The modern day, first world struggle of obesity is a well-documented and ever-growing problem. Many people are quick to blame fast food, over-processed goods, and the abundance of trans fats in most people’s diets, but just as important as the food that we put into our bodies is the work that we put into them. It is generally recommended that each person spend about half an hour each day exercising, yet somehow in a 24 hour day, most of us still can’t seem to find time for it—an interesting phenomenon discussed in this video presentation. So how do we incorporate exercise into our increasingly sedentary lifestyles? Let’s take a closer look at the problem and how we might fix it.
What a Way to Make a Living
It’s fair to say that, while the world is speeding up in terms of technology, communication, and information, physically, our lives are slowing down. We now wake up from our beds, drive our cars to our jobs, sit at a desk for eight hours, drive home, sit in front of the television or computer, and go to bed. We might do something different once in awhile, perhaps go to a movie or watch a sporting event, maybe even go out for dinner. But again, all of these things happen to involve sitting down in a mostly stationary position.
So many office jobs are altering the lifestyles of the nation’s workforce, and if their jobs don’t involve sitting, they usually involve very little movement or exercise. And once you finally get home after a long day at work, the last thing that you want to do is spend half an hour exercising.
A possible solution has come in the form of more active workplaces. An increasing number of companies are now offering gym memberships or even sports facilities for their employees to use. After all, a healthy employee is a happy employee. But despite this, there is no surefire way to make sure that people actually take advantage of such opportunities. And the people who do, are often the ones who would anyway.
Another potential solution is to create an office that is itself more inviting to an atmosphere of movement and exercise. “Standing desks” are becoming a more common fixture in offices. The idea is that you can work a desk job, while still being able to stand, move, or sit on a stool if you want. This not only facilitates movement, but it means that employees are free of the other health problems that often come with a standard desk and chair. Neck and back problems are common for people with office jobs and uncomfortable chairs. A standing desk is one way to make sure that you can go for a day of work without having to find a local chiropractor.
The Need for Change
Still, such measures will only go a small way towards encouraging active lifestyles among the general public. Something more needs to be done to get people moving. Many programs are already in place, such as Michelle Obama’s let’s move program, that target the next generation, but adults must also do their part. We might be a long way off of a society like the one in Wall-E, but if we don’t act before we start on that path, it might only be a matter of time.