This book is pretty life-changing – encouraging, optimistic, rich with information. It got me off the sofaJeremy Vine
- A compelling and well researched chronicle of this very modern and largely unexplored catastrophe – the story of vanishing everyday movement
- Why regular physical movement is so fundamental to human wellbeing
- The story of the top experts trying to turn it around
- An empowering individual template for change
We are bombarded with images of fitness and sport, everything from the sculpted torsos of reality TV shows to stories about cycle races and ultra-marathons. But at the same time, four in ten British adults, and 80% of children, are so sedentary they don’t meet even the minimum recommended levels for movement. What’s going on?
The answer is simple: activity became exercise. What for centuries was universal and everyday has become the fetishised pursuit of a minority, whether the superhuman feats of elite athletes, or a chore slotted into busy schedules. Most people know physical activity is good for us. And yet 1.5 billion people around the world are so inactive they are at greater risk of everything from heart disease to diabetes, cancer, arthritis and depression, even dementia. Sedentary living now kills more people than obesity. Scientists call activity ‘The Miracle Pill’ – if you could turn incidental daily movement into a drug, it would be the most valuable pill in the world.
How did we get here? Daily, constant activity was an integral part of humanity for millennia, but in just a few decades movement was virtually designed out of people’s lives. Peter Walker chronicles this very modern and largely unexplored catastrophe, and the story of dozens of experts trying to turn it around. Walker also offers readers an empowering individual template for change – as well as, for some, a wake-up call that their lifestyle might not be quite as healthy as they believe.