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The why behind Let's Move for a Better World

36 years. No, it is not the age of the writer, 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.Today there are more overweight or obese people in the world than those suffering from malnutrition, and this is true globally with the exception of some parts of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. 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 fivefold.

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 devolution 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 obese 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

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

  1. 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.
  2. Muscle damage: by spending a long time inactive muscles can lose elasticity, firmness and mass.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 against the global obesity

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

Let's Move for a Better World is the result of Technogym's thirty-year commitment to promoting wellness around the world. The campaign represents an opportunity to create a more sustainable society, based on personal health, and the education of the younger generations is a fundamental starting point for the achievement of the common goal.

Nerio Alessandri

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. 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.

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.
How does it works
With Let's Move for a Better World, those who train in the gym can bring benefits to themselves and to others. Let's Move for a Better World is an opportunity for all sportsmen and sportswomen to train and it is also an opportunity to bring people closer to sport, perhaps for the first time.
From march 16th to april 4th, 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.

All operators interested in participating in this global awareness and charity campaign can register here from November 11th.

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