The inactivity crisis

On the news the other day, I saw a feature about how the desert in Chile is used as a rubbish heap for our “useless” fashion clothes. Clothes we do not find necessary in our own wardrobe, which no one in the second-hand shops finds particularly useful either. I, like many others, decided to stop shopping.

                 Written by: Marit Sofie Emaus, project manager in Myworkout.

The clothing industry is at its worst in the climate crisis, reports The Future in our hands. At the same time, as I stop shopping and you feel a relief that the corona pandemic has given you much less shame for flying in the last two years, there is a crisis just as significant that the UN also has turned its attention to; the inactivity crisis.

UN Sustainability Goal # 3

UN Sustainability Goal # 3: “Ensure good health and promote quality of life for all, regardless of age”. # 3.4 states: Reduce premature death by one-third of non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and quality of life by 2030.

Non-communicable diseases

Non-communicable diseases are what we know as lifestyle diseases. Lifestyle diseases can easily be defined as diseases connected to your choice of lifestyle. Common lifestyle diseases in our part of the world are coronary heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke, certain types of cancer, COPD, osteoporosis, depression, HIV / AIDS and osteoarthritis. Only one of these can not be treated or prevented by physical activity.

Pain as a motivator

We, humans, are simple creatures. If we are not in pain or suffering, we are fine, and you continue your life being “happy go lucky”. If you experience pain or discomfort, you are motivated to seek help. The downside is, if any of these lifestyle diseases are the ones causing you pain and discomfort, it is in many ways a little too late. The disease has taken part in your health, and the turning operation is greater than before the pain occurred.

Treatment

As long as you have been diagnosed with any of these diseases, you are entitled to treatment. This treatment is largely carried out with the help of medicinal preparations. Witch allows many people to live with these diseases much longer than if they were not treated. BUT, it also makes it possible for the patient not to make any real change in their lifestyle. Changing something in their diet and adding a pill or syringe to it might be all that is done. (Put a bit directly, that is). If you become so ill that your heart fails, you will be forced into activity as long as you are a patient at the hospital. When you are healthy enough to get out, it is up to you to continue exercising. But by all means, do not forget to stop by the pharmacy on your way home to pick up your prescription medicines.

Prevention

Prescription drugs only come into the picture when the diagnosis is set. So, what can YOU do to prevent the diagnosis from being a fact at all? Well, you can prevent it. You can be physically active even if the sun doesn’t shine and the motivation to dress for a “short of breath” exercise in minus degrees points downwards. You can choose to prevent your own health to minimise the risk of lifestyle diseases. The climate crisis forces us to evaluate our clothing purchases, sort our waste and choose other means of transport. What is the inactivity crisis forcing us to do? Nothing at all!

Exercise as medicine by law

We need a law for this, just as we have a law for smoking. We need a burning commitment to physical activity just like the Future in our hands have for the climate. We need to reduce the use of pills and instead offer prescription activity. We need to make some demands on our ability to stay active to stay healthy. How much more active would you be if you had to? What if your motivation for physical activity was not included in the equation at all? Would it be just as natural to stay active as it is natural for you to pawn bottles or sort cardboard and plastic separately?

No longer just your need

As with the climate crisis, this inactivity crisis will be squeezed into your everyday life at one point in your life. We are slowly but surely killing the earth we live on as long as we do not begin to take control, but this world will be quite empty if we do not start to take control of public health as well. It is no longer just your need to “want to exercise” that applies. Our need to have an up-and-coming gang on the planet is very much present!