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Computer Use Involves the Use of a Few Muscles Leaving All Others Stationary

Obesity is on the increase. So says the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “During the past 20 years there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States,” says the CDC. This problem has increased with the forced work from a home culture that has descended upon today’s world due to the COVID 19 pandemic.

The National Center for Education Statistics in their statistical report on computer and Internet use by students in 2003 (based on information from the census bureau) said that “About 91percent (53 million persons) of children age 3 and over and in nursery school through grade 12 use computers, and about 59 percent (35 million persons) use the Internet.

The US Census Bureau population survey, October 2018 meanwhile indicates that 92% percent of all households have at least one form of computer and 85% had had a broadband internet subscription. The reliance on the internet for work school and study as a result of COVID 19 has increased this statistic to an all-time high.

The advent of the computer and its involvement in virtually every aspect of modern-day living has greatly reduced the number of life’s activities that involve whole-body muscular exercise. Further, many people spend their spare and leisure time in additional computer-related activities such as texting, playing video games, and on the Internet rather than in outdoor activities.

When time spent in television viewing is added, we get a picture of unutilized body parts going to waste due to lack of use, much like unused machine parts that become rusty due to lack of use. In fact, Google has now turned the television into a mini-computer by providing search capabilities on TV sets. Now there will be no reason to ever get up from the couch.

Then there is the issue of deadlines keeping many people on edge most of the day resulting in accumulative stress and depleting biochemical resources needed for stress control.

All these daily stress factors make the body produce excessive cortisol a hormonal biochemical produced by the body in response to stress and which has been shown to be one of the culprits responsible for obesity. There is an International Journal of Obesity paper that links obesity to cortisol.

Our culture of eating more fast food and low levels of fruits and vegetables especially when watching television and on the computer is partly a response to the stress to the body from energy and nutritional depletion because of the artificial light these activities expose us to. This unhealthy eating habit coupled with a sedentary lifestyle is obviously a recipe for excessive weight gain.

When one adds up all these factors it is easy to see the part that computers and other computer-related tools, toys, and gadgets play in helping us pile on additional weight.

This means people today have to make a conscious effort to spend more time in outdoor and indoor muscle exercising activities than our ancestors had to. And parenting has become much more difficult and demanding.

I hope I have made you begin to think more seriously about time management in terms of making that effort to move around more and eat more healthily. Obesity for the most part is preventable. We just have to be committed to making some lifestyle changes our human body needs us to make to enable it to cooperate with us in fighting obesity.

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References

CDC.gov/obesity data page – https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/

NCES data in computer and internet use by students – http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2006/2006065.pdf

US Census bureau article on Internet use in the US – https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2018/acs/ACS-39.pdf

International Journal of Obesity research on the link between obesity and cortisol –http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v28/n9/full/0802715a.html