12 January 2010

Your Boss is Killing You

When we were young, my brother Chris shot our TV with a BB Gun. I think it was because he didn't like one of the characters on screen, and I can see how, if one had a gun on hand, annoying actors may bring upon a need to act.

Today, health researchers are firing their weapons at our beloved boob tube yet again, not for what it is spitting out, but blaming it for sending Americans to an early grave.
A study headed by Dr. David Dunstan, of the Physical Activity Lab at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Australia found:

"Irrespective of a person's exercise level, sitting for four or more hours watching television was linked to a significant increase in risk of death."

But before you throw your plasma out the window, hold on. Let's look at Dr Dunstan's research again. What the research actually says is that when we're in a sitting posture, we're not using our muscles. Muscle contractions are important for the regulatory processes of the body, such as the ability to break down glucose and use it as energy. That can cause insulin resistance, which can trigger a spike in blood sugar levels, possibly leading to type 2 diabetes.

So your research makes total sense in that inactivity is harmful but why the huge jump to Television Watching? Why is it when a person sits down for a few hours to relax and be entertained they are killing themselves? What about the 8 hours spent SITTING at a desk all day pushing papers?

How is it that the majority of the day, when we are in the office slaving for someone else, for the betterment of industry, ensuring the survival of Capitalism, that time is not harmful to our health at all- but dare watch an episode of the Simpsons, and well that's detrimental to our life. Do it and die!

Scientists, stop attempting to grab headlines to justify your research grants. Just present the facts. It's inactivity and the posture of sitting that is harmful, NOT our TV sets.
So it's not as dramatic to say it like that but scaring people away from American Idol isn't going to do any good. You know if I saw Dr Dunstan on TV spouting this ignorance, I might just go for the BB Gun myself.

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