We are programmed to be lazy

We are programmed to be lazy

Why are we incapable of being physically active even when we want to?

Posted on 27.12.2019

If you have to force yourself up off your couch to try to get in some physical activity, rest assured, you are not the only one in this situation. For decades, communication campaigns have encouraged us to exercise, yet an estimated 30% of adults aren’t active enough. And this inaction is constantly increasing everywhere on the planet.

France is no exception to this rule. If “doing more physical activity” is classed in the top five good resolutions for the New Year, 75% French people are not sufficiently active. And yet according to the World Health Organisation, each year 3.2 million deaths can be attributed to this lack of physical activity, that is one death every 10 seconds.

This observation raises the question:

why are we incapable of being physically active even when we want to?

The majority of us, much like our ancestors, engage in a physical activity only when it is fun or necessary, so the best way to promote physical activity is to make it pleasant. It is therefore necessary to (re)structure our environment to favour it, especially during our daily trips.

Public policy should for example develop safe and well-maintained infrastructures and open public spaces, in order to favour access to places that are suitable for walking, biking and any other physical activity. New buildings’ architecture should also encourage our physical activity during the day by prioritising access to the stairs, or standing desks, etc.

It is then up to us to know how to take advantage of these opportunities to reduce our sedentarity… Come on, let’s get on our trainers!

The Conversation







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