We all like our televisions and the time we spend in front of them, but who remembers when we used to have to actually get up off the couch each and every time we needed to change the channel?
These days the remote is sitting in our laps or continuously held in our hands so we don’t have to move an inch which also means we are physically inactive. Add the bag of potato chips being munched on, hungry or not, and the problem compounds. Physical action lost…channel changing up on our feet…again and again.
How about the days when we used a phone, it was attached to the wall by a wire that required us to have to stand within a wire’s length while talking, or pull up a chair. When it rang, we usually had to get up and walk to answer it.
Now, like the remote, it’s within reach wherever we are. Action lost….walking to the phone when we needed to use it, and maybe having to stand on our feet when we talked.
Remember those old copy machines that used to spin the paper around and around leaving a fresh ink smell to the newly copied sheets? Or even the old copiers not attached to computers but instead requiring workers who needed copies to have to leave their desks or other work areas and physically go to the copiers?
Today we simply push the copy button on our computers and only retrieving them when we feel like it. Action lost….physically walking away from our desks to make copies.
Today’s microwave ovens allow us to cook anything we want without having to stand at a stove top to warm or cook things in pans.
Push a button and return to that television and bag of chips. Heck, the lack of activity is bad enough without the bag of chips.
Outdoor chores are affected too. How many leaf blowers have replaced good old fashioned raking? About the only thing missing or good about that is not finding a pile of dog poop hidden among the leaves when we all jumped into them as kids.
Imagine the energy we used to use in raking leaves. The same blowers prevent us from needing to physically sweep decks and patios. And forget about push mowers. Everybody’s riding around their lawns.
These activities are just some of the things we’ve lost and taken for granted, and this activity adds up. Within all the hype about everyone needing to get more physically active, we’ve forgotten all the things that were a part of our lives that helped keep the weight off without consciously thinking about it.
That is what has compounded the problem so much. We’ve dropped day to day activity and think it’s good enough to add back deliberate physical activity in the way of structured exercise.
It doesn’t work for everyone. Many people hate or grow bored with planned exercise and it’s those same people who very likely would not be overweight or out of shape today if we still did the things we used to do.