A recent study shows that workers in the high tech industry are acutely susceptible to heart disease and other problems due to the nature of their sedentary desk life. Not even those who work out several times a week alleviate the negative effects of sitting and staring at a computer screen all day. Physiologists refer to these people as “active couch potatoes” because their overall lifestyles are still unhealthy.

“Workers that sit at desks all day need low-cost ways to create healthy lifestyles for themselves and are increasingly turning to casual fitness groups,” said Donald Reno, president of the Michigan Association of Chiropractors. “We are naturally social, and group fitness is fueled by our desire to work with others toward a common goal.” 

A new Web site is fueling this growing trend.

MyMACWellness.com provides local listings of free and low-cost activities. With an easy, point-and-click design, MyMACWellness.com showcases hundreds of exercising and physical activity programs, as well as a section on nutrition. People looking to get active can find trails to walk, yoga classes to take and hundreds of other wide-ranging programs for every level of exercise.

The Web site is searchable by region. It links to a free, computerized health coach produced by the Michigan Department of Community Health, where individuals can create a personal health plan.

“We’ve seen that people who take part in fitness groups are more likely to stick to their workout programs,” said Reno. “The simple act of fulfilling a commitment to someone you personally know removes the anonymity of skipping a class at the gym. You’re not just some guy or girl in the corner when you’re working out with your friends — you’re an essential part of the activity.”

Grade school fitness programs focus on team sports and group wellness activities. This group dynamic tends to get lost the older we get, but group exercise fixes this problem. Exercising with friends and family also improves potentially monotonous activities such as cycling and jogging by adding the essential element of companionship.

Working out in a group provides a level of support, structure and accountability not available to people who work out alone or at a gym. Those who partake in group exercise don’t want to let their team down, reinforcing the dedication toward a routine.

“Individuals need to be concerned with their own health and encourage their family and friends to lead a healthier lifestyle,” said Reno. “Doctors need to encourage patients to get out and have fun with their wellness. MyMACWellness.com is a powerful tool that can help make a focus on wellness a daily activity.”

For more information, go to MyMACWellness.com.

Here’s how it works:
1. Visit MyMACWellness.com and download the free and low-cost activities list for your region.
2. Call your friends or family and do the activities together
3. Revisit the list and chose different activity.
4. Suggest to your group that you set some personal plan that will help you step up to healthy living. Use the personal planning tools on the website to set attainable goals and track your progress.

(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.

Comments (2)
  1. Kayla says:

    We’re told all the time about dire health issues – it’s so good to see something with an actual solution the problem! This is great.

  2. Juliette says:

    I visited this site a few weeks ago and I couldn’t believe that there were a number of low-cost programs right in my hometown.
    Through the site I found a yoga class that I’m in love with.
    I definitely recommend it!

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