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Does an Exercise Ball Chair Actually Give You Any Health Benefits?

Does an Exercise Ball Chair Burn Calories?
A new study found that all the extra effort to balance on an exercise ball chair isn't actually doing anything for you. People who sat on a ball chair only burned about 4 more calories per hour than those sitting on regular chairs. Researchers say that for the effort and discomfort, it isn't worth it. Instead, experts recommend spending 15 minutes standing each hour. Take a short meeting while standing or a quick walk throughout the day.

What's the Germiest Spot in Your Kitchen?
If you guessed the lid of your garbage can, you would be wrong.  Surprised? Join the club. After a 2011 study showing that the kitchen is the germiest place in your house, researchers set out to find the exact spot where those germs lived. The new study that looked for E.coli, Salmonella, Listeria, mold and yeast, reveals that the germiest place is the one that probably stores the healthiest foods: the vegetable drawer. The reason? Cross-contamination between pre-washed and dirty veggies. Rubber spatulas and can openers were other germy contenders.

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Are Your Genes Making You Skip Your Workouts?
The University of Missouri in Columbia has done extensive research on 10 generations of rats to rule out if there's a "lazy" gene that causes you to skip workouts. They compared workout behaviors and genes of two groups: those who exercise and those who didn't. They found that the rats who ran on a constant basis, was in part, driven by genetics of motivation.

But researchers say there's still more to learn, and that while genetics may have something to do with where you find the motivation to exercise, it's not the only thing causing a person to be lazy. The bottom line? Genetic profiles do not determine destiny, and if you are capable, why not get up and get moving?

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Are New Moms Pressured to Lose the Baby Weight Too Quickly?
There are numerous video workouts, classes and boot camps based around the idea that new mothers should rush to drop the weight. The pressure might be dangerous. The number of pregnant women with eating disorders is much higher than previously thought. One in 14 moms suffer from major body blues during pregnancy and post-baby. Research points to celebrity mothers being photographed with perfectly toned post-baby bodies as major influencers to new mothers who judge themselves against images in magazines.

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What's Really in Your Meat?
Antibiotics are used in animals to treat illness, but studies show that antibiotics are also put in animal feed and in their water to help them grow faster and to keep animals healthy in unhygienic environments. Researchers say that with the abundance of antibiotics in animals through human consumption could eventually lead to an antibiotic resistant world.

In spite of all this antibiotic usage, would you be surprised to learn that meat you buy at your local grocery store is packed full of bacteria? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration tested meat from U.S. grocery stores and found that most meat tested positive for antibiotic-resistant bacteria: 81 percent of ground turkey was contaminated, 69 percent of pork chops, 55 percent of ground beef and 39 percent of chicken were also affected. Significant amounts of salmonella were found. Federal safety guidelines say to handle meat with care and to cook meat thoroughly to kill bacteria.

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Mom's Last Words Inspire 85-Pound Weight Loss
In 2010, Cherie Steffen weight 230 pounds and had a BMI of 40. She knew it was time to make a change when she remembered her mother's last words. "Save money. Lose Weight," her mom had told her. Three years later and 85 pounds lighter, Steffen is a certified personal trainer, and she is healthier than ever. Steffen says she cleaned up her eating habits and began jogging on a treadmill to achieve her dramatic weight loss, and she just ran her first 5K race last May.

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Readers - Do you use an exercise ball as a desk chair? Do you feel that it is beneficial? Are you concerned about antibiotics in meat? Let us know. Share your thoughts in the comments below. What do you think of these stories? Are there other pieces of health and fitness news you'd like to see us writing about? Leave a comment below, and let us know! Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter @LIVESTRONG_COMFacebookPinterest, and Instagram.

>> Read more of Crissy Van Meter's articles here! <<

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