Home » Circadian/Nature » Recent Articles:

The Science behind Activity


Sitting, it would seem, is an independent pathology. Being sedentary for nine hours a day at the office is bad for your health whether you go home and watch television afterward or hit the gym. It is bad whether you are morbidly obese or marathon-runner thin. “Excessive sitting,” Dr. Levine says, “is a lethal activity.”

The good news is that inactivity’s peril can be countered. Working late one night at 3 a.m., Dr. Levine coined a name for the concept of reaping major benefits through thousands of minor movements each day: NEAT, which stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. In the world of NEAT, even the littlest stuff matters. McCrady-Spitzer showed me a chart that tracked my calorie-burning rate with zigzagging lines, like those of a seismograph. “What’s that?” I asked, pointing to one of the spikes, which indicated that the rate had shot up. “That’s when you bent over to tie your shoes,” she said. “It took your body more energy than just sitting still.”

In a motion-tracking study, Dr. Levine found that obese subjects averaged only 1,500 daily movements and nearly 600 minutes sitting. In my trial with the magic underwear, I came out looking somewhat better — 2,234 individual movements and 367 minutes sitting. But I was still nowhere near the farm workers Dr. Levine has studied in Jamaica, who average 5,000 daily movements and only 300 minutes sitting.

Dr. Levine knows that we can’t all be farmers, so instead he is exploring ways for people to redesign their environments so that they encourage more movement. We visited a chairless first-grade classroom where the students spent part of each day crawling along mats labeled with vocabulary words and jumping between platforms while reciting math problems. We stopped by a human-resources staffing agency where many of the employees worked on the move at treadmill desks — a creation of Dr. Levine’s, later sold by a company called Steelcase.

Dr. Levine was in a philosophical mood as we left the temp agency. For all of the hard science against sitting, he admits that his campaign against what he calls “the chair-based lifestyle” is not limited to simply a quest for better physical health. His is a war against inertia itself, which he believes sickens more than just our body. “Go into cubeland in a tightly controlled corporate environment and you immediately sense that there is a malaise about being tied behind a computer screen seated all day,” he said. “The soul of the nation is sapped, and now it’s time for the soul of the nation to rise.”

Quite the best explanation of why we are so fat today

Please see the other videos in this series here

Tom Naughton is a genius communicator

Vitamin D – The struggle

There remains a battle going on about what is the best dose – though now little debate about how important having enough D is.

Here in full is the Statement of the Vitamin D Council

Caucasian skin produces approximately 10,000 IU vitamin D in response to 20–30 minutes summer sun exposure. This is over 16 times higher than the US government’s recommendation of 600 IU per day!

This high rate of natural production of vitamin D3 cholecalciferol(pronounced koh·luh·kal·sif·uh·rawl) in the skin is the single most important fact every person should know about vitamin D—a fact that has profound implications for the natural human condition.

Technically not a “vitamin,” vitamin D is in a class by itself. Its metabolic product, calcitriol, is actually a secosteroid hormone that is the key that unlocks binding sites on the human genome. The human genome contains more than 2,700 binding sites for calcitriol; those binding sites are near genes involved in virtually every known major disease of humans.

Current research has implicated vitamin D deficiency as a major factor in the pathology of at least 17 varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects, periodontal disease, and more.

Vitamin D’s influence on key biological functions vital to one’s health and well-being mandates that vitamin D no longer be ignored by the health care industry nor by individuals striving to achieve and maintain a greater state of health.

If well adults and adolescents regularly avoid sunlight exposure, researchindicates a necessity to supplement with at least 5,000 units (IU) of vitamin D daily. To obtain this amount from milk one would need to consume 50 glasses. With a multivitamin more than 10 tablets would be necessary. Neither is advisable.
… Continue Reading

The Big Picture – don’t Eat Industrial Food

 

From Hunter Gatherer

We have been shaped by Evolution to fit an environment – the more we shape our diet, our view of where we fit socially and our fit with nature and our nature – the healthier we will be – by Design!

A key point though is that theses environmental forces take a long time. We cannot adapt well to total novelty as we find in modern food.

