The why behind Let's Move for a Better World

36 years. No, it is not the age of the writer it’s not the writers age but the time we spend sitting down in a lifetime. Working at a desk, driving, and laying on the sofa. All this translates into one word: sedentariness.

Technogym has been promoting physical activity and its benefits through the Wellness concept for more than 30 years. In particular, in recent years the company has taken to the field against sedentary work and the resulting damage, with the global campaign Let's Move for a Better World.

It's a global problem

In the last 30 years, the phenomenon has become more pronounced, reaching impressive huge numbers. Some data can help us understand the extent of the problem.

    • In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight. Of these, more than 650 million obese.
    • Overall, 13% of the world's population was overweight in 2016.
    • Obesity in the world has tripled from 1975 to 2016.

Overweight problems do not only affect adults: last year, more than 340 million children and adolescents were overweight or even obese. Since 1975, the percentage of young people with weight problems has almost increased by fivefold.
Today, there are more overweight or obese people in the world today than those suffering from malnutrition, and this is true globally with the exception of some parts of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

Causes and effects

Together with the cultural and technological evolution that has brought us to where we are today, man has, on the other hand, experienced an involution from the point of view of physical activity. We are far away from our ancestors who ran and moved to live.

The main cause of being overweight and obesity is the imbalance between ingested and consumed calories.

The phenomenon is certainly very complex, as are the causes that generate it. We can highlight two macro causes at global level:

  • the increasing consumption of calorie foods, rich in fat
  • the increase in inactivity mainly due to sedentary work, modes of transport and increasing urbanisation.
WELLNESS WALL

Do we really know where the borderline is between overweight and obese? The two terms are often used in an equivalent way, disturbing the adjective "obese" when the person has only a few pounds too much.
But obesity and overweight are not synonymous.

The main parameter of body weight evaluation is represented by the Body Mass Index (BMI ) which results from the relationship between the weight of an individual and his or her height. A BMI value of 25 kg or more (where just a few pounds over can be enough) classifies the individual in the "overweight" category, while with a BMI of 30 or more the definition of "obesity" is taken.

Likewise, overweight people are considered "at risk" for the health consequences of excess weight (especially cardiovascular disease and diabetes), while obese people are considered "high-risk".

Both overweight conditions carry a risk, whether low or high, and the effects on our health are numerous and important.

The main 5 effects of sedentariness

  • Slowing down metabolism: a sitting hour causes a decrease in the main enzyme that turns bad cholesterol into good, this can lead to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
  • Muscle damage: by spending a long time inactive muscles can lose elasticity, firmness and mass.
  • Bone weakening: if they don't work, they don't have the necessary stimuli to regenerate, in order not to lose strength and density they need to support the weight of our body. For this reason, a sedentary life increases the risk of suffering from osteoporosis.
  • Incorrect posture: sitting for long periods of time, you run the risk of taking wrong postures that over time can cause back, shoulder and neck damage.
  • Night apnea: these are closely linked to heart problems and water retention. Fluids that are held in during the day, circulate freely at night and can obstruct the airways.

Not least, sedentary behaviour hurts our minds too, increasing the risk of depression by up to 25%, especially if the time for which we remain idle has passed in front of the computer and the internet, but also being too much in front of the TV increases the risk (+13%). This is demonstrated by a large study on the British Medical Journal Sports Medicine and conducted by experts from Qingdau University in China on over 193 thousand people.

From individuals to society

The characteristics of the problem and its spread make sedentariness a "social scourge", a high cost to society and governments: inactivity not only has a heavy negative impact in the form of direct costs for the health system, but it also has a high indirect cost in terms of increasing sick leave, incapacity for work and early deaths.

It is estimated that for a population of ten million people, half of whom are insufficiently active, the cost of inactivity is €910 million per year. Globally, it is the 21st century epidemic, the public enemy no. 1 that the WHO (World Health Organisation) tries to eradicate with the new guidelines valid until 2020. The main recommendations of the Organization: at least 150 minutes per week of physical activity for adults and 60 minutes per day for children and young people.

