This Is A 100 Billion Dollar Habit…
If you’re like me, you’re growing tired of being told what to do by the so-called experts.
After all, these folks tell us a lot of things we should do in order to help our fellow man and save the planet…
Even when these things don’t make a lot of sense.
Like, banning plastic straws in some places… but keeping plastic-heavy drink lids and cups in those same locations.
Or getting rid of hotel shampoo and conditioner bottles to reduce waste… but giving out free hypodermic needles by the tens of thousands.
If you’re like me, you might be wondering… when will enough be enough already?
When will we take an intelligent approach to helping our fellow man without making life incredibly inconvenient for ourselves at the same time?
I’ve come across a tiny change that when extrapolated, will do just that.
According to a study by RAND Europe and the health insurance group Vitality, if we all cooperated, in just 15 minutes a day, we can do something that would change the future of the entire world.
And it’s as simple as putting one foot in front of the other – literally.
You see, this study found that if every employee took a walk or went jogging for just an extra fifteen minutes a day, the world economy could see an economic boost of as much as $100 billion dollars.
Now that’s a small change that really could make an incredible difference – and it wouldn’t even have to impact your lifestyle.
The economic gains we could see from having even a minimally more active population come in a couple of ways:
First, An Increase In Activity
Even just walking gives you a whole host of health benefits. Major killers like heart disease and high blood pressure can be ameliorated with more exercise, and mental conditions like depression are shown to improve, too.
Those improvements in general health add up to a longer, healthier lifespan, and a more prolific career. The longer people can stay active in the workforce, the more they’re able to contribute to economic growth.
People who are active are less likely to be ill on a short term basis, so this cuts down on sick days and sluggish performance. After all, a sick employee isn’t usually a productive employee. With more activity, you could be more productive and successful day in and day out.
I know – fifteen minutes might seem like too small of a change to make a difference, but the statistics on this are shocking.
A full 30% of the population is likely to be inactive. That’s one third of the world population – two and a half billion people – just sitting there growing unhealthier by the day.
This leads to a lot of illness and a lot of premature death – 5 million people died from inactivity-related maladies last year alone.
Knowing all of that, isn’t it worth it to add a little more activity into your day? The British Journal of Sports Medicine recently published that just one run per week is enough to create change, and again, the RAND report parses that activity out to just 15 more minutes of walking a day.
You’ve got time for that, right? Of course you do. It’s not always easy to create a new habit though, so here are a few simple ways to incorporate more walking into your day:
Make It Easy
You won’t walk if you’re not prepared, so make it easy to succeed. Keep comfortable shoes in your desk or your car, or bring your gym bag to work with you every day. When you’re prepared, you’ll be more motivated to do the work.
Walk while on calls.
Instead of sitting or even standing, take your call on the go. Even pacing back and forth in your office or walking around the block is better for your body than staying stationary.
Take a short walking break during the lunch hour.
Carving out just fifteen minutes to walk around the building is good for you in a myriad of ways. Not only do you get your exercise in, you also get the benefits of a break from the screens and constant need to be “on”.
Invest in a Fitbit or other tracking device.
What gets measured gets managed, right? If you don’t have a Fitbit, Apple Watch or other tracking device, when you do get one, you might be unpleasantly surprised at how little you actually move during the day. Once you start measuring this, though, chances are good you’ll be hooked and you’ll have an easy metric to track so you can be more aware and proactive.
If you find walking alone to be boring, walk with a colleague, a partner, or a pet. You can get exercise and build your relationships at the same time. No one to walk with you? Listen to a podcast on the go. Passive entertainment will help you stay on track.
Always take the stairs.
Why wait for the elevator when you can take the stairs? This one tiny habit change can save time and build muscle, and it burns more calories per minute than jogging.
Park at the far end of the parking lot.
Some of the best solutions are the easiest ones. Make it a point to always park at the back of the parking lot. These little extra minutes of walking will add up in the long run.
With just a few small tweaks, you can actually make a difference in your health and contribute to the economy.
Real change starts with you – no extraneous legislature needed. Instead of “easy answers” that turn out to be big inconveniences, this is the kind of change we need to be looking for.
Editor, Brian Rose Uncensored