Blame it on the way my mind works but for me at least, that bear story properly punctuated unrelated earlier news reports about laziness, exercise and the hazards of sedentariness. First, there was a scientific global study produced by the medical journal, “Lancet,” ranking nations according to the laziness of their populations.
According to the study entitled Global physical activity levels: surveillance progress, pitfalls, and prospects, unsurprisingly for any card-carrying American couch potato, “Inactivity rises with age . . . and is increased in high-income countries.”
All this talk about inactivity also brought back recollections of something else I’d read concerning what’s called the lazy person’s 10 commandments. I read these tongue-in-cheek 10 Commandments in Spanish several years ago. Called “Los 10 Mandamientos del Haragán,” I’ve translated them below:
1- Born tired, live to rest.
2- Love your bed as much as yourself.
3- If you see someone at rest, help them.
4- Rest during the day so you can sleep peacefully at night.
5- Work is sacred, don’t touch it.
6- Whatever you can do tomorrow — don’t do it today.
7- Work as little as possible, whatever needs to be done — have someone else do it.
8- Calm down! No one ever died from rest.
9- When you feel the urge to work, sit down and wait for the feelings to pass.
10- If work is health, then let the sick work.
More than two years ago at “Perilously parked posteriors or the hazards of sitting,” I highlighted a medical report about the supposed hazards of sitting and noted the implications on lawyers and judges who sit for long periods of time.
But according to the study, “Hunter-Gatherer Energetics and Human Obesity,” which was published in the journal PLoS One, getting off the glutes to exercise isn’t all it’s cracked up to be either, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
In explaining his research about dieting vs. exercise for weight loss, Hunter College anthropologist Herman Pontzer told the BBC.co.uk. “The big reason that Westerners are getting fat is because we eat too much. It’s not because we exercise too little.”
The thirsty bears.
This, of course, leads me back to the hungry, thirsty bear story. To prepare for winter hibernation, bears must consume at least 20,000 calories a day in the summer and fall. At an average 150 calories per beer, even after drinking 100 beers, the four bears fell short at 15,000 calories. No wonder they were still hungry and probably, still thirsty, too.
But unlike humans who fight an epidemic of obesity and try futilely to lose weight — not gain more of it, bears don’t suffer those privations. They eat and drink whenever and whatever they can and they exercise more than lawyers, judges and everybody else.
Photo Credits: “Relaxing,” by Arvee5.0 via Flickr at Creative Commons-licensed content requiring attribution; “. . . in old school swimsuits,” by Save vs Death, at Flickr via Creative Commons-licensed content requiring attribution and share alike distribution.