Monday, November 7, 2016

Use Fitness Tracker, Lose Weight—Or Not

Using a wearable fitness tracker may not automatically put you on the path to losing weight. Those who used such a device actually lost less weight in research discussed by Gretchen Reynolds of the New York Times as noted in the article below.
As a user of a wearable fitness tracker, this author wonders: would this study have been more useful if the researchers had replicated real-world use? The devices were worn around the upper arm by one group of participants in the study. Many users wear the fitness tracker on the wrist. Easy viewing of steps taken and other data serves as a motivator. 

Un-Sitting May Not Be All that Simple

Sitting less to lose weight, improve one’s well being and/or lessen risk for a long list of health maladies may not be as simple as, well, sitting less. Walking when taking a break from sitting expends more calories and does more good than standing still.

Research noted by New York Times reporter Gretchen Reymolds showed that those who stood up while taking a break from sitting expended only 8 or 9 calories more in an hour than they did while they were seated for an hour. When they took a break and walked, however, they expended 130 more calories than while seated.

Why would these be? Inactivity researcher Dr. Marc Hamilton found answers to such questions when he studied what happens to inactive mice. Mice whose hind legs were inactive for a day showed  a change in levels of an enzyme in their bloodstreams. The levels of the enzyme were one-tenth of that for active mice. The enzyme, lipoprotein lipase, metabolizes fat and is an indicator of moving muscles. Humans share the enzyme with mice. 

The less one’s movement the lower the levels of the enzyme. Lower levels are linked to a myriad of lifestyle conditions: atherosclerosis, obesity, Alzheimer’s Disease, metabolic syndrome, and a low HDL (“good fat”) / high LDL (“bad fat”) condition associated with diabetes and insulin resistance. 

Next time you take a break from sitting, take full advantage of your time. Don’t just stand there. Walk.

How Many Calories We Burn When We Sit, Stand or Walk
By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS date published JUNE 22, 2016 5:02 AM date updated
June 22, 2016 5:02 am

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A walk around the office can reverse vascular dysfunction caused by hours at a computer -- ScienceDaily

A walk around the office can reverse vascular dysfunction caused by hours at a computer -- ScienceDaily: Across the country, many employees are seated at desks for the majority of an eight-hour workday. As technology creates an increase in sedentary lifestyles, the impact of sitting on vascular health is a rising concern. Now, researchers have found that when a person sits for six straight hours, vascular function is impaired -- but by walking for just 10 minutes after a prolonged period of sitting, vascular health can be restored.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sitting for long periods of time is the cause of 4% of deaths worldwide -- ScienceDaily

Sitting for long periods of time is the cause of 4% of deaths worldwide -- ScienceDaily:

The next time you wrap up your work day and realize you've been sitting in front of the computer for almost eight straight hours, maybe you won't feel so proud of yourself. A new study, conducted in 54 countries around the world, declares that 3.8% of all deaths are due to the fact that society spends more than three hours a day sitting down.

Un-Sit Your Life

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Walk and Talk: Walking Meetings Gain Popularity

Two to three people talking as they do laps of office hallways may get to be a more common sight. Such walking meetings in the workplace are shown to have “physical and mental benefits of being more mobile at work.”

Benefits include:
• Accruing steps to reach a goal on wearable technology such as FitBit.
  • Expending more calories (15 minutes of walking burns 56 calories while sitting at a laptop expends 20 and standing 22)
  • Walking meeting participants are less likely to miss work for health reasons.
  • “… walking for as little as 15 minutes a day can add up to 3 years to life expectancy.”
  • Spurring more ideas: “Creative output increases by an average of 60% when people are walking …”
  • People are more relaxed and generate more ideas.

Tips for walking meetings include:
  • Meet with 2 or 3 people
  • Set a time, 30 minutes or less
  • Go at comfortable speed
  • Inform the boss
  • Walk in a park, outdoors or around the office.

Are there other times you could walk during the workday? “Meetings, phone calls and email have come to consume more than 90% of the working time of managers and some other workers, such as consultants. Many of these meetings and calls could be conducted while walking, experts say.”

New businesses are springing up to combat sedentary behavior in the workplace such as StepJockey of London which promotes use of stairs for businesses in large office buildings.

Bachman, Rachel, “The Genius of a Walk-and-Talk,” Wall Street Journal, September 13, 2016, p. D1

Un-Sit Your Life

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Office Walk-and-Talk Really Works - WSJ

The Office Walk-and-Talk Really Works - WSJ: The Office Walk-and-Talk Really Works

The health benefits are real for people who regularly take walking meetings at working