In today’s Globe and Mail The Bloomberg Manulife Prize For The Promotion of Active Health was announced. It has been awarded to Dr. Steven Blair who’s research shows that as little as 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day is all it takes to decrease mortality rates by 50 per cent. He says lack of physical activity is the single biggest health issue facing North Americans today.
Unfortunately the headline of this announcement reads:
“No magic pill. No trendy diet. Just 30 minutes of light exercise.”
Well, that’s going to be a major problem. Who can make money from that kind of advice?
The pharmaceutical companies won’t promote it if they can’t formulate and sell the next magic pill.
The weight loss companies won’t advertise it by hiring famous actors to promote it because there’s no trendy diet.
Health practitioners won’t become famous and be sought after as highly paid speakers on senior health and fitness, and they will have difficulty selling millions of books with it because it’s not trendy or complicated.
Infomercials will not be made because there are no special blenders or pieces of exercise equipment to sell.
Even your family doctor won’t give you a medical prescription for it. (Not to mention that doctors are not necessarily experts about exercise anyways.)
I congratulate Dr Steven Blair, but I do have one request: Next time you discover an accessible lifestyle change that might have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of the entire population, couldn’t you make it a little more exotic or mysterious or even sexy? Maybe throw in a secret recipe or two, suggest impossible exercises or even hire a vampire as your spokesperson…seems that’s a sure fire way to grab everyone’s attention.