Evidence over the past two decades has weighed in heavily on the pivotal role that a modern, sedentary lifestyle plays in obesity. My solution is to skip to the loo.
One of the reasons people these days are so unfit compared to just a generation or two ago is that we have become quite sedentary. We spend our work days in front of a screen. We spend our leisure time in front of another screen. And too many channels on TV means more butt time and less foot time. We simply don’t move enough.
There have been several studies showing that it is less the caloric intake and more the overall physical activity that leads to obesity. There was the 2005 study published in The Lancet.
A year earlier, the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports had this to say:
“Inactivity is a major cause of obesity in the United States. In fact, inactivity might be a far more significant factor in the development of obesity than overeating.”
There are plenty more references you can read here.
To be fair, there remains a lot unknown, and much of the research has been conducted on teenagers. However, there is enough research pointing to overall physical activity, that we do know how a more active day, all through the day, can make a big difference.
The fact is that we should be moving more. We should probably lift computer screens up high enough that we can work in front of them during the day. There should perhaps even be a treadmill option available beneath our desks. That is an office design and equipment issue.
We should take the stairs between floors and park at the far end of parking lots. When we take elevators or park close to the door, we cheat ourselves of much-needed exercise. This is a laziness issue.
And we should skip to the loo.
— David Leonhardt (@amabaie) April 8, 2014
In fact, we should skip wherever we go in the office. We should stop work every half hour to do jumping jacks or push-ups. Could you imagine an office where people did that? Of course not – it’s not considered “proper”. But it should be. That is a mindset issue.
This is yet another reason I like working from home. When I wish, I can skip, run up stairs, drop down and do push-ups – with nobody giving me dirty looks as if keeping healthy was a bad thing.
Now, if you don’t mind, I really need to skip to the loo!