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Why are people so resistant to doing exercise?

By Angela Knox | Jul 12, 2020

We investigate why this could have happened.....


This question is one we have been pondering here at Keep Fit Eat Fit, and we are struggling to come up with answers.

Many millions and probably billions of people across the world have developed 21st century habits when it comes to fitness and the awareness of what is good for them as opposed to what they often convince themselves is OK.

Before the advent of cars for everyone, the invention of labour-saving equipment for everything and the prevalence of PCs, mobiles, tablets, TVs and gaming devices in our homes, people used to live life very differently.

Walking and running was a commonplace activity practised by most people in their daily lives, and sport was something we learned at school and then carried on with afterwards as a social pastime which also had the benefit of keeping us fit. 

Fewer vehicles on the road also meant it was possible to walk around towns and cities as well as the countryside without breathing in lungfuls of polluted air, as we do now.

What we consider to be advancements in society – which usually are things which allow us all to get the benefits of convenience – sometimes have the unintended consequences of becoming laziness inducers which would never have seemed possible by our parents’, grandparents’ and previous generations.

Nowadays the most popular and accessible activity is sitting in front of a TV for hours at a time for the majority of our leisure hours, or sitting in a bedroom for what can be days at a time conquering the latest gaming challenge. 

Why have these changes caused unhealthy habits?

As western economies have become ever more successful in terms of invention and new consumer products which make our lives easier, momentum has also moved at lightning speed.  This has created an existence for many people where they are constantly running on an imaginary hamster wheel just to keep up with their busy lives.

People generally work harder and longer hours than ever before and suffer stress as well as other workplace induced illnesses.  These are partly caused by time pressures and the need to earn enough money to pay the mortgage and maintain a lifestyle that they have learned to  hope for and expect.

The problem with this is that health can suffer as a result of the strain people are under, both directly and as a result of not having enough time in their lives to think pro-actively about their own health.

Many health conditions are at least partly if not totally caused by lifestyles which are lacking in enough balance of what would be regarded as wholesome activities.

For example, if you sit down at a desk all day at work and barely move from your PC, then get in your car and drive home, and then spend any ‘down time’ you may have looking at your mobile phone or a TV screen, that is not going to create a healthy outlook.

Over time the inactivity will mount up and cause at the very least muscle aches and back ache, and at worst weight gain, diabetes, difficulty sleeping, heart problems and other dread diseases which can mount up almost invisibly and insidiously over time.

What can we do to stop the rot?

The first thing to do if you or your employees see any of these situations creeping into their life is to take stock and do a mini lifestyle audit.

People should be honest with themselves and examine whether or not they feel as healthy and as fit as they would like.

Review how many hours are spent sitting down, either at work or at home in front of the TV, without getting up and doing some sort of activity which involves stretching and exercising the muscles.

And also look at how healthy your food and drink intake is, and if you think you may be consuming too many calories, or eating the wrong types of foods and drinking sugar laden drinks which only add unnecessary calories as well as rotting your teeth.

Health is vital for our longevity, quality of life, and enjoyment of our retirement and into old age. 

People who have self-induced health problems in their life can often prevent these by planning ahead and making changes – which can be done starting with one tiny step at a time.

Any change you integrate into your life is best done gradually, especially if you want long-term benefits – which is the only sensible way forward. 

Sustainable lifestyle changes have to be worked on over time and by identifying a few small things it’s easy to change, you can get enormous benefits and satisfaction, before moving on to the next challenge until a whole new lifestyle emerges which then seems natural to you and the people around you. 

You can also help other people (if they want to be helped) by telling them how you have made the changes, and they can join in the benefits and improve their lives too.

If you have a responsibility for employee welfare, you can encourage those in your charge to adopt healthier habits, which will not only help their own health to improve, but also help to make their work life more enjoyable as they increase fitness, general health and resilience. 

We can provide the solution to this problem with our complete digital employee wellbeing programme designed for workers everywhere, so be sure to get in touch if you need help to make that difference.

Angela Knox

Angela Knox

I am a co-founder and director of Keep Fit Eat Fit Wellbeing Ltd and have come from a business and marketing background over many years, with a particular interest in everything to do with health, fitness and overall wellbeing. Having worked in offices for decades, I know the pitfalls of too much sitting at a desk, the challenges of fitting the gym around other commitments, and all the issues addressed within our website. The personal experiences of me and my partner Mark were the original inspiration for the concept of this website. Enjoy!