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Decreased Physical Activity At Job Translates To Increased Weight

05/31/11

  04:25:07 pm, by MedBen5   , 258 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Decreased Physical Activity At Job Translates To Increased Weight

An increasing lack of physical activity at the workplace may be a contributing factor to the nationwide rise in obesity, The New York Times reports. Researchers for the journal PLoS One found that the percentage of jobs requiring moderate physical activity has tumbled from 50% of the labor market in 1960 to just 20% now. The remaining 80% are sedentary or require only light activity.

People who have jobs that require more physical effort burn an average of 120 to 140 calories a day more than their less active counterparts – an amount that closely matches the nation’s steady weight gain over the past five decades, the researchers noted.

“We need to think about physical activity as a more robust concept than just recreational physical activity,” said Ross C. Brownson, an epidemiologist at Washington University in St. Louis. “In many ways we’ve engineered physical activity out of our lives, so we’ve got to find ways to put it back into our lives, like taking walks during breaks or having opportunities for activity that are more routine to our daily lives, not just going to the health club.”

In related news, WebMD reports that jobs requiring physical activity help some Americans achieve minimum physical activity guidelines. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey of 386,400 U.S. adults found that about 68.5% of men and 60.4% of women said they met minimum guidelines in their free time, but adding on-the-job exertions bumped the percentages to about 76% for men and nearly 66% for women. Participants met the guidelines if they reported at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity.

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