CHANGE: A Major Cause of the Inactivity Epidemic


BB-diving-platformI believe the vast majority of Americans don’t exercise enough and I call this the “Inactivity Epidemic”. It is a major problem for America and unfortunately there does not seem to be any light at the end of tunnel. I explain why I believe this in Video 1 of the Exercise BASICS Formula but in this article, I discuss one of the major causes of the Inactivity Epidemic:


Change is generally a good thing and we have all witnessed incredible changes in our lifetimes. I grew up when TV was predominantly black and white and when I started working in the seventies, typewriters and typing pools were all the rage. To my kids, this sounds like the dark ages.

Unfortunately there are sometimes negative byproducts from changes that are otherwise good and exercise has seriously suffered because of positive developments elsewhere. Think about remote controls, computer games, online movies, lifts, escalators, fast food lines and online shopping to name just a few.

Today we spend a huge amount of our time sitting! This applies to whether we are at work or at play and to adults and children alike. When I was a young teenager, I spent nearly all my spare time outdoors “playing”; the activities ranged from impromptu soccer and tip rugby matches to simple games of hide and seek. There were no computer games, online movies or smart phones!

I can remember during summer vacations, my older sister, Margaret and I would get on our bikes, early in the morning and ride the 3 miles to a popular outdoor pool called Blackrock Baths on the coast, south of Dublin. We spent the day swimming and running around the pool, jumping and diving off the boards and into the surrounding sea [see photo]. In the evening, we would ride our bikes home. Looking back now, we were incredibly active compared to kids today. I often joke that we did the equivalent of a triathlon every day but we were just having fun and never thought about it as exercise.

Over the years, this type of unplanned exercise has been decimated and these changes are a huge problem and are a major cause of the Inactivity Epidemic. Even the outdoor pool [see image] of my childhood and which gave me so many happy memories is gone!

By Jim Kirwan

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