Working 9 to 5, May Add to Thighs

MONTREAL, Oct. 13 (UPI) — Working 9 to 5 may be padding more than the wallet, with Canadian researchers saying a decades-long trend toward obesity may be partly due to sedentary work.

The study, published in the early online edition of Preventive Medicine, links the lack of physical activity during office hours to the 10 percent increase in obesity from 1978 to 2004.

“People eat better and exercise more today than they did in the 1970s, yet obesity rates continue to rise,” lead author Carl-Etienne Juneau of the Universite de Montreal says in a statement. “My hypothesis is that our professional life is linked to this seemingly contradictory phenomenon.”

Juneau advises integrating sports, work, transportation and exercising throughout the day. For instance, taking a walk during break time.

“Exercise can’t just be an individual thing anymore. We must focus on groups. For instance, there are now tax credits for parents who register their child in a recognized physical education course,” Juneau says. “A similar program could be developed in the workplace for employees.”

Juneau and colleagues analyzed several Statistics Canada databases on the health of Canadians that included 17,000 to 132,000 respondents.

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