Saturday, July 24, 2010

Are you sitting down too much? It's slowly killing you

Regular workouts don't decrease death risk if you're also a couch potato

The current obesity epidemic in the United States has been attributed in part to reduced overall physical activity.

Illustration source (right)

 

 

 

 

 

"Very few words have a birthday so precise, and so precisely known, as couch potato. It was on July 15, 1976, we are told, that the couch potato came into being, uttered by Tom Lacino of Pasadena, California, during a telephone conversation.

He was a member of a Southern California group humorously opposing the fads of exercise and healthy diet in favor of vegetating before the TV and eating junk food (1973). Because their lives centered on television--the boob tube (1966)--they called themselves boob tubers. Iacino apparently took the brilliant next step and substituted potato as a synonym for tuber. Thinking of where that potato sits to watch the tube, he came up with couch potato.

Or so the story goes, as told in the subsequent registration of Couch Potato as a trademark. In any case, when the new phrase reached the ears of Robert Armstrong, another member of the boob tubers, he drew a cartoon of a potato on a couch, and formed a club called the Couch Potatoes, registered the trademark and began merchandising Couch Potato paraphernalia, from T shirts to dolls. He published a newsletter called The Tuber's Voice: The Couch Potato Newsletter

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