What others say: No level of Obamacare can cure sedentary U.S.

  • Sunday, March 2, 2014 9:58am
  • Opinion

More than one in three people in the United States is obese, the category beyond overweight, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers. In New Mexico, at least one person in 10 — about 11 percent of the state’s population — has diabetes, strongly linked to being sedentary and overweight.

A new study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings suggests an answer as to why, and it has little to do with Washington, D.C., policy or medical insurance coverage.

Lead author Edward C. Archer, who studies nutrition and obesity at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, tracked the movements of 2,600 adults age 20 to 74 to see what they did all day.

It amounted to not a lot.

Obese women averaged about 11 seconds a day of vigorous exercise; men and women of normal weight less than two minutes a day. Archer says it’s a real commentary on how lifestyles have changed, with people today “living their lives from one chair to another.”

“We didn’t realize we were that sedentary,” he says. “There are some people who are vigorously active, but it’s offset by the huge number of individuals who are inactive. I think they’re living the typical life. They drive their children to school, they sit at a desk all day long, they may play some video games and they go to sleep.”

And while a cornerstone of Obamacare has been expanding access to preventive care, that alone won’t tip the scales, as it were, on the serious health effects — and costs — of 11 seconds of exercise a day.

— Albuquerque (N.M.) Journal,

Feb. 25

More in Opinion

Apayauq Reitan, the first transgender woman to participate in the Iditarod, tells the House Education Committee on March 30, 2023, why she opposes a bill restricting transgender rights. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire file photo)
Opinion: The imaginary transgender sports crisis

House Bill 183 is a right-wing solution to a problem that doesn’t exist now and never will.

Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, a Nikiski Republican, speaks in favor of overriding a veto of Senate Bill 140 during floor debate of a joint session of the Alaska State Legislature on Monday, March 18, 2024. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Sen. Jesse Bjorkman: Session ends with budget, dividend and bills passed

Capitol Corner: Legislators report back from Juneau

The Alaska State Capitol. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)
Listen to PAs; support Senate Bill 115: Modernizing PA Practice in Alaska

Health care is rapidly evolving, demanding a more flexible and responsive system

Mount Redoubt can be seen across Cook Inlet from North Kenai Beach on Thursday, July 2, 2022. (Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion file photo)
Opinion: Hilcorp Alaska: Powering Southcentral Alaska — past, present and future

Hilcorp Alaska has and will continue to fully develop our Cook Inlet basin leasehold

Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, a Nikiski Republican, speaks in favor of overriding a veto of Senate Bill 140 during floor debate of a joint session of the Alaska State Legislature on Monday, March 18, 2024 (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Sen. Jesse Bjorkman: Collegiality matters

Capitol Corner: Legislators report back from Juneau

Juneau Empire file photo
Larry Persily.
Opinion: Alaska might as well embrace the past

The governor, legislators, municipal officials and business leaders are worried that the Railbelt will run short of natural gas before the end of the decade

The Alaska State Capitol on March 1. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Opinion: Physicians oppose Alaska Senate Bill 115 — Independent Practice for PAs

Alaskans don’t want access to just any health care, they want access to high quality care

Norm McDonald is the deputy director of Fire Protection for the Alaska Division of Forestry & Fire Protection. (Photo courtesy Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service)
The Swan Lake Fire can be seen from above on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Alaska Wildland Fire Information)
Opinion: This wildfire prevention month, reflect on ways to protect each other and our communities from wildfire

Alaskans saw what happened in Canada last year, and they know it can happen here too

Jason Sodergren and retired veterinarian Ralph Broshes capture and attend to crane shot with an arrow, July 9, 2023, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo provided by Nina Faust)
What happened to the ‘Arrowshot Crane’?

In many animal rescues, the outcome is fairly quickly known, but the… Continue reading