I love buttons. I can push a button to open my garage door. I can push a button to change television channels. I can push a button to wash my dishes and clothes. I even can push a button on my wrist watch to answer a phone call. But each time I push a button, I’m negatively impacting my health.

Becky Reid


Before all of these buttons, we had lifestyles that required us to be up, moving and using calories. Our active lifestyles have been replaced with sedentary jobs and an abundance of modern conveniences. Although we have more advanced medicine, we are not as healthy as we could be.

Some of you will remember televisions without remotes, while others may remember life without television.

You can burn 3 calories by getting up and changing channels, while it takes less than 1 calorie to push a button. Calling a lawn service takes no calories, but you would burn approximately 360 calories if you spent 30 minutes a week gardening and mowing.

Taking an elevator up three flights of stairs uses less than 1 calorie, but walking up three flights uses 15 calories.

Research has documented that eating or not burning 100 extra calories in a day can result in 10 pounds gained in a year. For some, you might be wondering why you are gaining weight if your eating habits haven’t changed. The answer might be that you are pushing too many buttons and living a sedentary lifestyle.

The takeaway message: Some activity is better than none. It never is too late to start, so finish reading this article and take the dog (real or imaginary) for a walk to the end of the drive, mailbox or around the block.

By doing things that are good for you, you can pause — or possibly rewind — the negative effects of aging.

Those pause and rewind buttons definitely are worth pushing.

Also, learn more about K-State Research and Extension’s Stay Strong, Stay Healthy strength training classes that help older adults at www.k-state.edu/staystrong. New class sessions will be added later this fall in Cowley County. Call (620) 221-5450 for more information.

This information was provided by K-State Research and Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Specialist Becky Reid and University of Missouri Extension Fitness Specialist Steve Ball.