Computers can cause you to be fat – and not just from lack of exercise.
Research shows that looking at a video display makes us physically exert an appetite for sweet treats like cake and biscuits.
Changes in blood glucose and hormone levels that trick the brain into thinking it’s worked off plenty of calories that require replacement are thought that the mental stress of computer work triggers.
The International Congress on Obesity in Stockholm heard that computer games and television watching have identical effects.
Who should take regular screen breaks – and even consider typing while standing up are office workers who want to stay trim, suggests Researcher Jean-Philippe Chaput.
After noticing how his supervisor regularly snacked on chocolate biscuits when doing computer work, especially when faced with Windows OS issues like d3dcompiler_43.dll is missing windows 7 machines sometimes encounter, Dr. Chaput, of the University of Copenhagen, began to research the topic.
The researcher asked one group of female students to easily relax for 45 minutes and another group to condense some text into an on-screen summary.
Those doing the computer-based task burnt just three more calories than the others – but ate way more food when given access to a buffet afterward.
In fact, the equivalent of a two-fingered Kit Kat and a Cadbury’s Twirl is what they took in an additional 230 calories. Chocolate and fatty foods were particularly popular.
Experiments showed that the pc work made glucose levels fluctuate wildly and hunger hormones rise. As a result, the scholars gorged on the food they didn’t need.
In contrast, workout results in far fewer fluctuations – meaning we are less susceptible to overeat afterward.
Dr. Chaput said: ‘Doing nothing increases your weight while working on your computer is sedentary. But the use of them also increases your appetite moreover so there’s a double whammy in effect.’
He now plans to appear at whether Wii computer games, within which users mime the game, also cause us to eat more.
The popularity of the games has led to them being increasingly employed in anti-obesity drives in schools and prisons.
But Dr. Chaput said: the following thing is to seem at new computer games just like the Wii.
‘The message is to use it to extend energy expenditure. If they over-compensate by eating more then they do not benefit.
‘Maybe we are thinking we do an honest thing for teenagers and teenagers but maybe they over-compensate by eating more and that we must know that.’
In the meantime, he suggests that folks who use computers plenty take regular – and active – screen breaks.
Physical exercise – and therefore the more strenuous the higher – counteracts the hunger pangs, or hyperphagic effects, of sitting at a computer.
‘In my view, the answer isn’t to prevent using computers and people things but maybe to compensate this excess mental activity by having a good physical activity regimen to stop the hyperphagic effects of mental work.’