Editorial: US should do squat about obesity rates

SubwayComic.jpgThirty squats might be your exercise for the day. Thirty squats could also get you a ride on the subway. At least, that’s the case in Russia.

A vending machine has been set up in a Moscow subway station that would allow people to buy a subway ticket by doing 30 squats. A ticket would normally cost 30 rubles, or 92 cents.

Alexander Zhukov, the president of the Russian Olympic Committee, said the machine is to promote the games and to show that everyone can get involved in a sporting lifestyle.

The system is in honor of the 2014 Winter Olympics, which will be held in Sochi, Russia. Not only does this present a creative way to get people hyped for the Olympics, it also presents a possible plus for the United States.

This creative promotion is exactly what the U.S. needs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese and even more people are overweight.

The terms “overweight” and “obese” are defined by the body mass index, which is a correlation between height and weight. A BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight and a BMI of 30 or higher is obese. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease and stroke. In addition, it is more expensive to be obese, as medical costs are higher for people who are obese, according to the CDC.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reported that Mexico has the highest rate of obesity in the Western Hemisphere, at 32.8 percent. The U.S. obesity rate is 31.8 percent.

In Russia, the obesity rate is 24.9 percent, according to the FAO’s latest figures.

Implementing a similar system of squats, jumping jacks, push-ups, etc. in exchange for a subway ticket in America might just help fight obesity and it would promote physical activity.

Giving people an incentive to exercise is not just a way to lower obesity rates.

It also presents an opportunity for people to have fun. It’s unusual to see people exercising to pay for a service, so onlookers would enjoy the uniqueness of the system. This system has the potential to generate a positive type of peer pressure, which could encourage people to exercise.

Another benefit to the promotion in Russia is that it’s optional. People can choose to participate or choose to pay like they normally would. This eliminates the possible element of humiliation for those who can’t or don’t want to do the squats.

In addition, not everyone will opt to do the exercise, so the lines won’t be too long. It takes time to do squats and if everyone were to be required to do them, lines would back up.

This also would help people save money. Although the tickets may seem cheap, not everyone can afford to purchase them. People who may not have money can do the exercise and get a ticket. Some might argue that if enough people participate, the subway system would lose money.

However, it is more likely that the system would gain money from advertisements.

This system would generate media attention, which would increase use of the subway. It’s unlikely having the system in place would decrease use of the subway because it is optional.

So whether it’s running a lap or two around the parking lot or doing 30 squats in payment for a service, this would be a good system to implement in America.

It promotes exercise, which is something more and more people need.

In a society where the people are growing in size, offering more incentives to exercise is just what we need. Squats are needed in the U.S. because, right now, the U.S. is doing squat.