Saturday, October 1

42% of Spaniards are trapped by a sedentary lifestyle

The obese are more at risk of being hospitalized if they suffer from covid. / PHILIPP GUELLAND

A survey reflects a greater presence of injuries to the back, hips, knees and ankles among people with excess weight

Antonio Paniagua

A survey sponsored by the Spanish Society for the Study of Obesity (SEEDO) reflects the relaxation, if not laziness, with which the Spanish face the practice of regular exercise. Almost half of those questioned (42.6%) acknowledge that they do not perform any type of physical exercise or spend less than 1 hour a week in activities such as brisk walking, running, jogging, cycling, gymnastics or any other sports activity.

In the light of research, sedentary lifestyle reaches worrying figures: 47.2% indicate that they spend between 1 and 5 hours a day sitting, lying down or inactive (not counting the hours of sleep). These are worrying data, given that experts consider that one of the best ways to combat excess weight is physical activity.

The study, for which a thousand people have been carried out, reveals that 53.8% of those interviewed admit to being overweight, specifically 36.6% overweight and 17.2% obese, a figure that nutritionists they consider “alarming”.

According to the vice president of SEEDO and head of the Endocrinology and Nutrition Service at the Arnau de Villanova University Hospital (Lleida), Albert Lecube, the data show an increase in recent months. «The implementation of teleworking, more hours sitting in front of the computer and near the kitchen, stress, the limitations to go to sports centers due to COVID restrictions and the fear of going outside in older people have contributed, without a doubt, due to the fact that currently more than half of our population must worry about the negative consequences for their health caused by being overweight”, says Lecube.

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The survey also reflects a greater presence of back injuries -low back pain-, hips, knees and ankles among people who are overweight or obese. Of these, 54.4% confirmed an injury of this type in the last year, injuries closely related to the deviation of the center of gravity caused by excess fat and the biomechanical imbalances they present.

Women are the ones who declare to a greater extent that they have tried to lose weight at some point in their lives (78.2%, compared to 67.2% of men). “There is a clear interest in trying to lose weight, since 80.6% of overweight people and 91.4% of obese people say they have tried to lose weight at some time,” highlights the secretary of SEEDO and deputy of the Service of Endocrinology and Nutrition of the Hospital Universitario Infanta Sofía (Madrid), Sharona Azriel.

The work highlights the social stigma of obesity that continues to accompany people living with this disease. Practically half of the people who believe they are overweight (43.9%) have felt self-conscious about it, this feeling being greater among women (54.5%). In addition, 14.1% of those surveyed have felt rejected because of their weight on some occasion.

On the occasion of the celebration on Friday of World Obesity Day, SEEDO members underline the relationship between suffering from covid and people with excess weight. Not surprisingly, the obese are twice as likely to be hospitalized if they carry the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2.

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