Moving forward by looking back: lessons learned from long-lost lifestyles

Tremblay, Mark S.; Esliger, Dale W.; Copeland, Jennifer L.; Barnes, Joel D.; Bassett Jr., David R.
August 2008
Applied Physiology, Nutrition & Metabolism;Aug2008, Vol. 33 Issue 4, p836
Academic Journal
The paper briefly reviews the status and trends in physical activity, physical inactivity, and overweight/obesity in Canada; discusses the consequences of these trends; examines evidence that our frame of reference with respect to physical activity and obesity is changing; promotes the importance of getting “back to the basics” as a strategy for enhancing childhood physical activity; and provides suggestions for future research in this area. In addressing these topics, the paper explores and contrasts the lifestyles and characteristics of Old Order Amish and Old Order Mennonite children with children exposed to contemporary modern living. This exploration is used as a model to learn from traditional lifestyles, which were comparatively active and resistant to obesity. The fitness characteristics and physical activity levels of traditional and contemporary groups are compared and demonstrate significant differences among groups. This evidence may provide important insight for informing future physical activity recommendations. Idiosyncrasies of performing research on these traditional-living groups are also provided. Cet article présente brièvement les niveaux de pratique et les tendances au sujet de l’activité physique, de l’inactivité physique, du surpoids et de l’obésité au Canada. Par la suite, on analyse les conséquences et scrute les faits à l’appui du changement du cadre de référence concernant l’activité physique et l’obésité ; puis on insiste sur l’importance de revenir à la base pour inciter les jeunes à la pratique de l’activité physique et on propose des pistes de recherche dans ce domaine. De plus, cet article analyse et compare sous l’angle de ces thèmes les modes de vie des enfants de la société moderne à ceux des enfants du Vieil Ordre Amish et du Vieil Ordre Mennonite. Cette analyse constitue un modèle d’étude du mode de vie traditionnelle caractérisée par sa plus grande pratique de l’activité physique et par sa résistance à l’obésité. Cet article compare la condition physique et le niveau de pratique de l’activité physique selon ces modes de vie et constate des différences significatives. Ces observations pourraient fournir les arguments nécessaires en faveur de recommandations prochaines en matière d’activité physique. Finalement, cet article présente une approche idiosyncratique de la recherche sur ces modes de vie traditionnelle.


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