The fat of the land began moving to America’s waistline at about the same time people started using microwaves as feeding troughs.
Soon afterwards, other technological advances made it possible to earn a living without breaking a sweat.
How sedentary have Americans become? A new study suggests obese women get about an hour of vigorous exercise a year. Obese men get 3.6 hours per year, according to the study conducted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Nutrition Obesity Research Center.
Researchers, who used data from motion-sensing devices slapped to 2,600 adults, seemed as shocked as you are by their findings.
“They’re living their lives from one chair to another,” said researcher Edward Archer in a HealthDay article on Fox News. “We didn’t realize we were that sedentary. There are some people who are vigorously active, but it’s offset by the huge number of individuals who are inactive.”
What does a typical day look like for the 35.7 percent of U.S. adults considered obese?
“I think they’re living the typical life. They drive their children to school, they sit at a desk all day long, they may play some video games and they go to sleep,” said Archer.
That’s an unfair slam on video games, which require more physical and mental activity than watching TV.
Some took issue with the study’s definition of “vigorous exercise,” which includes fat-burning activities such as jogging or jumping rope.
One researcher suggested a simple walk could be considered vigorous exercise for the obese, which the CDC defines as those having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.
Archer, the Alabama researcher, said exercise of any sort could improve health.
As little as 30 minutes of exercise five days a week can stop weight gain and improve health, Archer said. “People don’t understand that [you] don’t have to go to the gym and lift weights and run marathons to have dramatic impacts on your body. Standing rather than sitting, walking rather than taking your car, they have huge impacts on your health over time.”
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