On 25th March I attended an event hosted by SAHMRI entitled Walking, Sitting and Wellbeing: The Connection. The panel event included 4 experts from interrelated fields which highlighted the dynamic relationship between research, action and change.
The presenters at the event were:
Professor Tim Olds;
Ms Gabrielle Kelly;
Mr Fraser Keegan &
Ms Wendy Keech.
The presentation highlighted the question of why, even with compelling research available, do we find it difficult to transition from knowledge to action, to put in place the changes that are required for optimal health?
The question that raised for me was – If we keep on exactly the same path as we are on now, where will we be in 10 year’s time? Stressed, overweight, poor health and generally unwell OR fit, active and fully engaged with our life and community? Time has the effect of amplifying what are seemingly small ‘bad habits’ and the longer we participate in them the harder they are to break and reverse the damage that has been caused.
It is clear that extended periods of sitting is detrimental to our health. The rise in obesity is directly related to the increase in technology use correlating with the reduction of physical activity. Even without the research intuitively we know it is true, we know how great we feel after a walk outside and the benefits of eating well and being generally active.
Maybe it is because of our ever increasing busy lifestyles that change can seem overwhelming, maybe it is because of all the before and after shots that we see of people, when it’s not really that six pack we are after but just to feel healthy and energised. Maybe it is because when we look at the contrast of our current lifestyle and what is required for optimal health the changes seem so large that we feel overwhelmed and therefore we stay as we are.
One of the elements of the presentation that I found inspiring was the ‘small steps’ research that demonstrates and reminds us that the power of change comes from small steps. Small steps build our resilience and confidence.
The commitment each week to incorporate small changes into our lifestyle can undoubtedly change our outcome in 10 years’ time. The good news is that changes that make us feel good tend to have a spiraling affect. The better we feel the more we do.
- What small step are you willing to commit to today?
- Take a walk at lunch time;
- Swap the cake for a piece of fruit or a raw energy ball;
- Set an alarm at your desk to get up and move.
Imagine if we incorporated one new habit every fortnight for 2 years what outcome would we have in 5, 10, 15 years?
by Corrine Ormsby