So how’s that workout schedule going? If you’re like me it’s more like hit or miss. This past year and a half I have been less than vigilant about my workout regime in part because of a couple of foot surgeries and in part because I’m a lazy ass. Saw this piece in the Trib. and thought I’d share it as much out of guilt as anything.
You’re probably sitting down as you read this, but maybe you should get up and stretch your legs first. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association says that from 2007 to 2016, the average amount of time Americans are sitting has risen by roughly an hour a day.
For teens, the average number of sitting hours per day rose from 7 to 8.2, according to JAMA. For adults, the jump was from 5.5 hours to 6.4. Sitting is only part of the problem. In Illinois, more than 1 of every 5 adults 20 and older report getting no leisure-time physical activity, according to the 2019 County Health Rankings and Roadmaps report.
Did we get you to stand up? For this next bit of news, you may want to sit down. There’s an abundance of research that links a sedentary lifestyle to a host of health problems, including an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and some kinds of cancer.
The reasons for the trend are what you’d suspect: America’s love affair with television watching, computers and video games. Americans start that love affair when they’re young. In 2016, 62 percent of children between 5 and 11 watched more than two hours of television each day, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing the JAMA data. For people 65 and older, that figure was 84 percent.
Now, stand up again, because the best antidote to the health risks associated with sedentary behavior is, well, you know what it is. Get out of that chair and do something. Go for a walk, run, ride a bicycle, get your epee and thrust and parry — whatever gets your blood
circulating and your muscles moving, it doesn’t really matter as long as you do something. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity.
Teenagers are as sedentary as 60- year-olds by age 19
You’ll feel the benefit, and so will the rest of America. Why? Because the more sedentary the population is, the more the country spends on health care. According to the medical journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, an estimated $117 billion dollars in health care expenditures per year is associated with inadequate physical activity. So, abandon your recliner and tend a garden. Take a Zumba class. Just get moving. Do your heart, and your wallet, a favor.