Posts Tagged ‘physical activity’

A Boom in Fitness Trackers, a Bust in Fitness

May 28, 2022 — Worldwide sales of fitness trackers increased from US$14 billion in 2017 to over $36 billion in 2020. The skyrocketing success of these gadgets suggests that more people than ever see some value in keeping tabs on the number of steps they take, flights of stairs they climb, time they spend sitting, and calories they burn. […]

Two Reasons for Failure to Prevent the Rise of Obesity

January 29, 2022 — For decades now, public health figures have been talking about an urgent need to prevent and reverse the rise of obesity. A number of U.S. presidents – notably George W. Bush and Barack Obama – have embraced this goal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a whole division devoted to this goal. […]

Rethinking a Study of the Biggest Loser

December 21, 2021 — If nothing else, we have learned in recent years that it is possible to rationalize anything. In the pandemic and in politics, we see people taking a set of facts and coming up with wildly different interpretations. Likewise in science, we have to think hard about how to make sense of new findings. With new […]

Does Grandparenting Explain Physical Activity Benefits?

December 1, 2021 — Let’s start with a disclosure of vested interests. It’s entirely possible that we hold strong biases about grandparenting and physical activity, since we engage in both with enthusiasm. Nonetheless, it is also objectively true that the active grandparent hypothesis is receiving considerable attention. A new article in PNAS by Daniel Lieberman and colleagues is prompting […]

Forget Weight? Focus on It? Or Meet in the Middle?

September 21, 2021 — To say that our culture obsesses about weight and body image is possibly an understatement. Athleisure togs serve to emphasize it. People dress to look like they’re going for a run, to the gym, or a yoga class. And yet, this obsession divides us. Two new publications today offer a sharp contrast on this subject. […]

Setting the Bar Too High at 10,000 Steps Daily?

September 13, 2021 — We’ve known all along that 10,000 steps per day is a goal for physical activity that came to us out of thin air. People latched on to it because it was a nice, round number. It was memorable. But the fact is that it’s arbitrary. In fact, evidence now tells us that one size does […]

Exercise: Energy In, Energy Out, Energy Sideways

August 30, 2021 — Exercise for weight loss is a durable concept. Some advocates even push for food labels to describe the exercise necessary to burn calories in a food serving. But the premise for this is false. A new study in Current Biology explains the problem better than ever before. It turns out that when a person does […]

Looking at Evidence for Yoga in the Midst of a Pandemic

August 19, 2021 — It’s hard to deny that yoga has put an imprint on popular culture – especially popular concepts about fitness and wellbeing. It had an outsized role in defining a now dominant fashion trend – athleisure. Prior to the pandemic, yoga was a roughly ten billion dollar industry. But of course, the pandemic put a dent […]

“Life Is a Game of Turning Energy into Kids”

June 11, 2021 — One of the simplistic models of obesity relies on the notion of a balance between calories a person consumes in foods and drinks and those burned in physical activity. Some people even go so far as suggesting food labels should tell us how much we’ll have to exercise to burn off the calories in that […]

Documenting a Dramatic Stillness in the Pandemic

June 2, 2021 — As life comes back to a new sort of normalcy in some parts of the world, we are slowly coming to terms with the full effects of the pandemic. The deaths have been front and center – 3.5 million to date. Though that number is still growing in many places, it is slowing in others. […]