Moving May Save Your Life

By Alison Storey

Make no mistake, obesity is still on the rise.The World Health Organisation estimates that close to 700 million people around the world are now obese and that the massive increase in health costs, to individuals and communities, that is arguably unnecessary and avoidable is becoming unsustainable.

Mounting evidence is calling Alzheimer's Diabetes type 3, as the same lack of activity, unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits appear to 'switch on' the genes associated with memory loss.There are vast amounts of research currently being done on how the sedentary lifestyle is actually changing our bodies at a cellular level.

One of the primary contributors is the office environment in which so many people spend over 40% of their day - the modern office worker is in fact sitting themselves to death.It is the inactivity that is changing human biology – switching on genes that would, under active lifestyles, remain dormant and unaffected.

So what is the simplest thing you can do as an office worker to combat this?

The tried and true measure of 10,000 steps a day still applies as both an accurate tool, and potentially a habit builder, to ensure a healthy level of activity is undertaken each and every day. But it must be measured.Surveys that had respondents estimating their activity had 64% of them claiming they were active when measures revealed only 5% actually were.

A study with men who did 10,000 steps a day and as part of the study had that cut to 1500 a day for just two weeks. They lost body fat as they weren't eating excessive amounts of food, however the stored visceral fat (the stuff that's harder to get rid of/sits round your organs/under your abdominal muscle tissue) alarmingly went up by 7%, suggesting that it is the inactivity that promotes inflammatory belly fat and is less influenced by the diet, contrary to what most magazines will have you believe.And of course, their fitness plummeted... in just two weeks.

On the good news front, another study showed that women exceeding 7500 steps/day had a 50% less chance of depression than those taking less than 5000 steps per day. Men who exceeded 12,500 steps had a 50% less chance of developing depression than those at less than 5000 steps per day.

Of course, covering off 10,000 steps a day is assuming that a healthy body fat level is already present.If not, then undertaking more intense and regular activity is required to use up that stored energy and achieve a healthy level that can then be maintained with 10,000 steps.(And this is where I say get a registered personal trainer to help you get started so you do what's right for you).

The human body is made to move.It is made to run, jump, walk, lift things and bend over without pain.It is also made to eat food that comes from nature, not from a packet.

So the solution? – treat your body as it was made to be treated; exercise daily, move as much as possible, eat food that falls off a tree, sprouts out of the ground, roams the plains or swims in the sea.

Ask not what your genes can do for you, but what you can do for your genes –give yourself the best opportunity of being healthy and the lowest chance of inactivity related diseases.

Scared yet? Then run for your life!