Saturday, 16 January 2010

Can you do more curl-ups than the average Canadian?

What % of Canadian women 20-39 years do you think CAN'T do a single ‘partial curl-up?

One partial curl-up: you’re on your back, knees bent, arms along your side. Lift your head and torso up, and go down slowly without touching your head to the ground.

The Study

The Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) was just published – the Stats Canada study is the first one to properly assess the health and fitness of Canadians since 1981.

Earlier similar studies have relied on self-reported information, which, as we know, isn’t very accurate. This one actually weighed, measured and tested about 5000 Canadians, aged 6-79, from 15 different locations across the country. Weight, height, body fat, waist circumference, and blood pressure were measured, and strength, flexibility and aerobic tests were conducted.

What researchers found? Bad news...

Obesity is on the rise and fitness levels are on the decline.

37% of Canadian adults are currently overweight and 24% are obese.

Waist circumference is usually a better indicator of health risk... and it has been increasing since 1981.

In the 20-39 year old group, the % of Canadians with a waist circumference purring them at high health risk (over 87 cm or 34 inches for women and 101 cm or 40 inches) more than quadrupled: from 5% to 21% in men and from 6% to 31% in women!

In the 40- 69 year old group, it more than doubled.


Among kids and teenagers, 17% were overweight and 9% obese, and the number of them that have too high waist circumferences tripled in the last 25 years!

Triple Eek!

BMIs were significantly lower, in all age groups, than our American neighbours’, except for teenagers and older adults 60-79 years old (Canadians still had lower BMIs, but the difference wasn’t significant).

Across the board, we’re also less fit than we were 25 years ago.

The craziest finding, in my opinion... and to answer the question above...

37% of women 20-39 could not do one single partial curl-up!!

59% of women aged 40-59 and a whopping 86% aged 60-69 could not do a single partial curl-up!

(Those that were able to do 25 partial curl ups: 31% 20-39 years old; 13% 40-59 years old, and 4% 60-69 years old).

Men:10% of men 20-29, 29% 40-59, and 69% 60-69 could not do a single partial curl up.

(Those that were able to do 25 partial curl ups: 55% of men 20-39 years old; 36% 40-59 years old, and 12% 60-69 years old).

This is not good news.

You try it now... how many partial curl ups can you do??


Chow and Chatter said...

oh thats scary now following on twitter lol Rebecca

Sybil Hebert, RD said...

Scary is right!
Thanks Rebecca! Still trying to figure it all out- all the acronyms and symbols... it's not that simple!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, sad! I can do about 75 the last time I tried...which has been too long. Maybe that will be a good goal for tomorrow : ) Great information, thanks for posting about it!

Sybil Hebert, RD said...

Thanks Nicole! 75... wow!!
It's my goal for tomorrow too- I'll let you know what I get to! :)

Kati said...

oh my goodness! that is shocking! now i am wondering how many i can do? i'll have to give it a try tonight! thanks for sharing the interesting info! :)

~Kati, Around the Plate

Sybil Hebert, RD said...

You'll have to let me know, Kati!
I got to 100... but I MAY have grabbed my legs a few times. Maybe... :)

eatingRD said...

those are some scary stats! I'm not sure how many I can do, but I know it has to be more than one! lol now if it was pull-ups then I would be in trouble :) have a nice weekend, thanks for stopping by my blog!

Gina said...

Yikes, those numbers are startling, but like you said, you still haven't surpassed our numbers! A whopping 33% of Americans are obese, oh I'm so proud. haha

Ok I just did the partial curl-ups, and did 130!!!! YEAH BUDDY! I'm sweating, but that wasn't part of the rules...right?! :)

Sybil Hebert, RD said...

I'm with you, Kristen... I'm hopeless at pull-ups!
Gina, you're just showing off now... but I'm going to take it as a challenge...!

Jme said...

Nice work ladies! Unfortunately the press release and then the Globe article did not mention that there was a time limit of 60 seconds! They also recorded the upper limit as 25 reps.

Sybil Hebert, RD said...

Thanks Jme, you're right:

"Muscular endurance was measured with the partial curl-ups test, which required respondents to perform as many partial curl-ups as possible in one minute, at a set pace, to a maximum of 25".

The time limit makes sense... wonder why they set the max at 25...

Jme said...

Maybe they wanted to make sure people did them properly and did not get into competitions trying to beat each other! I dont think I could do more than 1 per second, and I am not sure I could last 60 seconds at that rate!

Sybil Hebert, RD said...

Nothing wrong with a bit of healthy competition.... very healthy competition!!
The Canada Fitness tests we did in high school had these 60-second partial curl-up tests... I forget how many I did then but I remember it hurt to laugh for a few days after!

Jme said...

You are so young! I had to do the full sit ups and I think it was about 30 for excellence. I tried the partials and 75 was all I could handle. No time limit either.

Sybil Hebert, RD said...

Ah... full sit-ups... i remember those!!