The stats tell us that British Society is unfit and a major contributor to our high death rates at younger ages when compared to other nations. Remember Boris himself, waking up to the fact that at 5ft 9 inches and 17 stone he, just like his society, was phenomenally unfit and vulnerable and a major problem for our hard working NHS.
We should never forget what happened with Covid because it may happen again. At the start of the pandemic it was reported that 25% of those who died of Covid had some kind of diabetes. The obese couldn’t deal with the virus effectively and were significantly more likely to be hospitalized.
So why is it, when we take away our calories consumed from our calories burnt (EATEN – EXERCISE = WEIGHT +/- ), for years things have been going in the wrong direction? When prevention would be much better than the cure.
Those who work hard in the sport sector, largely unpaid or underpaid and 100% under appreciated have been telling the world of these problems for years. The ‘original front line’, our gym runners, swimming instructors, football organizers, kids sports coaches, all dug deep into the trenches, not sure what enemy was coming along, but all sending messages back to command “WE NEED TO BE DOING MORE”.
But those messages continue to largely fail to get through. Our spend on fast food is £29.4 Billion per year about £109/ person per month. Compare that to our spend on fitness of £4.5 Billion. We just don’t value exercise, it’s not an easy way to spend time, so why do it?, we’d much rather be:
Spending 12 hours per week watching TV and another 12 hours on social media. That’s 16 times more than our weekly average exercise of 1.5 hours per week, 624 hours a year compared to just 78 hours exercising. 27% of our adults, get fewer than 30 minutes of exercise a week and 14% get no exercise at all. What example are we setting our kids for their future? Maybe if we look after ourselves better there could have been more capacity to look after the elderly and infirm more closely, like we would like to happen.
Sadly many in the sports industry, (the original front line), ironically found themselves one of the most significantly impacted during the pandemic. Exercise was considered as ‘recreational’ so the governments prioritised getting professional sport back on TV, so we can sit our bottoms back on chairs again and of course getting the fast food restaurants open for us again.
So will we ever see a change? Will we ever see a government that takes a long term view and priorities exercise over the short term wins of the food industry and media contracts? Will we as society learn to better value and appreciate our sports providers? Or will we just carry on as we have, consuming more than we burn?
Either way, this week, spare a thought to those who work in the sports industry, from swimming instructors and tennis coaches to lifeguards and your DADSvDADs game organisers. They are working hard to make a difference, give them a pat on the back.