Jane Jones Professor Jim Smith English 105 26 November 2012 Sedentary Lifestyle Affects Identity The sedentary lifestyle has received much attention over the last three decades and there is even a word to describe the inactive person, a “couch potato”…
By this time, everybody should know the health effects of inactivity, almost as damaging to the mammal body as cigarette smoking and pets are just as susceptible. The earth is definitely getting heavier because obesity is an epidemic in the developed countries. New cases of adult onset Diabetes (also known as Type II Diabetes) are growing at an astronomical rate in the West, where 350 million people now have the disease and more than three million people succumb annually. Shockingly enough, more children are getting this version of Diabetes, which at one time was extremely rare in those under eighteen. In addition, coronary disease (heart attacks) and hypertension evolving into debilitating or fatal strokes are more common in the immobile person. Many works have blamed the sedentary lifestyle on the technology age and it is true that many more people hold an office-type job in 2012 then the populace did in the 1960’s. However, the average Western adult only works forty hours a week, less than 25% of the 168-hour week. The other seventy-two hours (after subtracting fifty-six hours for sleep) lead to sedentary trouble. The kid playing video games for hours on end, the family watching the latest DVD, adults and kids alike glued to the home computer shopping and catching up on Facebook, Twitter, etc. are all inactivity red flags that identity change is eminent. . To multiply the problem, a myriad of unhealthy food choices are available, potato chips, burritos, cookies among others, with more items invented all the time. Diet and exercise are the two solutions to inactivity. Healthy, home-cooked meals with less eating out, especially at fast food restaurants, can make a vast difference in a person’s weight and health, and feelings of identity. Instead of dad and son watching football all Sunday afternoon, they could go out in the backyard and have a game of catch. The whole family could go for a brisk walk in the park and rather than driving around the mall trying to grab a parking space near the entrance, it would be much better to park in the nether regions and walk to the door. Gardening, housework, walking the dog (it needs the workout also) and even sex are wonderful everyday devices in which one would get exercise. Is it raining? The inactive person could try walking up and down the stairs a few times. New York Times correspondent Michael Pollan has written several tongue-in-cheek books on the subject of food, most notably The Omnivore's Dilemma: a Natural History of Four Meals. Pollan stresses that he essentially agrees with the Government in their assessment that junk food and other processed foods are not good for the human body. He also acknowledges that so-called “organic” food is not that anymore, what started out as a good idea quickly turned no better than non-organic foodstuffs. In addition, modern transportation and storage methods, bringing regional foods such as Cajun nationwide, are not necessarily for the betterment of humankind. While recommending more plant matter, he stresses that humans should become a society of hunter-gatherers, as they were less than 150 years ago. Pollan in the chapter “The consumer a republic of fat” speaks explicitly on the sedentary lifestyle and oddly enough blames it partly on the glut of corn produced in North America. Americans don’t each that much corn so the excess resulted in the massive alcohol manufacturing in the 1800’s, which is still being used today (Pollan). Also high ...
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