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Modern-Day Conveniences May Promote Obesity

Posted Mar 21 2013 10:09pm

A  longitudinal study assessing 45-year trends in time-use, household management (food preparation, dish-washing, laundry, and general housework) and energy expenditure in women finds that a “decrement in [household management energy expenditures] may have contributed to the increasing prevalence of obesity in women during the last five decades.”  Edward Archer, from the University of South Carolina (South Carolina, USA), and colleagues assessed data on time allocation from the American Heritage Time Use Study (AHTUS), involving 55,000 women, ranging in age from 19–65 years.  The team assessed how women spent their time – paid work, household management (unpaid housework and family care), personal care, and free time (such as watching television or exercise).  To indicate incremental increases in body weight, Archer and colleagues relied on data from the National Health Examination Survey I and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys.  The researchers found that: non-employed women spent 33 hours a week on household maintenance in 1965, but only 16.5 hours in 2010;  the number of calories used in household management activities dropped by more than 2,500 per week for non-employed women -- from about 6,000 per week in 1965 to 3,486 in 2010, and from 3,106 in 1960 to 2,182 in 2010 among employed women; the average time women spent using screen-based media doubled between 1965 and 2010, from 8.3 hours to 16.5 in 2010; and leisure-time physical activity increased from 1.1 hours per week in 1965 to 2.7 hours in the 1980s, but fell to 2.3 hours in 2010.  Writing that: “From 1965 to 2010, there was a large and significant decrease in the time allocated to [household management],” the study authors observe that: “ The reallocation of time from active pursuits (i.e., housework) to sedentary pastimes (e.g., watching TV) has important health consequences.”

Archer E, Shook RP, Thomas DM, Church TS, Katzmarzyk PT, Hébert JR, McIver KL, Hand GA, Lavie CJ, Blair SN.  “45-Year Trends in Women's Use of Time and Household Management Energy Expenditure.”  PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e56620;  2013 Feb 20.

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Anti-Aging Forum MLDP Join A4M
Tip #138 - Unlock the Genetics of Longevity
Telomeres are the endcaps on chromosomes, and telomeric shortening is thought to govern the number of times a cell can divide. In white blood cells (leukocytes), telomere shortening is used as a marker of biological age. King’s College London (United Kingdom) researchers studied 2,401 twins, tracking their physical activity level, lifestyle habits, and examined the length of the telomeres in the subjects’ white blood cells (leukocytes).The team confirmed that telomere length decreased with age; men and women who were less physically active in their leisure time had shorter leukocyte telomeres than those who were more active. The mean difference in leukocyte telomere length between the most active subjects (who performed an average of 199 minutes of physical activity per week) versus the least active subjects (16 minutes of physical activity per week) was 200 nucleotides. This translated to mean that “the most active subjects had telomeres the same length as sedentary individuals up to 10 years younger, on average.”

Regular physical activity helps improve your overall health and fitness, and reduces your risk for many chronic diseases. Men and women ages 18 to 64 years need at least:

• 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) every week; and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

• 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., jogging or running) every week; and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

• An equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

Not only is it best to spread your activity out during the week, but you can break it up into smaller chunks of time during the day. As long as you're doing your activity at a moderate or vigorous effort for at least 10 minutes at a time. Consult an anti-aging physician to construct a regimen that is appropriate for your medical needs.
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