Why is exercise so despised and treated with so much contempt?
Obese population aged 15 and over (OECD Countries)
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member states
1. United States 30.6
2. Mexico 24.2
3. United Kingdom 23.0
4. Slovakia 22.4
5. Greece 21.9
6. Australia 21.7
7. New Zealand 20.9
8. Hungary 18.8
9. Luxembourg 18.4
10.Czech Republic 14.8 (Aneki, 2013)
- Fourteen million Australians are overweight, of which five million of those are obese.
- By 2025, it is predicted that close to 80% of all Australian adults and a third of all children will be overweight or obese.
- Obesity has overtaken smoking as the leading cause of premature death and illness in Australia.
- Obesity has become the single biggest threat to public health in Australia.
- It is predicted that children today will have a shorter life expectancy than earlier generations simply because of obesity. (Monash University 2013)
Another myth is the fat gene and the argument that some people are destined to be obese. It is true that people are born with a different somatotype or body shape. Most people are a combination of endomorph, ectomorph and mesomorph while others may be more dominant in one. Nevertheless, an otherwise healthy individual can control their weight with the correct balance of exercise and diet. Obesity rates in Australia have doubled in the last 20 years and this is not because double the amount of people have been born with the fat gene. This is because of modern lifestyle choices.
Only last week one of my colleagues told me sport was simply bad for your health. She pointed to the fact that nearly everyone she knew who played sport had an injury. Indeed it is true that many sports people carry some kind of injury. Joint injuries such as those to the knee, elbows and shoulders are quite common. But surely these injuries are not as worrying as cancer or diseases which affect the cardiovascular system leading to high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke.
Modern society means children don't play outdoors anymore but sit at home surfing the net and not the waves, and playing tennis and football video games on the sofa and not on the sports ground. Parents don't let their children play outside because they feel it is too dangerous and drive the kids to school. It is no wonder, that there is a reluctance or even a resentment to exercise that has found it's way into the mindset of our future generations.