Doctors in many countries say that people do not do enough physical exercise. What are the causes of this trend? How can the situation be improved?

Many elderly
people
today, in spite of frequent recommendations from doctors, do not get adequate
exercise
. In my opinion,
this
is largely related to their upbringing and simple psychology, while the best solutions augment existing remedies. The most basic sources of
this
problem are historical and psychological. Many old
people
today grew up in a period when
exercise
was not ubiquitous. Gyms in schools and as private businesses are a more recent development so they have not become ingrained habits for past generations.
Moreover
, men may have experience playing a sport but female athletics were historically underfunded and even banned in many nations, which has an effect on elderly women
in particular
.
This
history intermingles with normal human psychology.
People
are naturally embarrassed to stand out or appear foolish in public. Feeling self-conscious is an initial barrier that prevents many elderly from taking up a new sport or going to the gym for the
first
time. The most efficacious solutions involve better accommodating the elderly. One way to do
this
would be to build more parks for
exercise
. In some East Asian countries
such
as Vietnam and South Korea, they have been building both small and large, rural and urban parks with basic
exercise
equipment for decades. They are easy to use, common and the elderly have become acclimated to them. Many more elderly would
exercise
if there was an expansion and replication of these successful policies. Another related fix would be to build more fitness centres.
This
may not have a huge impact at the moment, because gym members tend to be younger, but as a new generation of old
people
rises up, these centres will become more important and allow governments to take a proactive, rather than reactive, approach. In conclusion, there are both historic and fundamentally human reasons
for
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why old
people
do not
exercise
today. In my opinion, the solutions are not novel but would clearly lead to improved health for the elderly.
Submitted by slb20112 on

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