There is little doubt that obesity in the United States has already reached epidemic proportions and each year obesity-related pathologies cost the US billions of dollars. Many scientists and doctors know the high rate of obesity is due to inactivity. If you’re concerned about becoming overweight, research suggests the best way to prevent this is to get a job that keeps you active.
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Losing Weight With An Active Job
Results from a recent study performed at the University of Tennessee discovered that occupations with high activity levels dramatically decrease the likelihood of becoming overweight.
This research assessed the interaction between leisure-time, physical activity, and occupational activity on the prevalence of obesity. Data from 4889 adults was gathered (the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey-NHANES III). Subjects’ body mass index (BMI) was assessed, and occupational activity and leisure-time physical activity were categorized. Age, gender, race, ethnicity, smoking status, urbanization classification, alcohol consumption and income were statistically controlled.
Results showed that a physically active occupation has a protective effect on the likelihood of becoming overweight despite gender, age, race-ethnicity, socioeconomic status, smoking status, urbanization classification and alcohol consumption. Having a highly active occupation reduced the likelihood of being obese by 42 percent!
Taking Up A Physically Active Occupation
The scientists suggested that people who did not engage in any cardio exercise or irregular exercise can virtually eliminate the likelihood of becoming overweight by taking up a physically active occupation.
Another interesting finding from this research was that the likelihood of becoming obese was similar between sedentary individuals and those who exercised less than five times per week. Over 70 percent of jobs in the US are sedentary occupations. Therefore, these findings only make daily exercise even more important to maintain health throughout life.
The Research is Clear, Fat Kids Do Become Fat Adults
Obesity is a multifactorial disorder with various underlying causes including genetic, behavioral, environmental and cultural influences. However, the results of several recent studies that have tracked people from childhood to adulthood suggest that early life factors are most important in determining obesity later in life.
This research identified the periods during childhood that are critical in determining the likelihood of obesity; the prenatal period, 5-7 years of age, and puberty. The more body fat humans carry at these stages in life, the higher the likelihood of becoming an obese adult.
Data gathered from 3659 men and women in a birth cohort study in Finland revealed that people with high birth weights are at an increased risk of becoming overweight in adult life. Likewise, a high body mass index in childhood was associated with increased risk of obesity later in life. Interestingly, these correlations appeared to be stronger among men than women.
These results demonstrate that becoming overweight starts early in life and they emphasize the importance of early preventive measures in the lifestyles of our children. Sedentary activities like TV, video games now rule most kid’s leisure time. Preventing a worldwide epidemic of future fat adults may simply be a matter of switching off the television right now and re-introducing physical activity to our children. Participating in all kinds of sports is the way to make physical activity fun.