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Sitting kills: Death in the electronic age

Do you want to die at an early age? I doubt that many people would be willing to say “Yes” to this question. But a report in the Canadian Medical Association Journal says this is going to happen unless North Americans learn about the dangers of the electronic age.

Fortunately there is a solution. But are people willing to accept the advice?

Dr. Kirsten Patrick, in an editorial in the CMA Journal, paints a dismal picture of what is happening to those who have become addicted to the pleasures of the electronic age.

Patrick says the ownership of modern conveniences such as television, computers and cars has dramatically decreased the amount of time that we move. After all, we can now even shop without getting out of a chair. The result is an increase in the number of people who are obese and have diabetes in low and middle-income countries. And the final result is an early death.

Patrick cites data on 17,000 adult respondents from the Canada Fitness Survey. Increased sitting time increased the risk of death, particularly from cardiovascular disease.

Another larger study of 222,497 Australians, aged 45 and older, should trigger increased motion. For instance, those who sat eight to 11 hours a day had a 15 per cent increase of overall mortality. And those who sat over 11 hours daily had a shocking 40 per cent increased risk.

The good news is that this association was not found in the high income countries such as Canada, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates.

I find it interesting that the U.S. was not mentioned in the study, certainly a high income nation and loaded with a ton of obesity.

So what is really new? Well, one can congratulate Dr Patrick and others for this large detailed study. But other studies verify that obesity and Type 2 diabetes are now a worldwide problem. And unless you’re blind all you have to do is open your eyes to see the gross obesity all around you.

Several years ago, I wrote about Dr. James Levine, professor of nutrition at the Mayo Clinic, and how he used “magic underwear” to prove why some people were thin and others prone to obesity. He gave an extra 1,000 calories to groups of thin people and obese people for six weeks to see what would happen.

They were also fitted with underwear that monitored their every move. It was impossible for them to scratch an ear without the magic underwear picking it up.

This showed that obese people moved two and a half hours less every day. This meant they burned 350 fewer calories every day which was stored as fat. So the secret is to keep moving, either shopping until you drop, tapping your toes or getting a little twitchy.

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 16, 2014

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Do you want to die at an early age? I doubt that many people would be willing to say “Yes” to this question. But a report in the Canadian Medical Association Journal says this is going to happen unless North Americans learn about the dangers of the electronic age.

Fortunately there is a solution. But are people willing to accept the advice?

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Do you want to die at an early age? I doubt that many people would be willing to say “Yes” to this question. But a report in the Canadian Medical Association Journal says this is going to happen unless North Americans learn about the dangers of the electronic age.

Fortunately there is a solution. But are people willing to accept the advice?

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