Obesity is on the increase. So says the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “During the past 20 years there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States” says the CDC.
The National Center for Education Statistics in their statistical report on computer and Internet use by students in 2003 (based on information from the census bureau) said that “About 91percent (53 million persons) of children age 3 and over and in nursery school through grade 12 use computers, and about 59 percent (35 million persons) use the Internet.
The US Census bureau population survey, October 2009 meanwhile indicates that 76.7 percent of all households has someone with access to the Internet from a location.
The advent of the computer and its involvement in virtually every aspect of modern day living has greatly reduced the amount of life’s activities that involves whole body muscular exercise. Further, many people spend their spare and leisure time in additional computer related activities such as texting, playing video games and on the Internet rather than in outdoor activities.
When time spent in television viewing is added, we get a picture of unutilized body parts going to waste due to lack of use, much like unused machine parts that become rusty due to lack of use. In fact Google is on target to turn the television into a mini computer by providing search capabilities on TV sets. Now there will be no reason to ever get up from the couch.
Then there is the issue of deadlines keeping many people on edge most of the day resulting in accumulative stress and depleting biochemical resources needed for stress control.
All these daily stress factors make the body produce excessive cortisol a hormonal biochemical produced by the body in response to stress and which has been shown to be one of the culprits responsible for obesity. There is an International journal of Obesity paper that links obesity to cortisol.
Our culture of eating more fast food and low levels of fruits and vegetables especially when watching television and on the computer is partly a response to the stress to the body from energy and nutritional depletions because of the artificial light these activities expose us to. This unhealthy eating habit coupled with a sedentary life style is obviously a recipe for excessive weight gain.
When one adds up all these factors it is easy to see the part that computers and other computer related tools, toys and gadgets play in helping us pile on additional weight.
This means people today have to make a conscious effort to spend more time in outdoor and indoor muscle exercising activities than our ancestors had to. And parenting has become much more difficult and demanding.
I hope I have made you begin to think more seriously about time management in terms of making that effort to move around more and eat more healthily. Obesity for the most part is preventable. We just have to be committed to making some lifestyle changes our human body needs us to make to enable it cooperate with us in fighting obesity.
CDC.gov obesity data page – http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/trends.html
NCES data in computer and internet use by students – http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2006/2006065.pdf
Download the U.S. Census bureau statistics on “Internet use in the United States” from http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/computer/2009.html
International Journal of Obesity research on the link between obesity and cotisol -http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v28/n9/full/0802715a.html