Tag Archives: sedentary behavior

Finding the solution to obesity

In the 20 years since Barbara Corkey, PhD, was named Editor in Chief of the journal Obesity, obesity among adults has risen significantly. Data from the National Center for Health Statistics show that one third of U.S. adults 20 years of age and older have obesity. Obesity continues to be a common, serious and costly disease.

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In an editorial in Obesity, Corkey discusses the many different theories explaining why obesity continues to increase despite best efforts at controlling weight gain in this environment, including increased availability and marketing of high-calorie and high-glycemic-index foods and drinks, larger food portions, leisure time physical activities being replaced with sedentary activities such as watching television and use of electronic devices, inadequate sleep, and the use of medications that increase weight.

According to Corkey, all of these purported explanations assume an environmental cause that is detrimental to the organism involved, (humans). “However, if we use the principle of symbiosis and Darwin’s theory of evolution, perhaps we can understand obesity prevalence as an interim stage in the evolution of man reacting to his environment in order to gain long-term survival and ultimate longevity,” says corresponding author Corkey, professor emeritus of medicine and biochemistry at Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine.

Humans have developed a method to feed the billions of people on the planet, by developing processed foods with preservatives and other chemicals that can make food last longer and can be made cheaply to increase calorie density in small packages. Corkey points out that those who develop obesity store body fat in response to excess calories. “Therefore the cause of obesity has as much to do as the human reaction to overfeeding as it does the production of foods that are being overfed,” she states.

Corkey notes that key developments in the obesity/diabetes field include bariatric surgery as well as multiple agents (drugs) with different mechanisms of action to treat obesity and prevent weight regain. “Novel drug combinations are beginning to close the gap with bariatric surgery and appear to be very powerful new tools to treat obesity as a disease.”

Corkey believes recognition of obesity as a disease and earlier diagnosis of diabetes and other consequences of obesity will support early and more effective treatment and prevention. “Importantly, disease recognition will help to support insurance coverage of effective obesity treatments,” she adds.

Lastly, Corkey examines culinary medicine as an emerging evidence-based field that brings together nutrition and culinary knowledge and skills to assist patients in maintaining health and preventing and treating food-related disease by choosing high-quality, healthy food in conjunction with appropriate medical care. “Culinary medicine has the advantage of being an intervention that can be implemented at the earliest time point in the development of obesity with no negative side effects,” says Corkey.

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Dementia: What you do while you sit may affect your risk

  • A new study of sedentary behavior finds that doing mentally passive activities such as watching TV increases the likelihood of developing dementia while using a computer lowers them.
  • The difference between the two is unaffected by how physically active a person is when they are not sitting.
  • Other research suggests physiological reasons for the difference, and some studies find the same effect on depression and cardiovascular risk.

We often hear about the importance of being physically active for our health. Even so, many find themselves sitting for hours during their leisure time. Sedentary behavior (SB) has a way of adding up.

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A new study investigates the effect of SB on the likelihood of developing dementia and finds evidence that not all SB is the same when it comes to cognitive health.

The study finds that being mentally active and engaged while sitting may reduce the chances of developing dementia. Conversely, sitting passively increases this risk.

The study is published in PNAS.

Being mentally active vs. passive

“In the context of dementia, [the study] shows differential associations between two types of SB which might be categorized as mentally passive, TV viewing, and mentally active, computer use,” Dr. Mats Hallgren, of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, who was not involved in the study, told Medical News Today.

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Trade the chair for fresh air—link exists between sitting time and cardio health

Research is adding further weight to the argument that prolonged sitting may be hazardous to your health. An international study surveying more than 100,000 individuals in 21 countries found that people who sat for six to eight hours a day had a 12-13 per cent increased risk for early death and heart disease, while those who sat for more than eight hours daily increased that to a sobering 20 per cent.

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The study, co-led by Simon Fraser University health sciences professor Scott Lear and Wei Li of Beijing’s Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, is published today in the journal Jama Cardiology. Their research followed individuals over an average of 11 years and determined that high amounts of sitting time were associated with increased risk of early death and cardiovascular disease. While sitting was problematic in all countries, it was especially so in low-income and lower-middle-income countries.
 
“The overarching message here is to minimize how much you sit,” says Lear. “If you must sit, getting in more exercise during other times of the day will offset that risk.”

Not surprising, those who sat the most and were the least active had the highest risk—up to 50 per cent—while those who sat the most but were also the most active had a substantially lower risk of about 17 per cent.
 
“For those sitting more than four hours a day, replacing a half hour of sitting with exercise reduced the risk by two per cent,” Lear notes. “With only one in four Canadians meeting the activity guidelines there’s a real opportunity here for people to increase their activity and reduce their chances of early death and heart disease.”
 
The study found a particular association in lower income countries, leading researchers to speculate that it may be because sitting in higher income countries is typically associated with higher socio-economic status and better paying jobs.
 
Clinicians should focus on less sitting and more activity as it’s a low-cost intervention that can have enormous benefit, Lear notes.
 
But while clinicians need to get the message out about countering sitting with activity, individuals need to better assess their lifestyles and take their health seriously, Lear adds. “Our study found that a combination of sitting and inactivity accounted for 8.8 per cent of all deaths, which is close to the contribution of smoking (10.6 per cent in Lear and Li’s study). “It’s a global problem that has a remarkably simple fix. Scheduling time to get out of that chair is a great start.”