Walking is the best exercise

Walking and Cardiovascular Health

A study reported in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports (2008; 18: 736-741)investigated the independent effect of walking on two markers of cardiovascular health. The researchers are M. Hamer and A. Steptoe, both from the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, UK.

It has been suggested that walking may have unique positive effects on inflammation and hemostasis, both markers of cardiovascular health. Inflammation is a central factor in atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries; see http://www.cbass.com/Inflammation.htm . Hemostasis refers to blood thickness (flow/sluggishness) and is also an important factor in atherosclerosis. With both markers, less is better.

The aim of the Hamer-Steptoe study was to examine the impact of walking on inflammation and hemostasis, separate and apart from vigorous physical activity.

The researchers recruited 185 healthy volunteers, 107 men and 78 women, age 45 to 59. The participants were asked how many minutes they walk each week and how often they engage in vigorous activities, such as running, that makes them feel out of breath.  The researchers also took blood samples and analyzed them for markers of inflammation and hemostasis.

Walking 30 minutes or more a day was found to be significantly associated with lower inflammation and hemostatic markers. Vigorous activity was associated with lower levels of hemostatic markers, but not lower inflammatory markers.

Walking appeared to lowered both markers, with the positive effect on inflammation being unique. Walking lowered inflammation, but vigorous exercise did not. Both walking and vigorous exercise improve blood flow.

Assuming that the association is causal, the researcher estimated that “meaningful reductions in levels of hemostatic and inflammatory markers could be achieved by walking 30 min/day.”

They concluded that “regular walking is associated with lower levels of hemostatic and inflammatory markers, independent of vigorous physical activity.” In other words, walking does the job with or without vigorous exercise. We know, of course, that intervals and other forms of vigorous exercise have many other benefits; see Short, Hard Intervals Improve Insulin Action.

(Vigorous exercise increases inflammation, at least temporarily. As explained in my book Challenge Yourself, inflammation is part of the normal healing process. Walking, it would seem, helps to moderate the inflammation caused by vigorous exercise. The two forms of exercise apparently complement one another. They might even be termed a dynamic duo.)

Bottom line: Those who engage in vigorous exercise–especially those who train only once a week–would be well advised to walk or engage in some other form of moderate physical activities on most intervening days. I’m going to keep walking or staying active in other ways between workouts. I’m also going to make it a point to get up and move around periodically when working at my desk or the computer.

No wonder having a dog helps us – not only emotionally but all the walking!

So much of the conventional wisdom is now looking wrong.

Activity is the key not exercise as we know it. All the food advice is wrong too. Fat does not make you fat – Grains do.

I was in Toronto last week and broke my diet. I had 2 Pizzas – I just could not resist. I also had a beef pie at a dinner – I don’t want to be the guest who fusses.

The result – I felt like I was going to die and I put back 6 pounds in 5 days!

Back on track now – lost 2 pounds in 2 days – it’s the grains folks. If you have not been off them – you don’t know the difference and canot feel the change.

But of course all the money is in selling you grains

Sitting a lot is very very bad for us

 

Scientists at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana analyzed the lifestyles of more than 17,000 men and women over about 13 years, and found that people who sit for most of the day are 54 percent more likely to die of heart attacks.

That’s right—I said 54 percent!

Masters immediately called the lead researcher at Pennington, a professor named Peter Katzmarzyk. Turns out, this wasn’t the first study to link sitting and heart disease. Similar research actually dates back to 1953, when British researchers found that (sitting) bus drivers were twice as likely to die of heart attacks as (standing) trolley operators.

Here’s the most surprising part: “We see it in people who smoke and people who don’t,” Katzmarzyk told Masters. “We see it in people who are regular exercisers and those who aren’t. Sitting is an independent risk factor.”

In other words, it doesn’t matter how much you exercise or how well you eat. If you sit most of the day, your risk of leaving this world clutching your chest—whether you’re a man or women—as much as doubles.

This raised a rather obvious question: Why? Truth is, the researchers aren’t sure. But Marc Hamilton, Ph.D., one of Katzmarkzyk’s colleagues, suspects it has to do with an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL), which breaks down fat in the bloodstream and turns it into energy. Hamilton found that standing rats have ten times more of the stuff coursing through their bodies than laying rats. It doesn’t matter how fit the rats are; when they leave their feet, their LPL levels plummet. Hamilton believes the same happens in humans.

