We all know that a sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy and that we should be physical active. However, why is that? Why does evolutionary biologist describe natural selection as survival of the fittest meaning that the “fit” has a greater probability for survival than the “unfit”. Under follows a brief and simplified history lesson on why we become “born to be active”.
Once superior locomotive skills and physical capacity were essential for human survival and certainly a reason that Homo sapiens developed and prospered. Physical capacity was important in order to evade predators and secures food supply. Comparative physiologists (Hochachka et al., 1999) together with anthropologist (Bramble and Lieberman, 2004) has hypothesized that superior traits of endurance capacity together with an impressive ability to thermoregulate was essential for ancestral humans from the high plains of East Africa to succeed as game hunters. A success which ensured high protein sources of food which again was important for the development of larger brains and complex cooperative behavior compared to other primates. Simply stated: Physical capacity was necessary for human survival and development.
On our website we have a seven-week training program present to give you who follow us a simple recipe for improved fitness and health. This program is designed as an aid to getting started with exercise, and is designed both for those who hate and those who love to exercise. It is based on our previous studies on effective training, but is deliberately made more time-efficient to fit into a busy schedule. We’ve however never really tested exactly whether this program gives a good training effect – Until now.
PAI is a result of research based on the HUNT study where more than 60 000 individuals has been monitored over a period of more than 20 years. The goal is to make PAI the new world standard of activity tracking. PAI is an individual metric that makes sense of measured heart rate data, and significantly reduces the risk of lifestyle related diseases.
“This is based on solid medical research. We have developed an algorithm, PAI – personal activity intelligence, which relies on the data from The HUNT Study,” CERG leader, Professor Ulrik Wisløff, explained to Adresseavisen.
Wisløff thinks the app could revolutionize the measurement of exercise effects.
“PAI score adapts the individual user’s lifestyle and creates customized targets that are realistic to achieve. As long as the heart rate reaches a certain zone for a certain period, the user will achieve maximum health impact”, Wisløff told the Norwegian newspaper.
PAI is based on incredibly robust data. With a large population we have studied over many years, through The Hunt Study, this is unique.
In 1966 a legendary study from Dallas was published where they studied the effect of total inactivity for 3 weeks. After this 3 week period, the so-called “Dallas bed-rest study” found an increase in body weight, body-fat and a marked decline in fitness level. 30 years later they followed up the same participants and re-examined their health status. As one might expect after 30 years of aging, both body weight, body fat percentage and fitness declined from the happy 20s (before the 3 weeks of bed-rest). However, they found that they were in better shape after 30 years of aging than they were after 3 weeks of inactivity! What many researchers are asking now is if the decline in fitness associated with aging is caused by lower activity level with aging compared to activity level as young.
Idar Gjertsen (72) is a participant in our major research project on exercise in the elderly, Generation 100. Last year he impressed the young pilgrims in Spain during his two week pilgrimage, and now he has started on a new tour. It began in St. Jean de Pied de Port in France close to the Spainish border on April 28th. His goal is the famous pilgrimage site of Santiago de Compostela about 815 km away. Also this year, we will share some glimpses of his trip here on the blog.
April 27th: Now my pulse is high. Am I sure this is a smart plan…? Tomorrow I will go to the airport. I will stay for one night in Bayonne. The next morning I shall proceed to St. Jean de Pied de Port where I will stamp in my pilgrim passport, firmly grasp my new light poles and then I start this year’s Camino.
Money makes the world go around, so the saying goes… but can it also get the scales to go down as well? The costs associated with obesity related illness are mind-boggling. A recent report by McKinsey Global Institute estimated the global economic burden of obesity to be around US$2 trillion a year, equivalent to 2.8% of global GDP, and nearly as costly as smoking, or armed violence, war and terrorism. If the costs of paying people to be active is less than the costs of an inactive lifestyle, then such a program would pay for itself.