Obesity and TV viewing: correlation or just a coincidence?

Do you think there is a correlation between television viewing and obesity?

A study at the Harvard School of Public Health found that women who watch television at least three hours per day have a 40-percent increased risk of obesity compared to women who watch television less than two hours per week. Women who watch television at least five hours per day have a two-fold increase in the risk of obesity! In comparison, women who spend two hours per day standing or walking around at home have a 9-percent reduction with the risk of obesity. Every hour of walking per day was associated with a 24-percent reduction in the risk of obesity.

If you haven't increased your physical activity level yet, then consider reducing your sedentary behaviors. The same study found that reducing sedentary behaviors reduces the risk of obesity by 30 percent. Researchers assessed the sedentary behaviors and physical activity of more than 68,000 women during a six-year period.

Maybe you think you have to exercise at least 30 minutes to obtain any benefits from exercise. Exercising as little as 10 minutes is enough to benefit. While experts recommend 30 minutes a day, it doesn't have to be one long session. So if you think you don't have time to exercise, you may want to consider fitting in short bouts.

You might think that exercise can cause you more pain, especially if you have certain health problems. Actually, exercise can help with arthritis and back pain. Inactivity can make pain worse and decrease flexibility.

You may think that you have to work up a good sweat to benefit from exercise. However, moderate activity is easier to fit in daily, and has been proven to be beneficial. Exercise does not have to be a structured routine with fancy equipment. Moderate exercise includes brisk walking, dancing, golfing, swimming, mowing the lawn, gardening, lifting light objects, cycling and recreational sports. You may think that older people cannot benefit from exercise. That is another misconception; it doesn't matter how old a person is to benefit from exercise. An older person who is physically active can perform better and be more fit than a younger, sedentary individual. Some of these misconceptions about exercise may have been holding you back.

Thank you for reading Diet Center's tip of the week. If you need help with weight loss, please call me today at (928) 753-5066 or stop by 1848 Hope Ave., No. 1, in Kingman.