Over the past three decades, office workers have become increasingly lazy & more sedentary.
And according to the researchers at the Université de Montréal, this decreased activity may partly explain North America’s rise in obesity.
Their findings, published in Preventative Medicine, may lead to changes in how big business does…business.
According to lead author Carl-Étienne Juneau, “people eat better and exercise more today than they did in the 1970’s, yet obesity rates continue to rise.
My hypothesis is that our professional life is linked to this seemingly contradictory phenomenon.”
Dr. Juneau analyzed Statistics Canada data on the health of adult Canadians from the 1970s until present.
He concluded that the lack of physical activity during office hours could explain the fact that obesity has increased 10 percent between 1978 and 2004.
To combat that inactivity, Juneau suggests that workers should seek to integrate sport, work and transportation throughout their entire day. For example, it may be more effective to exercise in smaller doses throughout the day rather than concentrate the effort.
For example, walking at break time and taking the stairs could have great benefits.
Juneau also believes that the promotion and marketing of exercise can be tweaked. “Exercise can’t just be an individual thing anymore – we must focus on groups”.
For instance, there are now tax credits for Canadian parents who register their child in a recognized physical education course. A similar program could be developed in the workplace for employees.”