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Lifetime Fitness, Stunning Study Reveals Best Physical Occupations

Aug 17, 2007
Lifetime fitness is a goal that would benefit everyone. The American Council on Exercise recently released results of its exclusive study that examined on the job physical activity of 10 common occupations.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, were commissioned to measure the amount of workday physical activity one can expect from a variety of common occupations.

They recruited 98 volunteers from businesses in the La Crosse area. The volunteers represented 10 different occupations. They had secretaries, restaurant servers, construction workers, mail carriers, custodians, lawyers, police officers, nurses, teachers and factory workers.

One of the things they wanted to achieve was to raise the awareness level of how much individuals move about at their places of work. Hopefully the researchers could also provide them with feedback that may encourage them to adopt a regimen of lifetime fitness.

Each participant was assigned a basic pedometer and asked to wear it during work hours for three consecutive days. The subjects went about their work days as usual. At the end of the days, they completed a daily log. They recorded the number of steps taken, total distance covered, and a brief description of the duties they performed that day.

It was found that secretaries, teachers, lawyers and police officers walked significantly fewer steps and less distance than other occupations. At the low end, secretaries were observed to walk only an average of 4,327 steps. That translated to the equivalent of 1.7 total miles.

On the other end of the spectrum, custodians and mail carriers accumulated significantly more daily steps and mileage. Mail carriers topped the list at 18,904 daily steps or approximately 7.5 miles. Their distance covered nearly double Shape Up Americas minimum recommendation.

There was a huge difference in the number of steps taken by all occupations. Results indicate that workplace physical activity varies widely among most occupations. If you are not in a very active job you definitely need to get some kind of supplemental physical activity.

Minor lifestyle adjustments can help meet the 10,000 step goal. Lifetime fitness can mean doing something as simple as not taking the elevator but walking up the stairs. How about a vigorous walk at lunchtime? Whenever playing a round of golf walk the course rather than using a golf cart.

Small group personal training, usually less than five individuals, is an excellent idea. This is a great way to get personal instruction and close supervision at a more economical cost. This approach allows parents to show their children that being active can be fun.

Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi continue to provide a great alternative to higher impact activities. The key elements of mind and body activities include proper posture, breathing and body awareness. By incorporating elements of mental and spiritual fitness, individuals will take better care of their entire being, not just their bodies.
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