12 Small Changes to Increase Physical Activity

We know how amazing physical activity can be. The liberation. The fulfilment. The energy. We know about the wide array of benefits for physical and mental health. Concerted efforts have been made to raise physical activity rates around the world, but progress is slow and difficult (Guthold et al., 2018). For many, the pandemic has led to a decrease in their activity levels. Despite the impassioned efforts of physical activity advocates, there is “limited comprehensive policy action commensurate with the size of the problem” (Salvo et al., 2021).
So here are 12 small changes we can all help with to increase activity for all.

  1. Simply change to a 4-day work week. This would instantly give you, your colleagues, and your bosses about 10 more hours of your own time every week. The weekend would instantly increase by 50%. More free time = more activity.
  2. Merely give everybody a universal basic income. It might cut poverty in half, so people can have more free time for active leisure.
  3. Just have co-ed/mixed PE. All that time spent on dividing a class up could be used to have PE instead. Mixed classes will help children prepare for a lifetime of living amongst people who are different. And kids might learn about new ways of being physically active. And they might make new friends, and not be separated from their existing friends simply because of their sex/gender.
  4. Here’s a radical idea — let children play outside their homes. You can play outside too if you want.
  5. Nationalize or socialize your country’s health care. It will be better for everyone (except maybe health insurance company owners). Sick people won’t have to worry if they can access health-care. They can spend their money at their local swimming pool or gym instead.
  6. Make local swimming pools free. And local gyms. And local running tracks.
  7. One for the men. Make sure women feel as free and safe to be active any time and any place as you/we do.
  8. If you’re in England, change the rules that mean you can only access 8% of land to walk or cycle on. Think of how more active you could be!
  9. Simply get your local council to build high quality, strong bike lockers on every street. Big ones. Really big ones. Paint murals on them.
  10. Suggestions welcome!
  11. And more suggestions welcome!
  12. In the spirit of Christmas, can we get to 12?