Couch Potatoes dying early

Today’s West Australian  “Health Today’ section has an article on the dangers of physical inactivity – ironically next to the weekly car insert.  Apparently  physical inactivity is now fourth on the list of leading global killers, actually ahead of obesity.  This probably is not surprising when you consider how over the last 100 years or less, physical activity has been engineered out of our lives.  My father’s generation would have considered the concept of going to the gym to keep fit, laughable.  Even if you are not overweight, a sedentary lifestyle doubles the risk of heart attack and increases risk of developing diabetes and some types of cancer.

My attention was particularly drawn to the five ‘Ps” the article lists to increase your level of physical activity, and therefore your health.

  1. Prioritise public transport, walking and cycling. Strongly re-establish physical education in our schools and make prevention a greater priority in our health policies
  2. Fund infrastructure, including bike lanes, footpaths, ovals, sports clubs and participation.  Create attractive streetscapes to make physical activity an accessible an pleasant option.
  3. Re-establish the Australian culture that values being active
  4. Participation programmes such as bike to work days, walk weeks ect.
  5. Education  of professionals on the need to increase physical activity

Cycling is specifically mentioned in three of the five ‘Ps”.  So there you have it couch potatoes, cycling will help extend your present life and prevent your early departure to another, assuming you believe there is another life.

About Peter Bartlett