Not many people realize how our lives are affected by the design and availability of such modern conveniences. The standard advice you’ll hear for improving your physical activity usually include taking the stairs and parking farther away right? However in the design of many buildings and public places, this is easier said than done. Most multi-level major centers including skyscrapers, malls, parking garages, bus/ train stations, airports and such have very prominent access to elevators and escalators but where are the stairs? Most of the time they are tucked away into a creepy, dark and cold corridor off the main path, now who in their right mind would you want to go through all that effort and energy when there is a more convenient and welcoming option available. Well consider your health and what may seem like a harmless trip up the escalator not only reflects your mental and physical approach to better health but also our society’s contribution to health and combating obesity.
The little things always count and it doesn’t have to take a big change in your habits to have an impact, even something as small as parking farther away and walking everyday can have a significant impact on your health.
Unfortunately as a society we have allowed these conveniences to take over our lives and we are reeling in the consequences. We spend so much time driving around a parking lot to find a close spot when it would actually be faster to park farther away and walk.
Many “conveniences” were originally in place to assist physically challenged individuals into being able to operate independently but are being used by the general population due our natural instinct to find the easiest option. Why pull open the heavy door when you can push the blue button that’ll open it for you? Your health depends on it! We are not a society of hunters and gatherers, food is much more abundant and we are not expending nearly as much energy as we need to. As a result people are getting bigger and lazier as the designers and builders of our infrastructure continue to construct ways to contribute to this.
Moving walkways at the airport for example, have absolutely no real purpose then to help you get to where your going faster and easier but what is it really doing to us? Taking 5 minutes off your walk through the airport just to sit at the gate for longer, did you know that extra 5 minutes of walking and carrying the suitcase or backpack can burn more calories? Even more it allows you to relax a bit more and just enjoy where your at without stressing so much to get where your going!
From automatic doors, drive thrus, moving walkways, highways, elevators, valet parking, and such, convenience may be less effort but it’s at a cost to your health. It takes an active and conscious effort to seek out the better option, even if you have to ask where the stairs are, it’ll also take a couple extra minutes out of your day but you’ll find yourself with more energy, living healthier, feeling stronger and overall stepping above and beyond the lazy people for the better.