Short Daily Walks Not Enough to Fight Fat

Fifteen-minute strolls don't burn enough calories to counteract annual weight gain

WEDNESDAY, March 3, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- A daily 15-minute walk or other small increases in daily exercise may not be enough to prevent obesity, Swiss researchers say.

Their study, in the March issue of the American Journal of Public Health, found such short walks don't burn off enough daily calories to compensate for the yearly weight gain seen in the increasingly overweight populations of a number of countries.

Some experts suggest people can prevent obesity by cutting 100 calories our of their daily diets or by doing enough exercise each day to burn off that amount of calories.

But the Swiss researchers say burning off those 100 calories takes more exercise than people may think.

"If the specific goal is to approach expending 100 calories a day through walking, the duration should be closer to 60 minutes for slow walking and 30 minutes for moderate or brisk walking," study co-author Dr. Alfredo Morabia, from Geneva University Hospital, says in a prepared statement.

He and a colleague reached this conclusion after examining data on the normal physical activity of adult residents of Geneva.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about exercise.

SOURCE: Health Behavior News Service, news release, March 3, 2004
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