Tag Archive for 'sedentarietà'

Sedentary lifestyle and urban traffic

Speaking of being sedentary lifestyle, I do not know how aware we are that it is the structure of our cities that leads us, like the current of a river, toward this very negative lifestyle. As long as cities remain spaces that almost exclusively facilitate the use of cars, walking and bicycling will remain on the margins of our lives and lack of movement will continue to be an endemic problem.

People on bicycles have “appeared in Paris,” and the most important thing about this incredible transformation of Paris is how quickly it happened once the streets were transformed. One cannot say that “Paris has always been like this,” because it has not. It took leadership.

A woman driving a convertible stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Steam and smoke waft around her vehicle. She stares longingly at people enjoying the fresh air and park to her left. Illustration.

The following are the thoughts of @BrentToderian (City planner + urban planner at @TODUrbanWORKS. Global advisor on cities. Past Vancouver chief planner).

To ensure cars didn’t take back control of Paris streets as the pandemic was “ending,” (like they have in so many cities), Mayor @Anne_Hidalgo made sure that 60k parking spaces and many streets were permanently transformed to seating for restaurants, people places and bike-lanes.

There’s no simplistic “silver bullet” for making lively streets & great #peopleplaces — but if there was, it would probably be street seating & moveable chairs. Don’t let anyone say there isn’t room — just rethink space for cars. As #Paris effortlessly illustrates. #placemaking

Walking around European cities — from bustling urban centers like Milan and Amsterdam to smaller cities such as Ghent and Bruges in Belgium, and Ravenna and Padua in Northern Italy — it’s clear that there are numerous improvements that can be borrowed for the United States and implemented relatively quickly and inexpensively:

  • Make streets multimodal
  • Implement congestion pricing and/or limited traffic zones
  • Eliminate street parking
  • Boost transit options
  • Reclaim plazas and other public space for people

 

 

The pandemic negative effects on physical activity on youth

Global Changes in Child and Adolescent Physical Activity During the COVID-19 Pandemic. A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Ross D. Neville, Kimberley D. Lakes,Will G. Hopkins, Giampiero Tarantino, Catherine E. Draper, Rosemary Beck, Sheri Madigan.
JAMA Pediatr. Published online July 11, 2022.

This meta-analysis provides timely estimates of changes in child and adolescent physical activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. By pooling estimates across 22 studies from a range of global settings that included 14 216 participants, we demonstrated that the duration of engagement in total daily physical activity decreased by 20%, irrespective of prepandemic baseline levels. Through moderation analysis, we showed that this reduction was larger for physical activity at higher intensities. Specifically, the average reduction in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day during COVID-19 (17 minutes) represents a reduction of almost one-third of the daily dose of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity recommended for young children (~3-5 years) and school-going children and adolescents (~5-18 years) to promote good physical health and psychosocial functioning.

We found that longer durations between pre- and post-assessment were associated with larger reductions in physical activity. It is possible that the cumulative toll of the pandemic has compounded over time to negatively affect children and adolescents,63 including their levels of physical activity. This aligns with a recent meta-analysis on youth mental health,18 which found that the prevalence of depressive and anxiety symptoms increased across time during the pandemic. The temporal aspect of our findings is also broadly in line with research on the psychology of habit,64,65 which suggests that habits are contingent on the types of stability cues that have been significantly disrupted during the pandemic. Most of the known multicomponent, family, social, and community support mechanisms of child and adolescent physical activity66 were unavailable during COVID-19. This undoubtedly created a “perfect storm” for habit discontinuity65 in the context of child and adolescent physical activity.67 Research has also shown that young children with consistent access and permission to use outdoor spaces during COVID-19 had better physical activity outcomes.50 These children exhibited smaller reductions in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and were approximately 2 times more likely to meet physical activity guidelines during COVID-19. Taken together, changes in restrictions and the unpredictability of access to typical physical activity outlets for children and adolescents have likely contributed to changes in their physical activity levels and to greater engagement in displacement activities (eg, screen time12) that risk promoting an increasingly sedentary “new normal.”68

We found that reductions in physical activity during the pandemic were larger for samples at higher latitudes, corresponding to regions of the globe where restrictions coincided with a seasonal transition into the summer months. This finding is consistent with prepandemic data showing that unstructured summer days during school holidays can have negative associations with both academic and physical health behaviors,69-71 often referred to as the “summer slide.”72 A recent estimate of such a summertime reduction of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity of 11.4 minutes69 is substantially lower (~ 50%) than the pooled estimate from our meta-analysis, however. This suggests a substantial intensification during the pandemic of the usual summer slide into physical inactivity,70 which warrants particular attention from policy makers seeking to help children “sit less and play more,”73 as targeted initiatives will be needed as children emerge into the summer months.

