Read the text and put the correct the answers next to the answers you gave on the whiteboard. Then briefly explain the myths you were wrong about.

Common Medical Beliefs Fact Checked

Medical research is continually advancing and as a result, we are continually finding the truth behind many of the most common health misconceptions. Here many medical beliefs are fact checked.

1. Do you need eight glasses of water per day?

Not Necessarily. How much you should hydrate depends on the humidity and average temperature of your environment, as well as your activity level and genetics. Your body does need a certain amount of fluid per day, but it may not be eight glasses. Actually, there is no set number.

2. Is it dangerous to hold in a sneeze?

Definitely. Believe it or not, this one is true. When you purposely prevent a sneeze, you place too much pressure on your sinuses and lungs. This can lead to burst blood vessels, ruptured eardrums, an irritated throat and more. Adverse effects are rare, but they’re possible. The next time you’re about to sneeze, be sure to let it all out.

3. Does reading in low light have an adverse effect on your eyesight?

Not necessarily. Eye strain exists, but each person has a different light tolerance. If you can read adequately in dim light without feeling strain or pain on your eyes, then by all means enjoy your book in the dark. If it feels like a struggle to read in low light, it may not be for you. Once again, this depends on the person and their preference.

4. Do people shrink as they age?

Definitely. As you age, the space between the vertebrae in your spine can decrease, therefore shrinking you by a few centimetres.

5. Do you need to stay awake after a concussion?

Not at all. In earlier times, the only way to test brain function in a concussed person was to wake them every hour and gauge their level of responsiveness. Now, CT, MRI and PET scans can tell us how alert and oriented a patient is. In fact, we now know that the brain recovers more quickly when it gets lots of rest.

6. Is it dangerous to wake someone who is sleepwalking?

Not Necessarily. There is no long-term danger in waking a sleepwalker. However, it’s better to quietly walk the person back to bed instead of waking them with force. This protects the sleepwalker from disorientation, and you from getting a slap in the face.

7. Does using a mobile phone in a hospital interfere with the medical equipment?

Not at all. At the dawn of the mobile phone, some people were hesitant to use them in hospitals. Now that they’ve been around for a while, we know that they have no effect whatsoever on the surrounding medical technology.

8. Is bottled water better for you than tap?

Not at all. Bottled water companies may promote the health benefits of their product and conspiracy theorists will warn you of the fluoride the government adds to tap water. But the fact is that tap water in most places is totally healthy and often contains the useful minerals, magnesium and calcium.

In fact when you take a step back, bottled water is actually far less healthy for the world than tap water.

Plastic bottles are made from petroleum. Energy is required to manufacture the bottles and run the bottling and refrigeration machines. It also requires fuel to transport the bottles to the place where you buy them. These combined energy costs are the oil equivalent of about one quarter the volume of each bottle and 1000 times greater than the energy costs to pump, treat, and deliver tap water. This explains why bottled water is far more expensive and wasteful than tap water.

9. Do energy drinks contain special alertness-boosting ingredients?

Not at all. Despite containing a variety of vitamins and extraneous substances, these products actually exert their influence with that self-same ingredient as coffee, i.e. caffeine. Stick to coffee. Forget the energy drinks. They are a waste of money.

10. Is gluten bad for you?

Not necessarily. With a gluten-free lifestyle becoming mainstream, you might get the impression that gluten is terrible for you, or at least a way to keep your weight down. Not true, it turns out.

A gluten-free diet is only healthier for people with gluten-related disorders, such as celiac or gluten intolerance. Gluten alone is not related to how healthy your diet is.

The overall food choices one makes within a diet, whether it’s gluten-free or not, are what is important.

11. Is 10,000 the magic number?

Perhaps. Anyone who is using a step-tracking device has likely become used to setting 10,000 steps as their goal for a given day. In fact, that number is not the miracle solution it’s often presented to be.

Like eight glasses of water, 10,000 steps, was an arbitrary guideline written by one person. They calculated how many calories walking 10,000 steps burned and determined that was a good number. Science has since studied postal workers in the UK. They found that either walking 15,000 steps or being vertical for seven hours, results in no signs of metabolic syndrome.