Updating the Message to Get Americans Moving

The New York Times:

Rod Dishman, director of the psychology laboratory at the University of Georgia, is annoyed when students enroll in one of the fitness classes offered at his university. Because it’s a class in walking.

“It is a sin for a healthy, capable young adult to enroll in a walking class,” he said. “It is obscene. What they are getting credit for is avoiding making any effort.”

And therein lies a problem, Dr. Dishman and other researchers say. The public health message about exercise is that any amount is good and that walking is just fine. Everyone has been told, repeatedly, that regular exercise improves health and makes people feel better, happier, more energetic. Nearly all Americans say they have heard those messages. They know that exercise is good for them and that they should do it.

But Dr. Ekkekakis has discovered a few clues. He borrowed from Daniel Kahneman, the Princeton psychologist whose research has found that people remember two parts of an experience: the peak, when the feeling was most intense, and the end.

Read the whole story: The New York Times

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