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Perspective: The Exercise We're Missing Out On

Silviu Costin Iancu

Every week I hear that obesity is a national crisis. It’s always blamed on a rich diet and a poverty of exercise. But when experts think of exercise they imagine jogging and walking and weight-lifting. That’s big exercise. But it’s the little exercise, or lack thereof, that’s the real problem.


Think of our ancestors fewer than one hundred years ago. They had no buzz fans and had to use hand fans. They had no electric window openers in their cars and had to hand-crank them. They had no remote controls and had to get up and down to change the channel or tune the station. They had no electronic locks and had to turn a key.

When I was a kid learning to drive, you had to dim the head lamps by pressing a steel button on the floorboard with your foot. This expended calories, and so did shifting the gears all the time between low, second, and high. You even had to pull the garage door down by arm and hand strength. 

These little exercises add up. New technology has robbed us of them. Just getting off the couch to turn off the TV set every night of the year was equivalent to a week of jogging and two weeks of exercise stairs. You can look it up.

This is Tom McBride, and that’s my vigorous Perspective.

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