Lauren Mechling, Young Fitness Fogies Ditch $40 Classes for Hoops, Laps and Jogs, The New York Times, January 23, 2018
Sense of Democracy
Many of the gyms that cater to fashion models and investment bankers can feel like bastions of blowouts and entitlement, while public parks and recreation centers still welcome urban dwellers across every imaginable spectrum. The sense of democracy — and sweating with strangers from different backgrounds rather than folks we know from college or the school run — is a considerable draw at a time of heightened income disparity.
“It’s really important for young people and for older people to cross-pollinate,” Mr. Hawke recently told People Magazine. We are living in a world, he said, where “there’s just so much division everywhere that one of the things the Y can do right now is raise their hands and say, ‘Hey, everybody’s welcome here.’
Through the WI lens
This article vindicates one of the convictions we’ve held for a long time: that many of the most sophisticated wellbeing trends are fads destined to fade away. High-end fitness classes are a case in point. Smaller / high-end gyms may be the fastest-growing segment of the exercise business (with their membership growing 6.3 percent – twice the industry average – between 2015 and 2016), but more and more people now realize that going for a run or a brisk walk, or playing a game of football or basketball, is not only more pleasant, but more efficient as well.
We predict that sooner than most wellness companies realize, going to a public park, around the block or to a recreation center will soon become more fashionable than spending $40 an hour sweating in front of a screen.
What this article goes on to explain is how positive thinking – described here as ‘thriving’ – can counter the effects that come from the negativity outlined above, from reduced memory to diminished performance. Based on studying people in a series of organisations in different industries, one of the authors has found that people who attain this state are more resilient, experience less burnout, and are more confident in their ability to take control of a situation
“Behind the jargon what this is really about is how we address the challenge of biodiversity under threat, move away from fossil materials like plastic and concrete, and use nature in a sustainable way, all of which could be summed up by “living in harmony with nature”.”
“In the new ‘consensual contract’ between employer and worker, what’s required is a commitment from the employer to safeguard the wellbeing of their people, and a commitment in return from employees to take personal responsibility for their performance of their job.”
“Could loneliness not only be damaging our mental and physical health but also be making the world a more aggressive, angry place? And if so, what are the implications for a cohesive society and democracy?”
“On such fragile foundations are built the first steps towards a more ethical kind of business, and who knows what virtuous circles might result?”
“Scientific evidence recently emerged that, contrary to earlier beliefs, Covid-19 can be spread by tiny droplets that we breathe out when we respire, called aerosols.”
“Economic wellbeing is part of the story, but it is also about finding less stressful lifestyles, in which healthy diet figures as a meaningful measure of success.”
“The industry has every asset needed to be a guiding light in the shift toward personal health priority. Will that become a prevention legacy, a ‘phoenix rising’ from the Covid-19 ashes?”
“Looking at the bigger picture, putting the measures in this order represents a lost opportunity that the pandemic could have offered for a cultural pivot pivot towards getting people more focused on their health, a powerful statement of intent.”
“Employment is necessary to fulfil our most basic human needs such as food and shelter. Any significant increase in long-term unemployment will spell a retrograde step for human wellbeing like no other.”