How making your day harder can make life better
Michael Shulman, CTVNews.ca
Published Saturday, June 13, 2015 10:02PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, June 14, 2015 11:38AM EDT
A Canadian doctor is challenging people to avoid taking the easy way out and to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Dr. Mike Evans wants Canadians to get up off their butts and make their everyday lives more physically demanding, to combat what he calls an epidemic of sitting in the country.
Evans has launched a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #MakeYourDayHarder, to encourage people to share how they've gone the extra mile, whether that means taking the stairs, biking to work, or parking farther away from the office.
As a species, Evans says that humans are constantly searching for the path of least resistance. And while robot vacuums, Segways, cars, escalators and other convenience-based technology can save us time and effort, they also take away opportunities to use muscles and burn calories.
"I think there's a resonance for the easy button in society," Evans told CTV News.
In particular, Evans wants to cut down on the time Canadians spend sitting down. In recent years, the hazards of sitting too much have been compared to those of smoking. Research suggests that people who spend most of their days in a chair are more likely to be obese, have heart problems, cancer and die younger.
A study released earlier this month recommends that office workers should stand for at least two hours a day.
Evans makes his pitch for a more active lifestyle in a video on his YouTube page.
"We need to be mindful as technology becomes more ubiquitous, it can loot the medicine chest of our single best treatment for good health: being active," Evans says in the video.
Evans suggests that people should run counter to the culture of convenience and then spread the word through social media.
For example, he proposes people take the stairs, instead of escalator and then Tweet about it. Or maybe get off the bus a stop early and walk the rest of the way to your destination.
"All these things are just a little tweaks that we can do with our day," said Evans.
"So the name of movement is making your day harder, which sounds kind of bad, but it's actually good."
Katie Harper loves the idea and has been trying to add a little sweat to her daily routine.
"I take the stairs, I ride my bike to work and I try to stand up if I'm on the phone," said Harper.
And the hashtag has been catching on, inspiring people across the country and around the world to make their day a little harder.
This includes employees at Toronto's Women's College Hospital, where they've been holding stand-up meetings.
"It's a wonderful reminder to all of us that there are simple ways to improve our fitness," said Marilyn Emery, president and CEO of the hospital.
With a report from CTV News' John Vennavally-Rao