There is an urgent need for public health initiatives to revive young people’s interest in, and support their demand for, physical activity during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. In terms of practice implications, research on physical activity promotion and maintenance during childhood consistently shows that multicomponent, multimodal, and multioutcome interventions work best.7,66 Therefore, public health campaigns can have greater effect if they are child-centered, target a variety of physical activity modalities, and incorporate the family unit and wider community as co-constructors of lasting physical activity behavior change.

Let’s use summer to get out of motor laziness

When doing sports after the age of 60 we struggle with many preconceived ideas that at this point in life almost suddenly appear in our minds, because we are immersed in a culture that if on the one hand wants to promote wellness this is done mostly through marketing actions of companies that come the most disparate products from sportswear to personal care products. On the other hand, however, this kind of culture does not include the concept of fatigue, continuity of training, and prevention through free-body exercises. In essence, our society promotes an idea of wellness based on outward aspects (clothing, sports equipment, and personal care products) and at most suggests, of course, consulting a nutritionist (because overweight is an endemic problem) and walking as the main motor activity.

One of the lessons of the pandemic is the increase in sedentariness and the onset of the problems that are linked to it from weight gain to back pain and all those joint problems that are generated by sitting still for hours on end, to name but a few. When this negative manifestation asserts itself in most people it triggers the idea that I can no longer do sports because of these problems, without for that matter having understood that they are the effects instead.

I personally take care of 10 hours a week of sports activity, but it is clear that how I train today is different from how I did it when I was younger. There is a lot of prevention activity and free-body exercises, I have lengthened my recovery time and this allows me to run and bike. I do this because I enjoy it and I am happy while I am active. Also thinking about this activity and seeing others doing it makes me happy.

I have no advice for others because everyone should pursue what makes them happy. I understand that embarking on a notoriously active lifestyle requires at least initially an effort of will to overcome the habit of sitting still. However, one should be aware that the goal remains to feel good about oneself and certainly not to compete with others.

The Italian sedentariness is serious

These days in the newspapers we continue to talk about how widespread sedentariness is. Here are some slides to understand the problem of this lack of movement.

How computer job increases the sedentariness

Shirin Panahi and Angelo Tremblay, 2018, Sedentariness and Health: Is Sedentary Behavior More Than Just Physical Inactivity? Front. Public Health, 10 September 2018     

The World Health Organization recommends that adults aged 18 or older participate in at least 150 min of moderate-to-vigorous activity per week or the equivalent of 30 min of daily activity . Currently, just over 15% of Canadian adults are meeting these guidelines.

The problems of sedentariness may not only be attributed to a lack of movement, but also to the stimulation provided by replacing activities.

In addition to the changes in human activity, globalization and technological changes have favored a progressive switch from physically demanding tasks to knowledge-based work or mental activity soliciting an enhanced cognitive demand. Screen-based leisure activities (e.g., television watching, video games, and internet use) and screen-based work activities (e.g., computer use for work purposes) have often been considered together while they may not trigger the same stress response and/or use of substrate. Furthermore, from a physiological perspective, the biological requirements and effects of physical and cognitive work are not the same. Mental work, for instance, may significantly increase glycemic instability (i.e., wide fluctuations in blood glucose concentrations) leading to an increase in the desire to eat and thus, higher energy intakes.

Thus, the problems of sedentariness may not only be attributed to a lack of movement, but also to the stimulation provided by replacing activities. In a context where there is exposure to cognitive work, novel strategies to increase physical activity and improve energy balance regulation are needed.

