Exercise may not be a natural instinct for many but people can change their behavior and integrate more activity into their lives. Stealth health, or the small change approach was the positive message of Dr. James O. Hill, from the University of Colorado at Denver. In order to do that, we need to think outside the box, getting communities involved and changing the culture.
Dr. Hill noted how there are very, very few people who can maintain a healthy weight if they are sedentary. In order to avoid the 1-2 pound average annual weight gain, we would need to burn about 100 calories a day. To lose about 10 to 15% of body weight one needs to burn about 200 to 300 calories per day.
The goal is to change people’s behavior but for long term change there needs to be some motivators, such as money or offsetting greenhouse gas.
He spoke about his efforts to involve the community: developers, builders, hospitals, grocery stores, restaurants – name it and it sounds like he has approached them. Get a pedometer in the grocery store and the more steps you take, the more discounts you get on the product. Every person in the community has a stake in this issue, just some people don’t know it.
A lot of people doing small change will help promote the results we want.
Dr. Hill also has a book on the small change approach.