"Australia is one of the most overweight developed nations, with overweight and obesity affecting about one in two Australian adults and up to one in four children."
In my current house, I have just one landline phone which is a traditional corded phone (slightly more modern than the picture above, but not a lot more) plugged into a phone point in the kitchen, which is downstairs.
This is a fairly unusual situation for me, as in previous houses I have had up to five cordless phones scattered around the house. For technological reasons too long-winded and boring to go into here, that arrangement is not possible in this house, and for the moment at least, I have just the one phone.
Did I mention it is in the kitchen? Which is downstairs? And that my study where, when I'm at home, I spend a great deal of time, is upstairs?
So every time the phone rings, I spring from my desk, I belt down the stairs taking several at a time, I swing around the corner and down the corridor and I lunge across the kitchen at the phone - often reaching it just as it goes through to Messagebank. Grrrr.
It is a frustrating situation, but I've learnt to turn my frustration into a positive experience by thinking, at least I got some exercise. I've stretched out my muscles after sitting at the computer and I've pumped some blood around my body.
It's what they call incidental exercise. And before our time, people's lives were full of it. Who needed to go to the gym when you were active all day long just by getting on with life?
So I've looked at my own life and realised it's full of missed incidental exercise opportunities such as:
- Using the TV remote vs getting up and changing channels on the TV itself
- Using a garage door remote vs getting out of the car and opening a door or gate manually
- Using an electric mixer vs handbeating cream, eggs or a cake
- Sending someone an email greeting vs walking to the postbox to mail a card
- Vaccuming up leaves in the garden with a blower-vac vs raking, sweeping and bagging the leaves
- Playing a computer game with the kids vs playing backyard cricket
- Putting a load of washing in the dryer vs hanging it out on the line, or on racks
Technology. How convenient is it really, if it's helping to make us fat? Are we saving a few minutes and some effort now, only to spend that time on a dialysis machine or in a cardiac ward later when we suffer complications from being overweight?
What opportunities for incidental exercise are you missing?