I love this cartoon. Says it all.
I’m becoming increasingly interested in, or worried about, actually, the lack of exercise we all tend to do in this country. Physical INactivity is much more important than most people realise – and that’s not just the opinion of one sports massage therapist and running coach who is tut tutting at people who don’t run 10 miles a day.
Scotland has a ‘physical activity champion’. His name is Dr Andrew Murray and his is a government role working with Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer. In an interview in episode 129 of Marathon Talk he states, “Physical inactivity is the fundamental health challenge of our age.” He went on, “The number one determinant of how long you live and your quality of life is your levels of fitness. So the fitter you are the longer you live.”
Ok, so far, this is good stuff, but the best is yet to come. Dr Murray continues: “The World Health Organisation recognises that physical inactivity is the fourth biggest risk factor for death worldwide after high blood pressure, smoking and high blood sugar (diabetes, effectively).”
And there’s more. Dr Murray says that, according to a study led by Dr Steven N Blair and published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, “a low level of fitness has been shown to kill more people than smoking, diabetes and obesity combined.” So we might urge a smoker to give up the fags, encourage an overweight person to lose weight and someone who drinks too much to cut down the drinking. But it’s the norm for so many people not to do any physical activity at all, yet this kills more people than smoking, diabetes and obesity put together.
Do listen to that interview (it comes about half way through the podcast). It’s certainly prompted me to look into the subject more.
I suppose that if you’re reading this the chances are that you are physically active. But we all know people who aren’t and I for one think we all need to start taking responsibility for prompting the people around us to get moving. Here’s a short, compelling video that might help.