Two definitions for you to think about real quick.
- A mutual relationship or connection between two or more things.
- Interdependence of variable quantities.
- The action of causing something.
- The relationship between cause and effect; causality.
In “scientific studies” unfortunately the two sometimes get confused. Think about doing a pushup. When you do a pushup you are using mainly the muscles in the front of your chest and shoulders. Those muscles are responsible for pushing and when overworked compared to our “pulling” muscles they will cause our shoulders to roll forward, or protract. Does this mean that doing pushups causes protracted shoulders? NO! The two are correlated, but pushups do not cause protracted shoulders.
This article gives another example of this confusion when it comes to our sleep. Some studies claim that too much sleep can kill us. The misleading information they don’t discuss is that most people that sleep “too much” are already sick and in bed. It’s not that sleeping too much causes us to die, but rather there is a correlation due to the fact that the majority of people that sleep extensive amounts are chronically ill to begin with.
There are hundreds of studies being done every day that “prove” things to be causative of ailments or on the other side of the spectrum, medications or supplements that will “cure” medical conditions. This isn’t to say that ALL research is wrong, but it’s just a little reminder to not believe everything you read/hear and to do some research on the research. If something sounds too good to be true, or if something is hard to believe, there’s a reason your gut is telling you that. Listen to it, explore it and then decide if it’s causation or correlation.