boat and helicopter."
The prime minister arrived Monday night in Whakatane, the town closest to the eruption, where day boats visiting the island are docked. Whakatane has a large Maori population.
Ardern met with local council leaders on Monday. She is scheduled to meet with search and rescue teams and will speak to the media at 7 a.m. local time (1 p.m. EST), after drones survey the island, as CNN reported.
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