Tag Archive for 'sedentarietà'

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.

10 reason to be sedentary

In Italy there 25 millions of sedentary.

10 reasons not to practise sport

  1. It’s more fun to stay on Facebook or Instagram or play a video game
  2. I did it for a while, then it was too tiring
  3. I lose weight and dress size, and I had to pay to renew my wardrobe
  4. It’s just a fashion of these days, I’m fine as I am!
  5. I’m so tired of work, I just want to rest
  6. I’m too fat and ashamed
  7. I am no longer of age
  8. I used to meet people who only talked about exercise and sportswear…
  9. If you do this for a while it’s no useful and I’m not a constant person.
  10. My partner is not a sportsman so I prefer to be with him

Italy continues to be a sedentary country

The sport for all in Italy is now considered to be like the air for the prisoners, toreduce a bit the frustrations that plague us. So at school there are no more than two hours a week and the physical education teacher is the least considered in the class councils. Fortunately, there are parents who are willing to pay to ensure that their children are engaged in a club sport. Not to mention the adult to whom it has never been no policy to introduce them to an active approach to physical activity. It’s an old and repetitive speech that has returned to the fore at the conference organized by the Italian Olympic Committee and Istat on the theme “Sport in Italy – Numbers and Context 2014.”  It  was found that the sedentaries are more than 24 million, or nearly 42 % of Italians. Percentage who is an Everest to the South, 56.2%, while in the North down to 31.7% and Centre to 41%. To understand the dramatic nature of these data, I just remember that in Europe, the countries with higher practitioners, according to the Eurobarometer survey on sport and physical activity, are those of Northern Europe: Sweden, where 70% of people say to do gymnastics or sports at least once a week, they are just over Denmark (68%) and Finland (66%) followed by the Netherlands (58%) and Luxembourg (54%).

More than a quarter of European citizens don’t practice any king of physical exercise outside working hours. In Italy, this figure rises to 43%. The latest Eurostat statistics reveal this. According to this dataset, 28% of Europeans in 2017 did not do any kind of exercise in their free time.

Ranked bar chart of share of population who exercise outside work, 2017

Negative side of the list, there are Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cipro, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Italy and Hungary. Even if the sport as a physically active lifestyle, it’s not part of the Italian political agenda, however, we must move from mere complaint to concrete proposals. I refer to some among those made in the USA from 50 scientific associations:

  • Public education programs to ensure that all Americans understand the benefits of healthy lifestyles and how to take advantage of the range of options open to them;
  • Professional education so that health professionals consider physical activity a vital sign like blood pressure and cholesterol levels, to be monitored and tracked regularly;
  • Electronic Medical Records that include fields for physical activity. As health provider systems convert to EMRs, they can easily begin to track exercise as a vital sign;
  • Medical school curricula that give all physicians an adequate grounding in how to counsel patients on healthy lifestyles, and
  • Increased opportunities for underserved populations to enjoy exercise and physical activity, by addressing disparities in the built environment, access to equipment and other barriers.