Canada is facing an obesity epidemic. Almost a quarter of Canadians over the age of 30 were classified as obese in 2009, and the numbers have been going up consistently for the last 30 years. And along with them, the rates of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and even some forms of cancer.
Much of the research conducted has largely shown the obvious—that increasingly poor nutrition and a lack of physical activity are leading this surge in weight gain.
People are eating more pre-prepared meals than ever before (both of the boxed variety found in supermarkets and at restaurants and fast food locations), and engaging in lifestyles that are increasingly sedentary, both due to changes in the job market that have more of us sitting at desks for eight to 12 hours a day and because of changes in how we spend our leisure time.
But a 2007 Statistics Canada study brought in a related factor and uncovered many things that were quite interesting. This research paper focused solely on how our sedentary lifestyles were affecting our waistlines, and pointed the finger right at technology—specifically at how much time we spend sitting in front of screens.
Many of their findings seem relatively expected at first glance.
15% of Canadian adults are frequent computer users in their leisure time (more than 11 hours each week).
Three in 10 Canadian adults are frequent television watchers (more than 15 hours each week).
One in Five Canadian adults watch TV 21 or more hours every week.
5% of Canadian adults are both frequent TV watchers and frequent leisure time computer users.
Computer use is replacing television use among the younger people surveyed, with almost half of the screen hours reported by 20- to 24-year-olds being on a computer.
Younger and more highly-educated people are using computers more and...