Technogym's mission

Technogym, like the WHO, has long been proposing physical activity as a means of prevention and cure for the health of the population. The answer to a sedentary life is an active life, a wellness life.

Wellness is a social opportunity for all: for governments that can reduce healthcare costs, for companies that can count on more creative and productive collaborators and for all citizens who can improve their health and daily lifestyle. Our hope is to continue to contribute to the spread of Wellness, because the more people that adopt a Wellness lifestyle, the better the world will be. This philosophy is the social mission on which we base our daily commitment. Nerio Alessandri

The driving force behind the wellness philosophy is certainly physical exercise, but not only physical exercise.

Wellness is the lifestyle that, through the combination of constant physical activity, healthy nutrition and a positive mental approach, allows the person to achieve his or her own balance.

BE INSPIRED

Although physical activity and exercise are different concepts, meaning with the former any form of movement and with the latter a more structured form of movement carried out for specific purposes, both represent fundamental elements of Wellness.
Without them, it is not possible to achieve psychophysical well-being. The man has been designed to move around, and cannot afford the risks of sedentary activity. Since 2002, the WHO has been promoting a campaign with the significant slogan - Move for Health since 2002.

Nutritionists, too, in their guidelines, do not fail to give great emphasis to the impact of an active lifestyle on the general health of individuals. Moderate but constant physical activity can therefore be considered a real' drug', which if well-dosed has only advantages and no adverse side-effects.

This is why, as a demonstration of this evidence, the American College of Sports Medicine has launched a worldwide initiative called Exercise is Medicine, of which Technogym is a Global Partner.

Let's Move for a Better World

In 2014, Technogym launched its global campaign Let's Move for a Better World in line with its mission. The initiative aims to raise community awareness of sedentariness and obesity while promoting exercise as an ideal way to combat them.
And it does so in an addictive and fun way!
HOW DOES IT WORK?

With Let's Move for a Better World, those who train in the gym can do good for themselves and others. By training in one of the participating fitness centres, users can accumulate MOVEs (the unit of measurement of Technogym's movement).

Based on the MOVEs collected, the winning centres are called upon to choose a school or non-profit association to which they can donate the most advanced Technogym equipment: in addition to improving their physical fitness, meeting new friends and having fun, the participants can also help their community to become more active.

In this way, the participating gyms become Wellness Ambassadors, true champions of dynamic life.

From the gym, the word will spread quickly thanks to the viral nature of Let's Move and become a valuable ally in the fight against sedentary life and its consequences.

From Milan to Rio

Let's Move for a Better World was so successful that Technogym decided to replicate it in three special editions. The first in Milan at Expo 2015, where Technogym was present as "Official Wellness Partner".

Expo was held under the slogan Nourishing the planet, energy for life. The main objective of the event was to provide concrete responses to important issues such as sustainable development and food security.

At Expo Technogym promoted the Let's Move & Donate Food campaign, in support of the United Nations Food Programme.

Visitors were encouraged to donate their own movement, measured in MOVE: every 1000 MOVEs corresponded to a meal to be donated to children suffering from malnutrition.

The second special edition of Let's Move & donate food featured Davos' snow-covered slopes in the background. On the occasion of the World Economic Forum participants were invited to download the Technogym app to keep track of their daily movement. The collected MOVEs were then donated to give meals to children in countries affected by malnutrition.

In the same year, during the Rio Olympics, Technogym promoted the Let's move for Rio project.
The campaign involved athletes and Olympic champions, the so-called "Wellness Enthusiasts" and gym visitors from around the world, to promote sport and physical activity as a social opportunity.
Through Technogym's digital platform, Mywellness cloud, athletes and wellness enthusiasts were able to measure their physical exercise during the Olympics. The collected MOVEs were then converted into Technogym equipment, which was then donated to 22 public gyms in the most disadvantaged communities of Rio.

Together, we will move the world
#letsmoveforabetterwolrd

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