Technology can make our lives so much simpler. Instead of going to a brick-and-mortar store to pick up a book, we can shop online. Instead of walking to a coworker's office down the hall, we can just text them. But according to Dr. Mike Evans, that's just the problem.
In an animated video posted this week to YouTube, Dr. Evans, a staff physician at Toronto's St. Michael's Hospital and a regular contributor to CBC's Fresh Air,, offers a diagnosis for baby boomers and others addicted to their screens: "a severe generational case of sitting disease." This "disease" has some serious implications: he points out that a recent study comparing the health of baby boomers to the "Mad Men generation" found that the former had higher levels of chronic disease and obesity, as well as lower self-rated health — even though their life expectancy was longer.
Here's how bad it's gotten: the average Amish man takes about 18,000 steps a day, while the overall average for Canadian men is only 9,500. For women, the numbers are similar: 15,000 vs. 8,400, respectively.
Dr. Evans's prescription: start a new movement called Let's Make Our Day Harder. In the video, he challenges Canadians to tweak their weeks to add just a little more difficulty into each day. Suggestions include parking the car further away, taking the stairs and having West Wing-style walking meetings instead of booking a conference room.
One software developer has come up with an ingenious way of making his day a little harder. Taking a cue from the treadmill desk phenomenon, Brian Peiris throttled his Internet connection based on how fast he's moving. The faster the runs, the faster his internet connection runs. Watch as he slowly "walks in" an image starting at the 30-second mark:
Last year, Drop Dead Healthy author A. J. Jacobs took a turn in the red chair to talk about his quest for bodily perfection. In this clip, he tells George his number one game-changing health tip: "sitting is the new smoking." Not surprisingly, Jacobs is also part of the treadmill desk movement.