Feeling like an underdog, it seems, can damage your health. Research by the National Rheumatism and Arthrits Council showed that workers who feel undervalued or out of control at work, are significantly more likely to suffer from back problems. Depression, a spokesman claimed, is actually far more likely to cause backache than heavy lifting. Professor Warburton of Reading University believes that one of the greatest health threats comes from negative feelings such as depression or guilt, which create stress hormones, producing cholesterol. “It’s quite likely that by worrying about whether or not you should be eating a chocolate bar you are doing yourself more harm than just getting one and eating it”, says the professor!
Lack of bright light
Scientists have known for some time about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): a form of depression caused by lack of light in winter, and thought to explain the relatively high suicide rates in countries such as Sweden, where for parts of the year days are very short.However, recent research has shown that those working night shifts in factories can suffer from the same problem, leading to stress and depression. The problem can be overcome by illuminating workplaces with lights three times brighter than usual, making workers feel happier and more alert.
A low-fat diet
A low-fat diet may be good for your waistline, but the latest research suggests that it is less beneficial psychologically. A team of volunteers at Sheffield University, asked to follow a diet consisting of just twenty-five per cent fat (the level recommended by the World Health Organisation) reported a marked increase in feelings of hostility and depression. And an earlier piece of research revealed, startingly, that people on low-fat diets are likely to meet a violent death!
Many of us are already aware that drinking coffee raises your blood pressure and can cause anxiety, but according to the latest research it can also make you bad-tempered. Mice who were given regular doses of caffeine by researches, were found to be unusually aggressive!
The wrong genes
Despite all the changes we make to our behaviour, diet, and environment, there is growing evidence that at the end of the day, whether we are cheerful or miserable is largerly a question of our genes. ‘Of course what happens to you in your life will make a difference to how happy you are,’ say scientists, ‘but there are two or three vital genes which probably decide how cheerful you are in comparison to others in similar situation.’
So whatever else you do, make sure you choose your genes carefully!
Great Britain does not have a written constitution, there are no constitutional provisions for education. The system of education is determined by the National Education Acts.
Schools in England are supported from public funds paid to the local education authorities. These local education authorities are responsible for organizing the schools in the areas.
Let’s outline the basic features of public education in Britain. Firstly, there are wide variations between one part of the country and another. For most educational purposes England and Wales are treated as one unit, though the system in Wales is a little different from that of England. Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own education systems.
Secondly, education in Britain mirrors the country’s social system: it is class-divided and selective. The first division is between those who pay and those who do not pay! The majority of schools in Britain are supported by public funds and the education provided is free. They are maintained schools but there is also a considerable number of public schools. Parents have to pay fees to send their children to these schools. The fees are high. As a matter of fact, only very rich families can send their children to public schools. In some parts of Britain they still keep the old system of grammar schools, which are selective. But most secondary schools in Britain which are called comprehensive schools are not selective — you don’t have to pass an exam to go there.
Another important feature of schooling in Britain is the variety of opportunities offered to schoolchildren. The English syllabus is divided into Arts (or Humanities) and Sciences, which determine the division of the secondary school pupils into study groups; a Science pupil will study Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics (Maths), Economics, Technical Drawing, Biology, Geography; an Art pupil will do English Language and Literature, History, foreign languages, Music, Art, Drama. Besides these subjects they must do some general education subjects like Physical Education (PE), Home Economics for girls, and Technical subjects for boys, General – Science. Computers play an important part in education. The system of options exists in all kinds-of secondary schools.
The National Education Act of 1944 provided three stages of education: primary, secondary and further education. Compulsory schooling in England and Wales lasts 11 years, from the age of 5 to 16. British schools usually have prayers and religious instruction.
The National Curriculum which was introduced in 1988 sets out in detail the subjects that children should study and the levels of achievement they should reach by the ages of 7, 11, 14, and 16, when they are tested. Until that year headmasters and headmistresses of schools were given a great deal of freedom in deciding what subjects to teach and how to do it in their so that there was really no central control at all over individual schools. The National Curriculum does not apply in Scotland where each school decides what subjects it will teach.
After the age of 16 a growing number of school student are staying on at school, some until 18 or 19, the age of entry into higher education in universities, Polytechnics or colleges. Schools in Britain provide careers guidance. A specially trained person called careers advisor, or careers officer helps school students to decide what job they want to do and how they can achieve it.
British university courses are rather short, generally lasting for 3 years. The cost of education depends on the college or university and speciality which one chooses.