The higher up you live the slimmer you might be! It seems that your residential altitude level could indicate your obesity risk. However, before you swap your home for a condo up in the mountains, in a bid to rise above any weight problems, you might want to consider doing something a little more active in terms of exercise first!
Every day reports, research and evidence mounts announcing to the world how such and such a factor impacts your health, wealth and just about everything else inbetween. However, while studies may show strong links, they often point out that the findings are anything but a direct cause of one factor. This is never more so than when it comes to the popular issue of fitness and losing weight.
4-5 times higher obesity risk
The University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda in Maryland recently published a report in the International Journal of Obesity about a study of over 400,000 people showed that obesity risks were 4-5 times higher in people living at lower elevations than those living at a higher one. Whatever the reasons the statistics are certainly eye catching and enough to make you question what the difference is between people who live higher up.
Low altitude living
People living closer to sea level had an average Body Mass Index (BMI) of 26.6 which is outside healthy BMI recommendations. They also smoked more, ate less healthier and exercised less than residents living at a higher altitude. Those living at higher elevations recorded a BMI at 24.2, which is within the 18.5-24.9 healthy BMI score.
Low altitude was measured at less than 500 meters above sea level, with the highest altitude being over 3,000 meters. Not only were there differences between these two extremes but a sliding scale effect of low to high altitude and high to low obesity risks. These drops in risk corresponded to rises every 200 meters.
What's the difference between high & low?
One factor which could influence the result is that people of retirement age or in ill health might move closer to cities and amenities, meaning that it's the fit and able that feel happiest heading for the hills. It could also be that the closer to sea level you are, the more action you have around you and the more likely you are to slip into an unhealthy lifestyle and corrupting influences. There might also be a direct altitude impact, as elevation can affect how many calories you burn, meaning you shed excess fat faster!
What factors are influencing your fitness plans and lifestyle changes? Are you ready to rise to the occasion and become grounded about how important your health is? We can help you rise above obesity and fitness issues.