We did not intend to write another blog about being a couch potato, but the popular media is jumping on this subject in a big way, and we could not resist jumping in. Our Sunday paper had an article on the subject that Americans engage in precious little exercise. There is a quote attributed to Edward Archer a nutrition and obesity researcher at the University of Alabama. It is noteworthy.
"How you spend your day determines whether you store your food as fat or store your food in your muscle, healthfully."
We love this quote. It is the triple distilled essence of the obesity epidemic. The other prongs of course are what and how much we eat and why we eat the way that we do.
The essence of this study published in The Mayo Clinic Proceedings was that obese women averaged about 11 seconds a day of vigorous exercise, while men and women of normal weight did better but still logged only about 2.5 to 4 hours of moderate exercise a week.
In summary the data sketch a nearly supine population with days marked by long hours of sedentary behavior, particularly for those who are overweight or obese. "We have engineered physical activity out of our daily lives and that's causing the health disparity that we have in this country"
Our experience in running wellness programs has been that participants take to meditation like a duck takes to water. In general they are good about changing their eating habits, but so often we hear excuses about why they have been too busy to exercise.
It is an uphill battle to get people to change their attitude about being a couch potato, but for the good of their health change it they must.