Run all you want but if you sit for the rest of the day….. Here is what can happen to you

Please read the rest of this article – it may save your life!

I am off to set up my standing desk. “Australian researchers found that workers who log more than 6 hours of seat time a day are up to 68 percent more likely to be overweight. A standup desk may be the answer. Make sure the screen is at arm’s length, and the top at eye level. Position the keyboard so your elbows are bent 90 degrees.”

Yes more exercise is good but this is more important.

But we have always sat you say. Think about this for a minute. 500 years ago only Kings sat in a chair. Even today billions still squat or sit on a bench. stool or log. Comfy chairs are a 20th century item.

 

How much sleep do you need?

Americans sleep

Most Americans as you can see sleep less than 8 hours a night – many a lot less. How about you?

Are you OK if you do sleep less than 8 hours a night? The quick answer is no you are not. Here is the research:-

Every two hours during the day, the researchers tested the subjects’ ability to sustain attention with what’s known as the psychomotor vigilance task, or P.V.T., considered a gold standard of sleepiness measures. During the P.V.T., the men and women sat in front of computer screens for 10-minute periods, pressing the space bar as soon as they saw a flash of numbers at random intervals. Even a half-second response delay suggests a lapse into sleepiness, known as a microsleep.

The P.V.T. is tedious but simple if you’ve been sleeping well. It measures the sustained attention that is vital for pilots, truck drivers, astronauts. Attention is also key for focusing during long meetings; for reading a paragraph just once, instead of five times; for driving a car. It takes the equivalent of only a two-second lapse for a driver to veer into oncoming traffic.

Not surprisingly, those who had eight hours of sleep hardly had any attention lapses and no cognitive declines over the 14 days of the study. What was interesting was that those in the four- and six-hour groups had P.V.T. results that declined steadily with almost each passing day. Though the four-hour subjects performed far worse, the six-hour group also consistently fell off-task. By the sixth day, 25 percent of the six-hour group was falling asleep at the computer. And at the end of the study, they were lapsing fives times as much as they did the first day.

The six-hour subjects fared no better — steadily declining over the two weeks — on a test of working memory in which they had to remember numbers and symbols and substitute one for the other. The same was true for an addition-subtraction task that measures speed and accuracy. All told, by the end of two weeks, the six-hour sleepers were as impaired as those who, in another Dinges study, had been sleep-deprived for 24 hours straight — the cognitive equivalent of being legally drunk.

So what can you do? Well first of all – know that you have a problem. Secondly here are some tips for a better night’s sleep.

In May I will be launching my project on how we can all take back control of our health. Sleep is of course a major part of this. For sleep is more than rest. It heals us and also is an active part of our cognitive and learning process. How often have you had a problem that you could not solve and yet woke up one morning with it solved?

Sleep is part of the 3 part continuum of of ideal settings for a healthy life.

  1. Diet – eat what we are evolved to eat
  2. Social – live in social settings and have the kinds of relationships that we are evolved to do best in
  3. Natural Environment – live as we are designed to be – this includes align with our circadian nature (this is where the right kind of sleep is key) and also be Active (exercise is not enoughy – we have to design our lives to moce around a lot – why I have a standing desk now)

Sleep badly? Light is the key

We are wired to follow the natural circadian rhythms of day and night. Here is an excellent review of sleep and what you can know that will help you sleep better. Do you have trouble sleeping? Then this video shows you the effect of light. Adjust your end of day to what your Circadian Radar tells you. Change your light environment.

The Missing Human Manual – Our Purpose

I have learned something new that I did not know before. We can prevent the modern illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, strokes, type 2 diabetes and dementia. I used to think that these were Normal. That it was my and your destiny to get them as we aged. I now know that this assumption is incorrect.

Normal means “Inevitable” or “Destiny”. For these diseases to be that kind of Normal, they would have to be part of our evolved biology. If they are not that, then they can be prevented. For if they are not part of our evolutionary design, then they can only be a product of how we live. We can do something about how we live. Let me show you what I mean.

