Obese do less than one minute of exercise per day

As a nation, Americans spend more than 15 hours per day sleeping and sitting, according to new research from the University of South Carolina.

And using a new method for calculating physical activity and sedentary behavior, the research team also reports that obese men and women spend less than one minute per day doing vigorous physical activity.

New protocol yields more accurate results than ever before

The study, which was led by exercise scientist and epidemiologist Edward Archer from Arnold School, incorporated accelerometer technology to track movement patterns and calculate energy expenditure. This Physical Activity Ratio protocol provides the first nationally representative estimates of energy expenditure in the U.S. population, Archer noted.

“In the past, physicians and researchers used questionnaires to obtain estimates of lifestyle factors such as physical activity, exercise, sedentary behavior, and diet,” he said. “Unfortunately, this method rarely provided accurate or reliable data, and without valid estimates, public health policy and food-based guidelines are ineffective and/or counterproductive.”

Data for the study were obtained through the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2006 and included adults between the ages of 20 and 74.

On average, obese men and women were significantly less active and spent almost no time doing intense physical activity.

Study offers hard evidence

While conventional wisdom over the decades suggests that overweight people are less active, findings of the study offer more hard evidence that most people are seriously lagging when it comes to exercise and energy expenditure.

"With results from this study taken into account, and the overwhelmingly sedentary nature of the current U.S. population, the message to ‘move more, sit less’ is sound, empirically supported advice that is easily understood by health care professionals and the public," Archer said.

Results of the study are published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Source: Science Daily

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