Study reveals obese women only get one hour of exercise a year

The State Column, Lisa Rennie | February 24, 2014

Obese men were found to have exercised vigorously for about 3.6 hours a year.

A new study reveals that obese women only get one hour of exercise per year.

It seems that with an increase in technology and advancements comes a decrease in activity among Americans, and these findings paint a scary picture of how sedentary our society has become.

Researchers involved with the study, which was published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, analyzed information from a government survey from 2005-2006, in which approximately 2,600 adults between the ages of 20 and 74 participated. Factors such as participants’ diet, sleeping habits and weight were analyzed. Exercise levels were measured by an accelerometer.

After studying such data, the researchers found that obese women exercised vigorously – involving activities that burn fat – for only one hour every year. Obese men were found to participate in such exercise for about 3.6 hours a year.

These activity levels are far behind what is recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which suggests 150 minutes of moderate-level activity per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity.

It’s no secret that Americans are becoming increasingly sedentary, but this study reveals just how serious the issue is, and how much room for improvement there is for the average American.

Even simple changes to one’s lifestyle can have dramatic effects on a person’s weight and overall health. Walking instead of driving, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and even standing instead of sitting can all have huge impacts on one’s health over a period of time.

Particularly for the obese, such small changes in activity levels can have incredible benefits to their health. What may be considered light activity for a person of normal weight might be considered vigorous for a person who is obese. Even a simple walk could be considered vigorous activity for a person who is well over the healthy body mass index (BMI) of 30.

Even 15 to 30 minutes of exercise per day can help to lower a person’s weight and improve overall health.


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