Monday, June 16, 2008

Bigger, But Not Better—Part I

Guess what? Most of us (more than 65 percent) are outgrowing more than our clothes. No big surprise, but as we Americans grow bigger, so does all of our stuff. Do you go to the movies? The standard width of a movie theatre seat used to be 19 inches. Today, it’s 23 inches. Church pews? From 18 inches per worshipper to 21 inches. Office furniture companies advertise chairs made for larger workers with optional slide-out arms for those that need still more room.

Looking for a new car? Some SUVs offer 40-inch wide driver seats. There are seatbelt extenders, and telescoping steering wheels. But, not only do the majority of us need bigger seats, we need more room to maneuver when we get out of our bigger seats. Revolving doors have grown from an average of 6 feet in width to about 8 feet. Supermarket aisles have expanded from about 5 feet to 7.5 feet. Shopping carts too are larger, to accommodate the greater quantities of food we buy.

Even our children aren’t immune. The Journal of Pediatrics reported in 2006, that about 1 percent of all American children (more than 283,000) are too large to fit safely in a car seat.

And, you know what else? All these adjustments make it easier to live bigger—and this makes it that much harder to motivate ourselves to do the healthy thing and lose weight, make better nutritional choices and become more (rather than less) physically active.

No comments: