Sunday, 2 June 2013

23 1/2 Hours

When my daughters were younger they were very involved in organized sports.  For anyone who has children you know that this is both very time consuming and very expensive.  Why did I do it?  Truthfully, I supported them as long as they wanted to participate because I never wanted them to have to fight the weight battle like their mom.  The best consequence of that is that they are both very healthy and fit young women who happen to still enjoy physical activity.  The other by-product is that they are my best support system in trying to become more active myself.

My youngest has recently developed an issue that requires some physical therapy and has been told to limit her activity at the gym.  Not wanting to give up on her own fitness level she has taken to walking … everywhere and anytime she can.  So I need to thank her for sharing the following internet find with me.  I thought it was informative and interesting enough to share here.

Dr. Evans goes through the information pretty quickly in the video so let me recap some one the important points.

Walking has the biggest impact on and has the biggest return for the time investment on your health and fitness.

Walking makes the biggest difference to your health.

Walking is beneficial for so many different health problems.

Patients with knee arthritis who walked for one hour three times a week reduced their rates of pain and disability by 47%.

By walking, older patients reduced progression of Dementia and Alzheimer’s by around 50%.

Patients at high risk of diabetes, when coupled with other lifestyle interventions, found walking reduced progression to Frank Diabetes by 58%.

Post menopausal women who walked 4 hours a week had a 41% reduction in the risk of a hip fracture.

In patients suffering from depression, 30% were relieved with a short walking program and then it bumped up to 47% as walking time increased.

The best outcome is in overall quality of life, which encompasses all of the above.  It’s really about making your life better and walking has been shown again and again to improve quality of life.

The best thing you can do for your health is to spend half an hour being active.  It has been proven that obesity and no exercise is a very bad combination, being responsible for the most negative consequences of obesity from a health point of view.  If the obese person increased their activity - even if they did not have a weight loss – the activity made a significant difference.  Their overall health was much, much better and the exercise annihilated many of the negative consequences of obesity.

The rate of return seems to decline after 20 to 30 minutes of walking a day.  So from a health perspective thirty minutes is the most beneficial.

24 Hours - 1/2 hour = 23 1/2 Hours

We see big differences when somebody goes from not doing anything to doing something.  In the case of high blood pressure it was found that under 10 minute walking made no significant difference, an 11 minute to 20 minute walk resulted in a 12% reduction in rates of high blood pressure (hypertension) and at over 21 minutes walking, a 29% decrease of rates in high blood pressure.  So the authors calculate that with every 10 minute increase in your walking, there's a 12% reduction of likelihood of getting high blood pressure.

“Somebody has to do something;
it’s just incredibly pathetic that it
has to be us'
         Jerry Garcia, lead singer for the 'Grateful Dead'


                                “Walking is man's best medicine”
                                     Hippocrates, father of modern medicine

Who is Dr. Mike Evans and what are his qualifications for making the claims about walking?  The following is from his website.

My name is Mike Evans. I am a family physician at St. Michael’s Hospital and an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto. I also run something called the Health Design Lab at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute. My interest is engaging users and people with varied skills, particularly creatives, and mushing them together with researchers and clinicians to re-invent patient education. My recent YouTube release of “23 and 1/2 hours: what is the single most important thing for your health?” is a good example. With over a million views in the first month I think others also thought it was worthwhile. One theme that I see emerging is the need for clinicians to become part-time “curators” of the best health information for their patients, which is what My Favourite Medicine is all about…
When I started in medicine I was most interested in getting things right, what we in healthcare call “evidence-based medicine”. I chaired the provincial guidelines initiative, started a critical appraisal column in Canadian Family Physician, sat on the Canadian Expert Drug Advisory Committee, and chief-edited Canada’s top selling primary care textbook of medicine. Then I got into more of the research on how to improve practice and became the Scientific Officer for Knowledge Translation at the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and became a funded research scholar in Family Medicine. The general theme was there is no “magic bullet” and that multi-faceted interventions work best. I became increasingly interested in the patient-facing parts of these trials.

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