Thursday, September 11, 2008

Walk like a [Amish] man...

Wonder why you rarely see an obese Amish personCount the steps.

The Old Order Amish Bassett studied in southern Ontario don’t talk much about exercise, he says.

“The Amish don’t exercise like we do or talk about exercise,” Bassett noted. “They talk about work. It’s hard physical labor. It’s done for the purpose of putting food on the table or raising a barn. There’s a purpose to it beyond burning calories.”

But burn calories they surely do, as his study in the January edition of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise demonstrates.

The 98 Amish adults Bassett surveyed wore pedometers for a week. The men averaged 18,000 steps a day. The women took an average of 14,000 steps.

The men spent about 10 hours a week doing heavy work like plowing, shoeing horses, tossing hay bales, and digging. The women spent about 3.5 hours a week at heavy chores. Men spent 55 hours a week in moderate activity; women reported 45 hours a week of moderate chores like gardening and doing laundry.

The obesity rate among the participants was 4 percent, as determined by body mass index, or BMI. The current obesity rate among the adult American population is a whopping 31 percent. [More]

Simply making short trips by foot could make all the difference in our weight problems, it would appear.  Of course, that might require have our pickups surgically removed from our posteriors.

[via future pundit]

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