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article imageOp-Ed: Being a couch potato kills 5 million people per year

By Paul Wallis     Jul 18, 2012 in Health
Sydney - Being a couch vegetable is no great achievement- Unless you’re trying to kill yourself with inactivity. If you’re practising to be a corpse, 5 million people around the world will provide all the encouragement you need, every year.
The global health situation isn’t exactly rosy, according to ABC Australia’s version of The Lancet’s study of physical activities and health:
Inactivity was described for the study as failing to do 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five times a week, 20 minutes of vigorous activity three times a week, or a combination of the two.
The researchers found that inactivity increases with age, is higher in women than in men, and more prevalent in high-income countries.
Add to this that 4 out of 5 children aged between 13-15 were found to be “not moving enough”, and it’s looking like a pretty flabby future.
Physical inactivity is known to have a relationship with some serious medical conditions, by reducing (some might say “perverting”) circulation and affecting the heart and reducing bone and muscular strength through endless sitting and lack of exercise. Imagine the effects of being stuck in the same position for a few decades, and you’ll get the picture. It really isn’t good for you, even if years of work on the remote have given you a super-thumb that can penetrate cement.
The modern lifestyle, such as it is, is contributing exactly that sort of effect to the bodies of billions of people. Add junk food, those extra tons of sugar and being put into suspended animation by reality TV, and you have yourself a good, all-round casual ongoing attempt at suicide.
According to The Lancet summary of the study:
Readers please note: The Lancet is a login site.
Physical inactivity is the fourth leading cause of death worldwide. We summarise present global efforts to counteract this problem and point the way forward to address the pandemic of physical inactivity. Although evidence for the benefits of physical activity for health has been available since the 1950s, promotion to improve the health of populations has lagged in relation to the available evidence and has only recently developed an identifiable infrastructure, including efforts in planning, policy, leadership and advocacy, workforce training and development, and monitoring and surveillance.
Translated: "We've known this for years and nobody's done anything about it". Now there's a surprise. “Fourth” means just behind all the big diseases that kill a lot more than 5 million people. There’s a big question here- Does being basically unhealthy contribute to getting those diseases? The obvious inference is that it does, and if you include the fact that a trash-filled metabolism is quite capable of creating a chemical cocktail of risks, which can do a lot of damage even to a healthy person, it’s looking like the couch potatoes are well on the way to joining the dinosaurs.
Risks of a dysfunctional metabolism are many, and grim:
Acidity- The wrong amount of acidity is basically like eating an acid bath. The body can’t handle it. The extreme condition, hyper-acidity, can be fatal all by itself.
Liver issues- Put too much strain on the liver, and you’re history. Alcohol is the best known risk to the liver, but fashionable drugs like crystal meth and cocaine are equally bad or worse.
Sugar- Essential as sugars are, too much sugar is like letting wild bull loose on your body chemistry.
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies- Bad dietary elements can actually block vitamin actions, and some electrolytes (useful for those who prefer to have a working nervous system and functional organs) can simply be washed away with soft drinks.
If you add the absolutely inedible modern processed food, (Humanity survived for millions of years without this crap) with its vast arrays of chemicals and completely unnecessary additives to the couch potato lifestyle, the result is either extreme ill-health or death.
To avoid being a couch potato:
1. Get vertical.
2. Walk.
3. Swim.
4. Run.
5. Breathe.
6. Eat real food.
7. Turn off the damn TV.
8. Stop poisoning yourself quite so enthusiastically.
You will feel better, and you’ll even find the mystical planet Earth you saw on TV.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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