Consider these staggering stats!
-7 out of 10 adults are overweight, and of these, 3 out of 10 are obese with BMI over 30.
-Studies show on average we spend about 90% of leisure time sitting down.
-And if we sit at work to do our job, we could be clocking additional 6-8 hours sitting at our desk.
– Only 2 out of 10 people meet the minimum level of activity each week, roughly 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week.
– So 80% of us are not active enough to meet even this minimum guideline.
The impact of obesity and poor physical fitness go hand in hand. When we are immobile for long periods , our blood circulation slows down, we burn fewer calories and our bodies use less blood sugar. The result is increasing risk of chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, muscle and joint problems. As chronic diseases typically manifest later in life, the aging baby boomer population in developed countries adds another negative dimension. At the same time, obesity and poor fitness – primary chronic disease risk factors – continue to increase. And the clustering of these risk factors create the perfect storm for serious health issues that show no signs of slowing down.
Tackling the unhealthy lifestyle leading to obesity and inactivity is paramount if we are to lessen the financial and other pressures on employers, the economy, health systems, individual quality of life and the health of our communities. So unhealthy lifestyle, is everybody’s business! Both employers and governments (health systems) need to start paying more attention to this epidemic and empower employees and the public to adopt a healthier lifestyle and decrease their risk of chronic disease.