Damn, You’re Out of Shape

SciShort_3_24_16A new study released by researchers at OSU and the University of Mississippi concluded that an eye-popping 2.7% of the US adult population shake all four pillars of what can be termed a “healthy lifestyle.” Sorry, instead of eye-popping, I probably should have put “insanely depressing.” But the high blood pressure is probably going to cause some eyes to pop…

The worst part is that the four categories aren’t exactly herculean feats. You don’t need to clean the Augean stables to qualify, but instead merely do these four things: eat a good diet, exercise moderately, have a body fat percentage under a recommended level, and not smoke. In fact, considering only 2.7% of the population fits the bill (which would come out to something like 10 million people), once you remove all the professional athletes, military servicemen, and hipster weirdos, you probably don’t even know anyone who fits the bill, let alone are one yourself. Yikes.

Completing those four categories of smart living will lead to lower risk of cardiovascular disease (still the nation’s number one killer) not to mention lower risk of diabetes and cancer.

Ellen Smit, a senior author on the study and associate professor at OSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences, put it rather succinctly in a press release.

“This is pretty low, to have so few people maintaining what we would consider a healthy lifestyle,” she said. “This is sort of mind-boggling. There’s clearly a lot of room for improvement.”

The study’s results were culled from 4,475 people wearing accelerometers (the thing in your iPhone that makes the games fun) to track their level of body movement. And the goal to cross the threshold into healthy wasn’t exactly arduous: 150 minutes per week of moderate activity.

One would think most of us get that just walking to the fridge to get another beer, but apparently even that is not enough.

The researchers say there is still much more work to be done to refine the data and figure out ways to increase healthy lifestyle adoption. Until then, I guess we’ll all just continue to plan our audition videos for The Biggest Loser. 

By Sidney Reilly