Is Facebook Making Us Fat?
Obesity is a problem for 35 percent of Americans according to the Centers for Disease Control. Too much sitting combined with larger portions has created an epidemic of overweight Americans which is contributing to increased incidences of chronic diseases that include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and a variety of cancers. No new news there, right?
But, a recent study led by Keith Wilcox, Ph.D. at Columbia University, indicates that Facebook could also be a contributor to the obesity epidemic. Wilcox surveyed 500 people about their interest use. According to Men’s Health Magazine, “Of the 470 participants asked, those who used Facebook the most had reportedly higher body mass indexes than those who were not as frequently engaged.” Binge eating was also found to be associated with high user engagement.
Further investigation showed that 80% of Facebook users have a tendency to indulge in unhealthy snacks either during or after the time they spend perusing their ‘friends’ timelines or their own news feeds. People that spend time on CNN tend to choose healthier snacks.
I can only imagine what a similar study on Pinterest users would reveal!
Why Do We Spend So Much Time On Facebook?
It’s estimated that the average user spends eight hours a week on Facebook. The above-average user is likely to spend considerably more. The primary reason we’re on there? Boredom. Whether at work, or at home, scrolling through the latest status updates has become a habit. One that is costing employers an estimated 28 billion dollars in lost productivity.
Even if you’re not indulging in high-calorie snacks while you’re on Facebook, you’re spending extra hours in a sitting position each week. That alone can lead to weight gain and poor health. If you’re stuck on what to resolve to tackle this year, spending less time on social networking sites is a good choice.
If you’re the average user and spend eight hours a week on Facebook, cut that in half. Spend four hours on Facebook and the other four out of the chair moving around.
Let’s Get Started:
Here are 10 ways to spend the four hours a week you’re not on Facebook:
- Jump rope. Here’s a jump rope circuit workout you can do at home: Jump rope circuit workout
- Play Wii Dance Revolution
- Do a workout DVD.
- Walk at home with Leslie Sansone
- Do housework to upbeat music.
- Spend time in the kitchen preparing healthy meals
- Pack a brown bag lunch the night before.
- Get long and lean with a ballet inspired workout: Ballet Beautiful
- Sign up for Be Fit’s 90 Day Workout Program: Be Fit in 90
- Get strong with a body weight workout you can do at home: Body weight workouts are trending.
Over To You:
What do you do to combat the hours of sitting? Do you plan to limit the time you spend on social networking sites this year?