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Obesity: a Growing Problem in U.S. and Globally

The World Health Organization reports in its latest study 300 million adults around the world are considered obese, and that it is a problem not only in the industrialized nations but elsewhere as well.

At the Mayo Clinic in the U.S., a researcher is developing ways for office workers to "run in place" at work, rather than sit at their desks all day. Paul Sisco has today's Searching for Solutions report.

Amy Langer is one of tens of millions of Americans who sit at their desk most of the day. Now her company is replacing sit-down desks and chairs with stand-up work stations.

She describes the experience, "I've checked all of my e-mail. I can make phone calls. Every single thing that I can do from my desk I can do from here."

An estimated one third of Americans are obese. A recent French study found much of the industrialized world is catching up.

Dr. James Levine says a sedentary lifestyle is a big part of the problem."If sitting is to blame then standing is the solution," he said.

In his research at the Mayo Clinic in the midwestern U.S. state Minnesota he found that workers who stand burn 20 more calories each hour over those who sit. And because walking burns more, he designed a treadmill desk.

Dr. Levine explains, "I spend my entire workday at one mile an hour."

Levine's research at the Mayo clinic found that, depending on your age and body type, if you took an easy eight hour stroll each day rather than sitting at your desk, you could lose more than 50 pounds a year.