Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Absurd Answer to Sedentary Lifestyle Problems

Not really a specifically 'Aberdeen' thing, but we regularly touch on issues of public health and transport, and when we do we are always at pains to point out that these issues are not separate.

So this BBC report made us laugh out loud this morning. We really did check that it wasn't April 1st.

'Pedal while we work' idea raised by scientists in US 

Mini exercise bikes could combine a desk job with a workout.
Portable pedal machines could be used in every office to improve the health of workers, according to scientists in the US.
Apparently, if desk-workers are provided with a pedal machine, they'll use it for about 23 minutes per day at their desks, and workers said they would use such a machine regularly if they were offered one.

A few years ago a similar idea was raised when an American obesity clinic developed a 'vertical workstation' which combined a desk with a treadmill. No, really.

Let's just re-iterate that: In order to improve public health, the promotors of these ideas really do
suggest that workers with sedentary lifestyles (who by definition do not use active transport modes to get to work) are offered a simulated form of active transport to exercise with once they arrive at their desks!

Amazing. These people have thought of everything they possibly could in order to avoid breaching the Golden Western Taboo: Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES Suggest That People Shouldn't Use The Car.

We iconoclasts at Other Aberdeen are very much in the business of breaching taboos, so we offer this alternative to these absurd 'solutions':

'Pedal or walk to work' idea raised by Other Aberdeen.

Walking or cycling to work could be used to improve the health of workers, according to Other Aberdeen. 

No shit, Sherlock. Walking is a perfectly viable transport choice for journeys less than 2 miles, cycling for journeys less than 8 or 10.


We appreciate that some may have to travel farther than eight or ten miles, and so have to use the bus. We suggest that they consider getting on and off the bus a few stops farther away from their home and workplace.

And, as prompted by "Stinky" (who comments below), we acknowledge that for some 'the car' may appear to be the only option (though we would first suggest that these people re-evaluate the resilience and sustainability of their work/living arrangements). However, even those who cling to their cars (much as those in the American mid-west cling to their guns and bibles) could park up a couple of miles from their workplace and walk the rest of the way. Don't they realise this?

Simples! (As we've heard car-dependent people say repeatedly ad nauseam.)


Stinky said...

Sure, but if you live 28 miles away from work, what then Sherlock? Very quaint of you to ridicule people who do not have it so easy with their commute.

Other Aberdeen said...

Thanks for keeping us honest. We've edited the main post to address your concerns. Those who live 28 miles from work have indeed made a rod for their own back with their work/life choices. They have it hard, and the strain must make it difficult for them to realise that they could park up a couple of miles from their workplace and walk the rest of the way.