Activity: From the 70's to now
Juneau and his colleagues used several Statistics Canada databases on the health of Canadians that included 17,000 to 132,000 respondents. He concluded that the lack of physical activity during office hours could explain the fact that obesity has increased 10 percent between 1978 and 2004.
A surprise findings was the increased healthy attitudes toward transportation. "As a result of urban sprawl we expected to see more car-dependant people," says Juneau. "Yet, both men and women increasingly adopted healthy behaviours such as walking and biking, which is definitely good news."
Quick bursts of activity may be the solution
Juneau suggests that to combat the inactivity and rise in obesity it would be best to integrate sport, work and transportation. For example, it may be more effective to exercise in smaller doses throughout the day rather than concentrate the effort. Therefore, walking at break time and taking the stairs could have great benefits.
Sounds like intervals....or Art DeVany style power law training.
Here is the abstract:
Trends in leisure-, transport-, and work-related physical activity in Canada 1994–2005
In Canada, data show adults had a lower energy intake in 2004 than in 1972. Data also show adults expended more energy through leisure-time physical activity in 2000 than in 1981. On the other hand, the prevalence of overweight and obesity (combined) rose from 49.2% to 59.1% between 1978 and 2004.
This study aimed to chart trends in leisure-, transport-, and work-related physical activity in Canada between 1994 and 2005.
We used nationally representative data from the three National Population Health Surveys (1994, 1996, and 1998) and the three Canadian Community Health Surveys (2000, 2003, and 2005) (a repeated cross-sectional design). Sample sizes ranged from n = 17 626 (in 1994) to n = 132 221 (in 2005).
Between 1994 and 2005, men became less inactive during leisure time (− 9.94% [9.89%–9.98%]), less inactive during transports (− 15.31% [15.26%–15.35%]), and more inactive at work (+ 5.18% [5.14%–5.22%]). Similar results were found for women.
Declining levels of physical activity at work may help explain the rising prevalence of overweight and obesity in Canada.