Physical Activity and Health
These days it’s almost impossible to pick up a newspaper without finding some reference to the ‘weight of the nation’. Expanding waistlines across all age groups appears to be a growing problem and particular attention seems to have been lavished on the young. It is not difficult to describe the situation and there are plenty of experts ready to wag fingers and offer advice about the benefits of exercise, but is it creating change? In America it is, the trend has been reversing since 2003. If we’re not careful the advice and judgment could cause the ‘needy’ to retreat further into the corner of their settees – perhaps the only place where they feel safe from judgment and possible humiliation?
So, we have a problem, but the key point in that we bring about change for the better and instinct tells me that attraction will be more important than promotion. Just mentioning “exercise” to some youngsters will bring about a sense of fear and loathing because their experience to date has not been, for various reasons, a happy one. Other barriers to involvement: time, cost, facilities will be addressed in this column.
To create mass involvement initially, we might have to talk more about “movement” and less about “exercise”: after all, if food and water are biological necessities, so too is movement!
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