Office Wellbeing: Is physical activity the health unicorn for everything?
Exercise, physical activity or movement is the closest thing to an all encompassing health unicorn we have. This is easy for someone who is paid to exercise and move to say, like me, and we do our best to say these things, A LOT.
Implementing this into a busy lifestyle that may involve having a family or running a business is much easier said than done, especially if you are paid to be sat down much of the time. We take a very evidence based approach and the research for exercise is impressive, however if simply giving people information or data changed our behaviour then we wouldn’t be seeing an expanding waistline or rises in depression and aches and pains for example.
Take smoking cessation scare monger tactics, hasn’t worked. Information isn’t the issue. As humans we are emotional and latch onto stories, stories we can connect to. My friend Murray Beehan epitomises optimism in the face of adversity. Murray has battled multiple kidney failures since he was born and now at the age of 32 is likely unable to receive any further transplants, facing lifelong dialysis. Murray uses exercise, or what he describes as ‘distracting himself with something he enjoys’ as his way to cope with the physical and psychological implications of his medical situation.
Apart from dealing with each day as it comes, this has led to Murray representing team GB in multiple transplant games and his story comes as nothing short of inspirational. I have known Murray as a close friend since I was 6 or 7 years old and he was actually the first person to take me into a gym when I was 14. Whatever situation I find myself moaning about, or whatever excuses I make for myself, I just think about what Murray goes through each day and it places things in context. You can read more about Murrays story in his own words HERE. His advice and story is likely going to have significantly more impact on you than anything I’ll say.