Wednesday, February 15, 2012

This Might Just be the Dumbest "Fitness" Study I've Ever Read!

File this under "How could this possibly have been published", along with, "Really. Really?".

From the University of Tennessee comes a paper that quantifies the calories burned by adults who while watching an hour of television, were instructed to stand up and step in place during commercial breaks.

The results?

Apparently you can take around 2,000 steps during an hour of television if you just get up and step on the spot during commercials.

My favourite part though has to be the researchers' conclusion,
"Because adults are spending more time than ever in front of the TV screen and only a small percentage of American adults engage in adequate amounts (30 min·d-1) of physical activity using standard approaches, we believe that modifying TV-viewing behaviors by having adults step in place during commercial breaks could be useful in promoting physical activity."
While I think it's unbelievable that there are at least 3 healthy living researchers out there who think that public health departments and allied health professionals should recommend nonsense as a means to combat obesity or to promote physical activity (because it's complete nonsense to imagine anyone would ever stand up during commercials and step in place on a regular and ongoing basis), what's more unbelievable is that this nonsense also passed peer review.

But hey, maybe I'm the crazy one. Maybe this is a phenomenally great idea, and so in that spirit, here are ten other super awesome recommendations of my own:
  • When you go to start your car, instead of just getting in, walk around your car at least 20 times, or better yet - run.
  • When you go to the supermarket, carry, don't push, your cart.
  • While waiting for your meal to arrive in a restaurant do jumping jacks.
  • When reading stories to your children pick your kids up and read to them while walking up and down your stairs.
  • When surfing the net do one burpee every time you navigate to a new webpage.
  • If you do take the elevator, do pushups while it's moving.
  • When you shovel your driveway, first shovel it, then shovel it back onto your driveway, then shovel it off again.
  • Tape your fork and knife to at least 10lb dumbbells so that every bite's a workout
  • When you go through a drive thru, put your car in neutral and push.
  • While waiting in your doctor's office, do wall squats.
Who knows, maybe those folks from Tennessee will help to quantify the impact of these oh so helpful suggestions?

STEEVES, J., THOMPSON, D., & BASSETT, D. (2012). Energy Cost of Stepping in Place while Watching Television Commercials Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 44 (2), 330-335 DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31822d797e