To read further on a sedentary lifestyle in general and sitting in particular, check out my Page – Do you know the dangers of too much sitting?

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Even half an hour of activity may help counteract dangers of sedentary lifestyle – Tufts

An analysis of data from multiple observational studies suggests 30 minutes of exercise a day may help you live longer, even if you’re otherwise sedentary, Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter said.

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In the study, published recently in the British Journal of Medicine, researchers looked at data from activity trackers worn by 44,000 men and women (average age around 66 years) in the U.S., Norway, and Sweden. Most participants were sedentary eight-and-a-half to 10.5 hours a day and engaged in moderate or vigorous activity eight to 35 minutes a day. More sedentary time combined with less active time was associated with higher risk of death. About 30 to 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a day seemed to be enough to attenuate the association between sedentary time and risk of premature death.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend adults get 150 to 300 minutes a week (an average of 30 minutes a day) of moderate-intensity activity (such as taking a brisk walk or raking the yard) or 75 to 150 minutes a week (an average of 15 minutes a day) of vigorous-intensity activity (like jogging or swimming). While moving more and sitting less—in this study and many others—is associated with the best health outcomes, fitting 30 minutes of movement into an otherwise sedentary day may help you live longer.

Eat less, move more, live longer and have a functioning brain thewhole time, as I have written here numerous times.

Tony

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Too much time on a computer, watching TV or other sedentary activities raises stroke risk – AHA

You don’t have to go far in this blog to hear about the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle. Eat less, move more, live longer has been the mantra for years. Now comes the American Heart Association to bolster our argument.

Adults younger than age 60 whose days are filled with sedentary leisure time (which includes using the computer, TV, or reading) and little physical activity have a higher stroke risk than people who are more physically active, according to new research published today in Stroke, a journal of the American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association.

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According to American Heart Association statistics, U.S. adults spend an average of 10.5 hours a day connected to media such as smartphones, computers or television watching, and adults ages 50 to 64 spend the most time of any age group connected to media. Data also indicate that stroke-related deaths decreased in 2010 among adults 65 years and older. However, death from stroke appears to be on the rise among younger adults, ages 35 to 64 years – increasing from 14.7 in every 100,000 adults in 2010 to 15.4 per 100,000 in 2016. Previous research suggests the more time adults spend sedentary, the greater their risk of cardiovascular disease including stroke, and nearly 9 in 10 strokes could be attributed to modifiable risk factors such as sedentary behaviors.

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Exercise guidelines for you – AHA

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January 12, 2021 · 12:02 am

Aim to exceed weekly recommended physical activity level to offset health harms of prolonged sitting

I have written about the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle numerous times as well as the benefits of regular exercise.

New additional research shows that increasing physical activity can counter early death risk linked to long periods of sedentary time.

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The health harms associated with prolonged sitting can be offset by exceeding weekly recommended physical activity levels, says the World Health Organization (WHO) in new global guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behavior, published in a special dedicated issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

But all physical activity counts and is good for long term health, say the new guidelines.

It’s the first time that a recommendation of this kind has been made. It reflects a large and growing body of evidence linking extensive sedentary time to serious ill health and a heightened risk of early death.

New data published in the same special issue, show that adults who clock up long hours of sedentary time every day can counter these risks by increasing the amount of physical activity they do.

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20 years ago today …

Some 20 years ago today I started my retirement. If you have a hard time believing that, don’t feel bad, so do I. For my 80th birthday, last January, my girlfriend gave me a T shirt that says “I thought growing old would take longer.” Truer words were never spoken, or written on a T shirt.

To celebrate this retirement milestone, I would like to pass on to you what I consider to be the most important information you can get regarding retirement.

Don’t fall into the trap…

Retirement refers to the time of life when one chooses to permanently leave the workforce behind.”

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What Is the Co$t of Obe$ity?

I have talked about overweight and obesity statistics here repeatedly. By now, is there anyone who doesn’t know that 60 percent of us at overweight and 30 percent of us outright obese.

You can read chapter and verse on How Does Obesity Affect You? personally.

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We have let ourselves go to the point that employers are now paying for it.

The Saturday edition of the Wall Street Journal talks about the costs in detail. “A 2011 Gallup survey estimated obese or overweight full-time U.S. workers miss an additional 450 million days of work each year, compared with healthy workers, resulting in more than $153 billion in lost productivity.”

Typically 20 percent of a company’s employees drive 80 percent of the health-care costs. and about 70 percent of the costs are related to chronic conditions resulting from lifestyle choices like overeating or sedentary behavior.

Companies, trying to get control of their rocketing healthcare costs, are fighting back. Last month CVS shocked some employees by asking for personal health metrics, like body fat, blood sugar, etc. or pay a $600 penalty. Michelin is adding as much as $1000 to health care costs of employees with high blood pressure or large waistlines.

After talking and writing about this for over three years, I wonder what it will take to get folks to do something about their personal health.

If you are reading this blog, perhaps that can be a first step. Check out How to Lose Weight – And Keep it Off.

Tony

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