 

As has been previously suggested, from a physiological perspective, the biological requirements of physical and mental work are different because knowledge-based work is a type of activity that relies on the brain which utilizes glucose for the metabolism of energy compared to physical activity which uses skeletal muscle and relies mostly on fat metabolism, depending on the type of physical activity.

However potential solutions that consider approaches to counteracting the negative impact of mental work may be possible with the readjustment of daily physical activity schedules.

In the context of a school or work environment, recent data has suggested that combining mental and physical work (e.g., active pauses/meetings), may be one strategy to reduce sedentary time in a context where potential neurogenic stress may be high.

An acute bout of interval exercise after mental work was shown to decrease food consumption compared with a non-exercise condition suggesting that it may be used as an approach to offset positive energy balance induced by mental tasks.

In the workplace, sit-stand desks were found to be effective in decreasing workplace sedentary behavior in office workers with abdominal obesity, with no change in sedentary behavior or physical activity outside of work hours; however, these changes did not alter markers of cardiometabolic risk in these individuals. Furthermore, the use of sit-stand desks in sedentary office workers was also associated an overall sense of well-being and energy, decreased fatigue, and reduction in appetite, food intake and lower self-perceived levels of hunger.

10 habits to be physically actives

Canadians’ sedentary lifestyle is severe

If even Canadians have stopped playing sports … it is an indication of the severity of the sedentary phenomenon.

Sedentarity is growing

Seeing people playing sports these days can give the illusion that the percentage of those choosing a physically active lifestyle has increased. Unfortunately, that’s a mistake

Research conducted by Sport England found that overall activity levels have dropped dramatically for both adults and children.

In the UK, where far more sport is played than in Italy, 40% are so sedentary that they are risking their long-term health. About 25% are almost completely inactive, meaning they exercise for less than 30 minutes a week. For children, the situation is even worse; nearly 80% are not active for at least one hour a day.

In non-Covid times, sedentariness results in one in every six deaths, about 100,000 per year and about 5 million globally. If a 20-year-old lives between an office chair and a couch, it could be several decades before associated ailments such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, or cancer occur.

The decline of sports for all goes on

Italy: 10 years ago I wrote this blog and I would say that the negative predictions I was making have come true.

This is not a topical issue because it is a constant fact of our daily lives. It is about sport for all. What has been called: sport for everyone. The 80′s and 90′s were those of the increase of active sportsmen and women and the great sports associations reached millions of adherents. It was an incredible success and a great social experience and search for well-being by Italians who had always been a population of sedentary people. Today, however, this drive has been lost, the maximum number of practitioners is in middle school and then decreases steadily: at 20 years old, 40% of girls and 60% of boys do sports, even irregularly; at 30 years old, 30% of women and 50% of men, which at 50 years old are reduced to 20% and 30%.

So what to do?

It is obviously not enough to organize thousands of running races in our cities every Sunday, because this does not increase physical activity. If we don’t want to find ourselves in a few years with a percentage of obese people and growing health problems, it is necessary that those who deal with sports for all get out of the traditional approaches that were so effective more than twenty years ago. We need new ideas, new kinds of collaboration among sports organizations to avoid ending up leading a life divided between home, transportation, school or work, transportation and home. We need to move out of the denunciation phase and into the choice phase.

Italians increasingly fat and sedentary

In Italy, the plague of sedentary life continues to haunt us, we have always been among the least active Europeans in terms of sports and, above all, in 17 years the percentage of practitioners has increased by only 5.7% while sedentary people have decreased by 2%.

There is no real hope that in the next 10 years this trend will be reversed in a positive way, in the absence of any kind of government policy.

The year that has just begun will certainly not be the year of sport, the one that will encourage people to undertake any kind of motor activity on an ongoing basis.

The only data that increases in Italy is the prevalence of overweight and obesity, so much so that if excess weight affects 1 in 4 children, the share almost doubles among adults, reaching 46.1% among people aged 18 years and over. The highest prevalence is found in both genders in the 65-74 age group (61.1%) and, while the majority of men are overweight from the age of 45, for women this occurs after 65.
In the last 30 years, moreover, an increase in the incidence of excess weight equal to 30 percent has been recorded and the role of the territory of origin emerges strongly.