Friday, July 27, 2012


It looks so simple when experts say that a minimum physical exercise that does not take more than 2-3 hours a week can keep away most diseases those are causing rampage in the modern world but what is shocking is that there are almost 1.5 billion people on this great planet leading a sedentary life without taking an effort to do what is recommended. Why should it be a "trauma" for people to go for a brisk walk for half an hour every day or even running for a few minutes on alternate days? There is a school of thought which feels that people in many urban townships do involuntary exercise at least during the working days in a week through their daily routine to reach the work place or mothers who must be walking all the day between the kitchen and the dining room. But is it enough? Probably with personal transport a feature of modern industrialized society, where is the need to walk or run? Or with ready to eat foods flooding the market and family income soaring, why should to day's typical house wife run around the kitchen and the dining room? Probably the exercise regime is targeted more at those who do not have to raise a finger for getting every thing done with least physical discomfort. If one third of the world is being condemned as over weight or obese, what about the other two thirds who do not have this problem? Unfortunately out of this more than half do not have access to affordable and balanced food and therefore can never become obese! Those who are able to keep obesity at bay are the real stars of this planet! Here is a commentary on this issue which may be trivial at first sight but a serious problem facing humanity.  

"Are you an adult? Check. Are you from a wealthy country? Check. Are you from planet Earth? Check. Unfortunately, you're most likely to be one of the nearly 5 million people that die each year from physical inactivity, according to a new study published in the medical journal The Lancet and reported on Yahoo News. One third of the world's population doesn't get enough exercise and the problem is even worse in wealthier nations. We're not talking a marathon here either--researchers consider ample physical activity as 30 minutes of moderate activity five times per week or vigorous physical activity three times per week. This means walking for 30 minutes five times per week or running for 20 minutes three times per week. Couch Potato Lifestyle Spreads to Our Children. As we age we do less and less, so starting off inactive increases the problem. "Roughly three of every 10 individuals aged 15 years or older -- about 1.5 billion people -- do not reach present physical activity recommendations," the study said in a report that described the problem as a "pandemic." This results in deadly often preventable diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer. Specifically, "[l]ack of exercise causes an estimated six percent of coronary heart disease cases, seven percent of type 2 diabetes (the most common form) and 10 percent of breast and colon cancers."

It is terrible to hear that millions of people are dying, not because of hunger but due to physical inactivity which after all can be easily addressed by all the countries through better education and environment. Is it not an irony that a country like the US with thousands of miles of well laid, citizen friendly side walks available for walking, not even a fraction of the population use these facilities regularly! Besides there are thousands of recreation parks in all states with facilities for playing different games and for children to indulge in variety of physical activities. All it requires is a renewed commitment on the part of the citizens to use them while controlling the diet which only can lessen the unbearable burden posed by wide spread obesity that is tending to become endemic if recent trends are any indication.


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