Posted by Teri on August 12th, 2012 2 Comments
What do you think of when someone says 31 minutes? Is it the amount of time you spend exercising every day? Is it the time that it takes to pack up and get to the gym? Is it the number of minutes before a favourite TV program starts?
How about if someone said that it’s the time that the average American family spends preparing, eating, and cleaning up after meals per day? What would you think? This is what I picked up from Roger Doiron who was speaking at a TED Talk last September on a topic called ‘My subversive (garden) plot.’ He was making a case for spending more time with food to include growing it yourself.
The time that we spend with food is low. I knew it had gone down over the years between microwave cooking, processed foods, and modern conveniences but I didn’t realise it was this low.
This is time spent on exercise. The average employed person in the US spends 2.6 hours per day on sports and leisure. But only 19 minutes is on actual physical activity. The rest of the time is spent watching TV, using the Internet, or socializing.
People still focus on what you eat and the exercise that you get. It’s the standard measure of a healthy lifestyle. But if my figures are correct, this amounts to only 50 minutes a day (31 + 19). That’s hardly a measure of lifestyle when there’s 24 hours a day. There’s a lot more going on and much of it has a huge impact on your health.
Quality of sleep is important. Some specialists say it’s the number one predictor of longevity. Sitting time is important too. 80% of American work in jobs that require little or no physical activity. For many, this is time spent sitting and it’s killing us. Stress also affects health and in a big way. It is associated with several chronic conditions.
For the last 30 years there’s been a lot of focus on physical fitness and what you eat. Maybe it’s time to have a look at our whole lifestyle. We need to treat our bodies better on a daily basis and all the time — physically, mentally and emotionally. It is only by doing this that we can truly live a healthier life.