An increase in sedentary, computer-based jobs has been blamed for the rising levels of obesity amongst Americans.
According to a study published in the health journal PLoS ONE, being sat in front of a computer screen for hours every day is causing Americans to burn considerably lower amount of calories each day – 120 to 140 less compared to 50 years ago.
There has been an alarming rise in obesity in recent years in America and with two thirds of US adults being overweight, Americans are being urged to adopt more active lifestyles.
According to Dr. Robert Graham, a primary care physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, “It’s all about calories in and calories out, and we’re putting more calories in than we’re taking out.”
The research was carried out by experts at the Pennington Biomedical research Centre in Baton Rouge, LA, who assert that the current obesity epidemic Americans are under is due to sedentary lifestyles and lack of exercise as much as it is to with over-eating and poor eating habits.
An increase in ‘deskbound’ lifestyles is, according to the research, associated with the rising number of ‘inactive’ jobs, particularly within the education, retail and business sectors.
Half a decade ago there was a much larger proportion of the US population employed in labour which involved some sort of physical activity, such as mining, farming, manufacturing and construction.
The authors of the research are advising that this increase in ‘inactive’ employment could be rectified if people did the amount of recommended exercise each week, which is 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes of more vigorous exercise.
Warning of the burdens of modern-day living, Robert Graham added:
“The demands of everyday life are competing with exercise. We just have to make time for it.”
Various strategies to counteract the effect ‘desk jobs’ have on our weight and health can be taken, including walking or cycling to work instead of driving or getting the bus, taking the stairs instead of the lift and going for a walk at lunch time instead of staying at your desk to eat your lunch.
What about you? Do you exercise for the recommended150 minutes a week? That’s 22 minutes a day, every day.
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