Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Live Man Walking...
A new survey found that being a mail carrier was the most active occupation, with mail carriers putting in an average of 19,000 steps a day. Secretaries, lawyers, police officers and teachers, in contrast, all put in less than 5,500 steps a day. "Tens of millions of Americans are too sedentary and unfit for their good," asserts Steve Blair, who conducted a survey on fitness for the Surgeon General in 1996. "Because fewer and fewer jobs are inherently active, people are not getting sufficient physical activity on the job, or off." Office jobs have always been sedentary, of course, but modern technology maximizes the time we're all able to sit on our butts. Offices abound with labor saving devices that are the workaday equivalent of the couch potato's TV remote. Files that once had to be physically extracted from file cabinets in some distant corner are now stored electronically, and can be retrieved with a few keystrokes.
Public health officials have established a 10,000 step optimum - or about four miles - for daily exercise, and urge Americans to aim for that ideal. Just 30 minutes more exercise everyday can burn as much as 165 calories, and cut 17 pounds from the average American waistline over a period of a year. So if you're one of those white-shirted doughboys of the office world, get out there and start humpin'.
I've heard that, when a certain CEO got wind of these guidelines, he nodded his head in sage self-satisfaction and harrumphed, "I'll say this for downsizing - it sure gets folks out pounding the pavement." Our Republican congress - that fraternal order otherwise known to some as "The Friends of The Layoff" - have traditionally supported legislation that makes it easier to get workers back on the street, and have no plans to mandate any further exercise programs.
"It pays in many ways to walk on the job" from Newsday