Washington, Oct 6 (ANI): Office-workers have become less active over the last three decades and this decreased activity may partly explain the rise in obesity, according to a new study from the University of Montreal.
"People eat better and exercise more today than they did in the 1970's, yet obesity rates continue to rise. My hypothesis is that our professional life is linked to this seemingly contradictory phenomenon," said lead author Carl-Etienne Juneau.
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 finding was the increased healthy attitudes toward transportation.
"As a result of urban sprawl we expected to see more car-dependant people. Yet, both men and women increasingly adopted healthy behaviours such as walking and biking, which is definitely good news," said Juneau.
Juneau suggested that to combat the inactivity and rise in obesity it would be best to integrate sport, work and transportation.
Juneau also said that the promotion and marketing of exercise could be tweaked.
"Exercise can't just be an individual thing anymore. We must focus on groups. For instance, there are now tax credits for parents who register their child in a recognized physical education course. A similar program could be developed in the workplace for employees."
The findings were published in the Preventive Medicine. (ANI)