It was “Normal” to die of cholera in London in 1850 or of Yellow Fever in Panama in 1900. It was “Normal” for many women to die of infection after giving birth in hospital until 1900. Your family would not think it was Normal for you to catch Cholera in London today. If your wife died of infection after giving birth, you would sue! To die of an infection in not Normal now. But we do think it is Normal to suffer and die from heart disease, cancer, strokes and dementia.

So the question of our time is can we repeat the same kind of breakthrough in science that we did in the 1880’s?

This is what this site is all about.  I am inviting you to become part of the great revolution in health. Where you will be able to take control of your own health. Where you can chose to have a long and vital old age.

Please come with me and find out why I am this excited.

… Continue Reading

It’s our nature to be healthy as we age


This is me – a year ago. A “normal” overweight 59 year old male. 205 lbs and 5.11″ My BMI is 28.6 or just under Obese at 30.

I am 60 years old. Life expectancy for a man of my time and age on PEI is 75. On Average by 65 the average of men like me will be helpless.

Is this  my destiny? Is it yours?

… Continue Reading

Contact Form

Subscribe by Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Facebook

Comments

  • Rue Yonge: Dear Rob, I wish I saw this blog 8 years ago. I'm now 31 and...
  • Rue Yonge: Dear Rob, I wish I saw this blog 8 years ago. I'm now 31 and...
  • robpatrob: Many things that are bad for are are not illegal and are eve...
  • August: This article brings up some health concerns i would like to ...
  • Susan: I wish I had known this information years ago. I am a second...
  • robpatrob: The link in in the post http://apps.npr.org/unfit-for-work...
  • Thibault: Very interesting blog, especially the link between disabilit...
  • Emma Johnson: Needed this to lighten the mood at the end of the day. Give...
  • RJ Jamieson: The mammary tissue was consumed repleat with raw milk drippi...
  • Anonymous: Your claim about wild fruit isn't 100% true. Read this artic...
  • Art: Staffan has recently passed away. We shall all miss him. Jan...
  • Jackie: This sounds great. But I was hoping that this article might ...
  • Phantom The God: Don't forget Coke damages your teeth and make your bones bri...
  • moon: Wow so many veganazis here... there was a study on 2 men who...
  • Christian DiMaria: This article seems to be exclusively focusing on sugar and c...

What is the Missing Human Manual All About?

Do you want to age well? Most of us do. If you are my age, 60, this is more important a question that if you are 30. But most of us would not wish to have heart disease, cancer, dementia when we get old.

Most of us think it is normal that we will get ill like this.

But science today tells us that this is not "Normal". Our evolutionary past designed us to be active and fit until we drop dead. Why? Because raising human children takes so long. Mature adults had to do most of the hard work enable us to invest up to 25 years in our kids.

We are designed by our evolution to reach a plateau of fitness in mid life. So why do most of us not live like this?

We don't because, we have strayed away from the best way of living that fits our evolution best. Our culture has got too far ahead of our biology. We eat foods that make us ill. We have lost our social identity and power and that makes us ill. And we have lost touch with the circadian rhythms of the Natural World, and that has made us ill too.

We have lost our fit with our true nature.

This site will be a Manual. It will show you what the best fit is. It will show you the science behind this. It will share with you some methods for getting your fit back with your true human nature.

So welcome to the "Missing Human Manual" . I hope that we can help you and I hope that you can help others as a result.

Featured Posts

The single most succinct and most comprehensive article on diet that I have yet found

In summary: There is no one diet that characterises pre-agricultural humans, who ate from a fabulously broad menu, according to geographical location. However, there were commonalities. These include: ·High wild meat/fish intake with a preference for fatty prey · Rare consumption of cereal grains · No added sugar · No …

Are humans carnivores?

For decades we have been told that grains and oils from seeds are the healthiest food we can eat. This has proved to be wrong. For decades we have been told to drink fruit juice as a healthy alternative. Now we know that it is as bad for us as …

Dr Jason Fung – On the Science of how we use food and so why fasting works

This is the clearest explanation I have yet found

%d bloggers like this: