Saturday, July 28, 2012

Physical inactivity causes 1 in 10 deaths worldwide, study says

Activity is natural, inactivity is learned.

There are some who are equating the dangers of physical inactivity with the dangers of other unhealthy habits, like smoking, for instance. I don't know what the validity of such comparisons are, but there is no doubt that physical inactivity is costly wherever it has become a lifestyle world-wide.
The statistics listed below are staggering. It has been my experience that inactivty is a learned habit. Activity is the normal state of being for normal children. However we put them in schools and often force them to sit for hours at a time. With the advent of "No child left behind" in the United States, many children are forced to sit on their behinds all day long with no recess or play breaks. Eventually will pay a high price for this. In the short term this actually inhibits the desired academic learning, in the long term it will cost us greatly as described below.

(CNN) -- Physical inactivity causes 1 in 10 deaths worldwide, according to a series of studies released in British medical journal The Lancet, putting it on par with the dangers of smoking and obesity. The results also suggest that public health officials treat this situation as a pandemic.
Specifically, Harvard researchers say, inactivity caused an increase in deaths from coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancers and caused more than 5.3 million deaths in 2008 worldwide.
If physical inactivity rates were to go down by even 10% to 20% worldwide, they say, it could save between a half-million and 1.3 million lives each year. This could also raise global life expectancy by almost a year.
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"This summer, we will admire the breathtaking feats of athletes competing in the 2012 Olympic Games," wrote Dr. I-Min Lee, a Harvard researcher and the lead author of an article accompanying the series of studies. "Although only the smallest fraction of the population will attain these heights, the overwhelming majority of us are able to be physically active at very modest levels, which bring substantial health benefits."
This series of five studies was specifically timed to be released just days before the start of the 2012 Olympics in London next week, and each of the studies focused on one specific issue related to physical inactivity and its effect on global health.

Adults and children at increased risk

The first in the group of five studies suggested that one-third of adults, and close to 80% of adolescents worldwide, are at increased risk of disease as a result of physical inactivity.
According to the report, some 1.5 billion adults worldwide face a 20% to 30% increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.
Researchers also found that inactivity levels varied widely across the globe, with the lowest levels in Bangladesh (5%) and the highest levels in Malta (71%).
"In most countries, inactivity rises with age and is higher in women than in men [34% vs 28%]," wrote Dr. Pedro C. Hallal, a professor at the Universidade Federal de Pelotas in Brazil. "Inactivity is also increased in high-income countries."

Why are some people more active?

The second study looked at why certain people and groups of people exercise while others do not.
The study authors found that previous research focused on individual-level factors such as age, sex and socioeconomic status, and they were conducted primarily in high-income countries. But they suggest future research focus on middle and lower-income countries.
"Research has been heavily concentrated in a few developed countries, most of which have stable or falling rates of noncommunicable diseases, rather than in low-income countries where understanding of evidence-based strategies for increasing physical activity is poor," wrote Adrian Bauman, a researcher from the University of Sydney in Australia. "Targeting factors known to cause inactivity is key to improving and designing effective interventions to increase activity levels."
Bauman and his colleagues found that health status, being male, young or wealthy tend to make people more physically active, as does family and societal support for physical activity.

What works to promote physical activity

The third article in The Lancet series looked at what specific programs and types of programs work to promote physical activity.
"Because even moderate physical activity such as walking and cycling can have substantial health benefits, understanding strategies that can increase these behaviors in different regions and cultures has become a public health priority," wrote Gregory Heath, a researcher from the University of Tennessee and the lead author of this study.
Heath and his team found that the use of mass-media campaigns to promote exercise, as well as signs to remind people to be active -- taking the stairs, for example -- had some effect on getting people more active.
The team also found that free, public exercise events, creating an environment that was conducive to exercise (bike lanes and walking trails), and improving public transportation were more likely to improve physical activity.
"Overall, our findings showed the interventions to have consistent and significant effects on physical activity and behaviors," Heath wrote. "Even though in some instances the effect sizes of these interventions were rather modest, they were large enough to translate into real population-level benefits if rolled out on a larger scale."

Using mobile phones to get people active

The fourth study found that technology, and specifically cell phone technology, could be significant in helping people get fit.
"With the high prevalence of both physical inactivity and the rapid growth of the mobile phone sector in low-income and middle-income countries, there is a potential for population-level effects that could truly affect global health," wrote Dr. Michael Pratt, a researcher from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Researchers believe that with more than 4 billion text messaging users worldwide, this could be an effective way to deliver health-conscious messages, particularly in low-income countries.
According to this report, Pratt and his team estimated that using Internet-based technologies could be twice as effective in middle-income countries as in high-income countries, given that 71% of the world's population lives in these countries and many have access to cell phones.
"This is a big challenge, but marked progress in countries such as Colombia and Brazil suggests that it is also an achievable challenge," he wrote.

Obesity should be considered a pandemic

The final report suggests that physical inactivity should be recognized as a global pandemic and should be treated like any other infectious-disease pandemic would be.
"The role of physical inactivity continues to be undervalued despite robust evidence of its protective effects," wrote Harold Kohl, a researcher at the University of Texas School of Public Health and lead author of this study. "The response ... has been incomplete, unfocused and most certainly understaffed. ... The effect of this tardiness has been to put physical activity in reverse gear compared with population trends and advances in tobacco and alcohol control and diet."
Kohl called on countries -- low, middle and high-income -- to work across disciplines to fix this problem.
"Physical inactivity is an issue that crosses many sectors and will require collaboration, coordination and communication with multiple partners," he wrote, citing specifically city and community planners, transportation engineers, schools, parks and recreation officials and the media.
He says that almost 75% of World Health Organization member countries have some sort of plan to improve physical activity, but only 55% of the plans have been put into effect and only 42% of the plans in effect are well-funded.
"Substantial improvements in the infrastructure of planning and policy, leadership and advocacy, workforce training and surveillance must be realized," he said.

Dinisin Whaley at Utah Stongest Man imitating his Father, Oliver.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Utah Strongest Man

With Coach P. Russell Anderson, a  pretty good strongman himself.

Oliver Whaley wins Utah Strongest Man. Pretty good performance for a family man with a full time job, a wife and 2 sons, and taking a full load in a graduate MPA program.

First up was press medley. 190 lb. dumbell, 285 lb. axle, 300 lb. bar, 330 log. Should have had the log, but finished first anyway.

Next is Deadlift Medley. 600 lb. Axle, 635 Bar, 810 Frame, and a car. Only Oliver got through the car.
On the Farmer's Walk, tore some calluses pretty bad.......

But  smoked the Carry and load with the Hummer Push.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Lifting Fans...

A quick look back about a week before the biggest show on Earth begins again.....
Then some excitement from the present...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sit or Stand?


Legs are made to bend and straighten.

No suprise here.....

Sitting for long periods of time is not good for our bodies. Standing around also creates problems.
The answer? Keep moving as much as possible!
In today's world there are some who have jobs that require staying in one place for long periods. Some solutions include alternating between sitting and standing, getting up and walking around for a minute or two each hour or so if possible, flexing and contracting leg muscles, or one of my favorites is getting a large diameter stability ball and using it for a chair. Our bodies are made to move. Forcing them to sit or stand for long periods is unnatural. If you have a sedentary job, find ways to move on a regular basis during the day.


Sit Down or Stand Up?

Another study says sitting is dangerous, but standing is a pain.

In a paper released this week in the journal BMJ Open, scientists at the Pennington Biomedical Researcher Center in Louisiana reported that sitting less than three hours a day could add about two years to a person’s life. Peter Katzmarzyk and his colleagues also reviewed television viewing habits and found that watching less than two hours a day is associated with an increase in life expectancy of 1.38 years. This sounds like bad news for anyone with a cubicle job or a predilection for marathons of Mad Men. Katzmarzyk told the Wall Street Journal that office workers should “try to stand as much as [they] can” in situations such as phone calls and meetings. Can simply standing really counteract the negative health effects of our chair-bound lives?
To some extent, yes. Katzmarzyk’s paper builds on a growing body of evidence that a sedentary job visits a host of perils upon the body. One notable effect is a decrease in the production and circulation of lipoprotein lipase, a molecule that helps determine how fats are processed. Active muscle tissues are partly responsible for producing lipoprotein lipase as well as for the general burning of calories; a variety of muscle groups that are engaged when you’re standing become inactive once you sit down. Office workers can partly counteract this effect by standing up and moving around every 20 minutes or so, a practice that can help maintain a higher metabolism and regular production of lipoprotein lipase. Compartmentalizing exercise into a single period of the day is not enough to combat a lull during the rest of the day, though doctors note that both regular exercise and the occasional walk to the water cooler are necessary.
Some workers have taken these findings to mean that traditional chairs should be abandoned in favor of standing desks—but all that time on your feet carries its own potential health problems. Long periods of standing certainly wear on our ankles and knees. Studies have also shown that standing while pregnant is associated with smaller infant head size. Standing can increase the risk of varicose veins and carotid atherosclerosis (a narrowing of the arteries in the neck). Additionally, ergonomics experts argue that working while standing impedes fine motor skills and exposes keyboard users to a heightened risk of carpal tunnel syndrome due to improper posture and the propensity to lean on the desk (PDF).

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Still Pumping

While I had never considered competitive bodybuilding to be a real sport, I always thought Arnold was an inspirational character and his physique certainly inspired me as well as most teenagers of my generation. I always appreciated his attitude towards achieving success. His comments on this video clip ring true so far as training goes. Best results come when one knows what they want and are committed to doing whatever it takes. As expressed in an earlier post, I was very disappointed to hear about Arnold's failure as a husband. It is no mystery that success in one area does not ensure success in all areas. Priorities are an individual thing. Mine would be different in that I rank success as a father and husband to be the highest priority, certainly above vocation and athletics. Arnold can certainly give us some insight into what it takes to "win" in some areas, but be careful. Some "success" is not worth the loss of the things that are of most important. In the end lasting happiness comes from relationships with those whom we love. Medals, trophies, or even money cannot buy this happiness. It doesn't have to be an either... or...proposition. You can have it all if you are willing to to do whatever it takes while keeping your priorities in order.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Motor Skill Development

At first when I saw this, I thought it was funny, but as it progressed I saw that he did a pretty good job of explaining why it is harder to teach college level athletes to do the olympic lifts. He identifies the problem...if one doesn't learn the lifts at a young age, then it will require starting with light weights and retooling the nervous system and flexibility. Many times the egos of both the coaches and the athletes will not allow such a "step back in order to move forward". Of course the best scenerio is have a good coach and to learn the lifts at a young and pliable age. If that hasn't been your lot, then do yourself a favor and take a short step back to reprogram your body. In the long run you will be better than ever.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Age is a state of mind. Physiological age does not mean that we have to drop activities or limit ourselves. Having said that, I don't believe in artificially trying to hang on to youth with hair coloring, plastic surgery,or other unnatural means. The following video is a humorous but interesting look at how some famous and much photographed people have handled aging. No matter how hard we may try, our bodies will degenerate over time. The closet thing to a true fountain of youth is exercise and good nutrition, but even that will not hold back the changes that are inherent to this mortal existence. Don't let it get you down. Enjoy the journey and be the best you can whatever your age.