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The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the average person age 15 and older has 5 hours of leisure time every day but spends only 18 minutes of that time doing any physical exercise, sports or recreation! Those persons age 75 and older spend 12 minutes a day exercising.
At the same time, our body weight is increasing. In 2010, Tennessee was one of 12 states with an obesity rate higher than 30%. The State Health Department is reporting that in 2006, Tennesseans age 45- 64 years old had the highest rate of Type 2 diabetes in the whole United States. Putting all those numbers together, the State Health Department has come to the conclusion that our inactivity and increasing weight is what is leading to an increase in Type 2 diabetes. They are asking for innovative programs to be implemented to increase the activity of all of us and finding ways to make this our new lifestyle.
We have surrounded ourselves with wonderful labor-saving devices. Yep, I personally don’t ever want to go back to mowing my lawn with a push mower! Because of these conveniences we have more time to do what we want. The reports show that in an average week, we watch many long hours of TV while spending very little time exercising. Looking closely at the detail of these reports, we see that the overall average amount of time is so little because such a low percentage of us are actually involved with any form of exercise!
To fix such a complex problem is going to take a multi-faceted approach. One of the most obvious is to get moving again.
The Grundy County Health Council is at step ahead this time. Late last year they organized a subcommittee to address the inactivity in our county. They have started partnering with the University of the South to bring their students into our after-school programs to help the kids get more exercise. They have organized the Family Fun Runs, which have been held at three of the elementary schools in the recent weeks. A new initiative called ACTIV8GRUNDY will be launched at the countywide 5K Warrior Run this coming Saturday at North Elementary School. All sorts of free goodies will be given away and all the kids who participate will receive a free t-shirt. Come participate. Register at 8:00 a.m. and then the run begins at 9:00 a.m. Donations will be accepted in lieu of a registration fee. All donations will go towards building a walking track at North Elementary School.
Additional partnering is anticipated to help bring more opportunities to our communities to give us occasions and places to get involved in some form of the “8” activities that ACTIV8GRUNDY denotes. These will be detailed at the 5K Warrior Run and in next week’s article. We encourage you to get involved!