"Electronics Equal Obesity"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, March 8, 2013

Two topics are discussed almost daily; on TV, on the net, in the newspaper. We hear them in the doctor’s office, supermarket and coffee shops. Unless you are a hermit living in a cave with no TV, radio, newspaper or magazines — you view the subjects regularly. They pair up well together; electronics and obesity.

It’s my belief the bringing together of the two has caused many of the problems our population is experiencing.

Electronics have allowed us, maybe even caused us, to become lazy, inactive, glued to our seats thus we have as a population become obese. Let’s look at the office worker as an example. In the past, a worker would have to leave their desk many times daily. They went to get paper for writing or typing on, or visited the shared copy machine. They went to answer a phone (there may have been only one) or open a door to callers. They went to a supply cabinet for an envelope and visited a shared postage machine with their typed letter to post. Later, they walked to the mail box, generally outside. If the office was on the second or third floor of a small office building, trips up and down the stairs were made to visit other offices, perhaps numerous times daily. If you worked in an auto plant on an assembly line, you may have been required to lift heavy objects or operate large machines or hand tools to complete your job. The operator of a stamping press had to lift materials, pull the press handle, and release the press. After removing the shaped item, it would have to be stacked or laid in a specific location.

Today, assembly line workers sit in one place and push buttons to engage an electronic welder, lift or handler. Press operators push a button for a part to be placed on the press, push another button to activate the press then push a third button to release the pressed item. This action sends it to an automated conveyer for transport to another position. All this is done while sitting on a stool.

Automation has made homemakers work easier also. (Don’t get mad ladies; I know many of you have jobs outside the home). Think about it, if you had to do the housework the old-fashioned way, there would be no time for another job.

Laundry day is a good example. It began with slamming clothes on rocks followed by the use of a scrub board until the wringer washer came along. After the use of any of them, you had to hang up the laundry, wait for the fresh air to dry it, take it down, fold and put it away. Sounds like a big day’s workload with little time for sitting.

The electronic age has relieved much of the manual labor in doing the laundry but it still needs to be folded and put away or laid on the kid’s beds with the hope it will make it to drawers. Meals still have to be prepared and there are some good, old-fashioned cooks and bakers putting in lots of time on them. I know one who is smiling right now because she knows her name is on my mind. No — not Pat, although she too does a great job with cooking. Homemade meals, however, are fast becoming a thing of the past, giving way to grab-n-go take out or pre-packaged foods shoved in a microwave or oven.
The man of the house can handle meal chores that way while the spouse is still at work. Kids can set the table from the dishwasher which may not have been unloaded since the last meal.

Yep, modernization has contributed to our obesity in many ways and we sure won’t give any of them up — right?

I know I was sitting all the time I wrote this column.





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