While debates still rage over the best way to achieve an appropriate weight and level of fitness, the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) promotes that more simple movement in one’s day-to-day life as one method.

They note that Americans have come to rely on labor-saving devices such as washing machines, dishwashers, car washes and even riding mowers all of which have reduced our activity over the last few decades. By their estimates, a person who automated many of their activities could put on as much as 30 pounds a year.

Time spent sitting also increases one’s chance of becoming obese. The average time spent watching television per year is 1,672 hours. The percentage of workers who commute by car has increased to 88 percent. On average, this time of relative inactivity may be helping us to become more overweight.

They even took the time to calculate the difference in calorie usage when one is in a completely comfortable environment and one that is mildly cold. Letting the body work a little to overcome a cool environment could burn more than 300 calories per day. For most people, a reduction of 3,500 calories results in a loss of one pound of fat.

Finally, the CCF points out that our labor force has become more and more sedentary, spending more time in a chair than ever before. Employees that move around the office more, take stairs for short trips instead of elevators and visit colleagues instead of consistently emailing them can improve their caloric use.

Overall, a little more activity in each area of life can contribute to more calories burned and may help in other ways, such as keeping joints more mobile. These efforts can show up as improved wellness for you and your family.

Source: Center for Consumer Freedom, “Obesity Diagnosis: Couch-potato-itis,” May 19, 2004, http://www.consumerfreedom.com/news_detail.cfm/headline/2515

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