:: Running from the Thought Police ::

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:: Thursday, January 27, 2005 ::

No One Is Allowed To Yell At Me For Bouncing Around Anymore

Via Kevin Drum, the Washington Post reports on the not-so-astounding news that whether one engages in fidgiting and other minor physical activities can mean the difference between fitness and obesity.

Other researchers agreed, saying the new study, while small, provides powerful new evidence that a major cause of the obesity epidemic is the pattern of desk jobs, car pools, suburban sprawl and other environmental and lifestyle factors that discourage physical activity. And despite generations of parents' admonitions to the contrary, people should be encouraged to be fidgety.

"Figuring out ways to increase physical activity -- not necessarily getting people jogging every day but just building physical activity into a person's day -- are reasonable strategies that have the promise to combat this epidemic of obesity," said William Dietz of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

The number of Americans who are overweight has risen dramatically in recent years, with more than two-thirds now overweight or obese, raising the prospect of an epidemic of heart disease, diabetes and other weight-related ills. The reason for this is a subject of intense debate, with many experts blaming a combination of too much junk food and too little exercise.

Levine and others have done earlier studies suggesting a dearth of routine activity may be part of the problem, but the new study is the most exhaustive to date.

It turns out that fidgeting burns, on average, 350 extra calories a day. Depending on an individual's metabolism, this can add up to anywhere between ten and twenty pounds a year. So don't yell at me when I fidget - I'm losing weight.

:: The Squire 4:15 PM :: email this post :: ::


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