Friday, January 11, 2008
Of lapbands and lifts
My blogging mate Dan over at Cafe Leone wrote a very funny post entitled "How not to motivate someone" a couple of days ago and I would urge you to read it. Without giving too much away he came across a comment that said that "Walking upstairs burns three times as many calories as taking an elevator" and concluded that rather than continue walking up 10 floors to his office he would be better off riding up and down in the lift a few times.
I wondered about the source of the comment and so thanks to the wonder of Google found that there is a pamphlet on healthy living published by our very own Department of Consumer Affairs here in Victoria that confirms everything that Dan said. If you care to open up that document you will find the last sentence of paragraph three on page three stating -
"And walking up stairs burns almost five times more calories than taking an elevator"
Now that's from the government so it must be correct and the conclusion therefore is that if you ride up an elevator five times, you have burnt the same amount of energy you would have if you'd walked the same distance once. It doesn't say what going down in an elevator does, but it would be reasonable to assume that you would expend the same number of calories going down as you would going up.
The Australian Medical Association in the past week has come out and said that there should be taxpayer funded weight loss surgery. The Victorian Branch went further and said that the government should fund lapband surgery on obese kids as young as 14. Now I won't get into what's wrong with just withholding money from kids so they can't buy junk food, or being careful about what you stock your pantry with, because taking responsibility for yourself these days seems to be a very old-fashioned idea. Much easier to tell other people they should be responsible for things or look to government to fund solutions. But it got me thinking.
When I was a young lad many of the elevators I got into in buildings were actually manned by real people. So instead of dangerous lapband surgery why don't we give all the obese people jobs as elevator attendants and pay them to do it - that way we not only improve the service to the public in all high rise buildings, but we save an absolute fortune on medical bills and these people can burn thousands of calories each day just riding up and down in lifts. The only problem I can see with it is that the people using the lifts might actually burn less calories because they won't have to push buttons anymore.
And thanks to Dan - there's another problem solved!
Image from Cartoonstock.com