This past weekend, I had the pleasure of participating in a race that was part of Calgary's Marathon weekend. You know, "stupid thing that causes all of the roads to be blocked while idiots try to kill themselves running" (at least, according to the rant from a gentleman in the airport).
These races, which are held all over the place, seem to be getting more popular each year. And, it is not just running....look at the turnout for most Spartan races, Ironman and others. In some ways, we are more active than ever.
Well, some of us. It seems that the majority of North Americans aren't getting enough exercise, and this is a relatively new phenomenon. I am sure that if there was a way to talk to a prehistoric man, he would tell you that he was quite active, if he had time to talk while running from a lion. The same goes for people from a few hundred years ago. Most of them wouldn't have time to talk, as they would be busy putting in 12-18 hour days on the farm.
So, lack of exercise, as a widespread problem in society is somewhat recent. The first two "revolutions" (Industrial and Internet) both played major roles in this. When machines replaced workers and we started being able to do more from the comforts of our own couch, we got lazy. After all, tuning into Netflix is a lot easier than running out to get a movie at Blockbuster...
At first glance, one may think that it may not make us lazier. However, I think that it will. It will reduce the need for things such as repairs to equipment, walking patrols to check on machines/buildings, meter reading and much more. Companies will greatly see either a reduction in staffing for many jobs or they will see them be able to be more productive with the same amount (which is basically like reducing staff, as you are doing more with less). With the elimination of physically oriented jobs, we will become even more sedentary as a whole.
Ironically, while IoT makes us lazier, it is trying to make us healthier. One only has to look the explosion of FitBit and others to see this. So, we are using the same technology to give us the time to sit down more while also telling us when we have been sitting down too long....hmm.
Sure, not everyone is becoming lazier. It was great to see thousands of runners/walkers at the event this weekend. I am sure that similar sized crowds have been seen all over. We need more of these things, as we need to incorporate more exercise into our non-working lives if we are going to be cutting out activity at work. And, who says that it can't be fun? I am sure that the runner who ran the half marathon (in 1:40) while wearing a Chewbacca costume had fun!