I love this ad from Copenhagen. Sponsored by the public health department:
“You won’t believe it…
You’re safer on the bicycle than on the sofa!”
Lack of daily exercise is harmful to your health, while physical activity keeps your body healthy. Cycling extends your life – daily exercise for minimum 30 minutes extends your life with up to five years.”
In the UK / US, health officials seem more concerned with making helmets compulsory than encouraging people to get off the sofa.
I often feel approach to health and safety is misplaced. We spend a lot of attention in trying to ‘protect’ people from perceived dangerous situations. i.e. given them an air bag, stop them going on busy roads e.t.c.
But, less attention is focused on promoting a positive activity. Less attention is focused on preventative health care. i.e. don’t get heart disease in first place.
Part of it is due to the media. It is easier to write headlines saying how dangerous roads are and how irresponsible it is to cycle without helmet.
Maybe, we just need the Daily Mail to come up with headlines like ‘fat man spends another day on sofa.’
In Australia enforcement of compulsory helmet has led to a decline in cycle use and has been a contributory factor to the rise in obesity. References here