Why Exercise Is Hard

Thanks to the University of Minnesota for sponsoring this video!

Because exercise isn’t essential for short-term survival, we don’t exercise enough, so we need to reincorporate purposeful physical activity into our lives.

Thanks also to our Patreon patrons and our YouTube members.
To learn more, start your googling with these keywords:
Physical activity – any bodily movement produced by the contraction of skeletal muscle that increases energy expenditure above a basal level
Exercise – a form of physical activity that is planned, structured, repetitive, and performed (primarily) with the goal of improving health or fitness
Recommended levels of physical activity (USA) – 150 minutes moderate-intensity or 75 minutes vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, or an equivalent combination, and muscle-strengthening activities at least 2 days / week
Evolutionary medicine – a field that uses evolutionary theory & data to better understand (the origins of) health & disease
Mismatch conditions – health conditions that are more prevalent or severe today than in the past because the body is inadequately or insufficiently adapted to modern environmental conditions (likely including: cavities, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis)
If you liked this week’s video, you might also like:
Forget Exercise. For Better Health, We Need Better Cities –
Magazine article about why exercise is hard –
On an individual level, psychology is involved, too:
Americans aren’t getting the message about exercising more & sitting less –
What healthy living and fixing climate change have in common –
The wonder drug that’s free –
How to live to be 100+ (TED Talk) –
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Credits (and Twitter handles):
Script Writer, Editor and Video Narrator: Alex Reich (@alexhreich)
Video Illustrator: Arcadi Garcia (@garirius)
Video Director: David Goldenberg (@dgoldenberg)
With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Kate Yoshida, Ever Salazar, Peter Reich, Julián Gómez, Sarah Berman
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder:



Booth, F. W., et al. 2017. Role of inactivity in chronic diseases: evolutionary insight and pathophysiological mechanisms. Physiological reviews, 97(4), 1351-1402.

Ding, D., et al. 2016. The economic burden of physical inactivity: a global analysis of major non-communicable diseases. The Lancet, 388(10051), 1311-1324.

Hoed, M. D., et al. 2013. Heritability of objectively assessed daily physical activity and sedentary behavior. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 98(5), 1317-1325.

Lee, I. M., et al. 2012. Effect of physical inactivity on major non-communicable diseases worldwide: an analysis of burden of disease and life expectancy. The Lancet, 380(9838), 219-229.

Lee, H. H., et al. 2016. The exercise–affect–adherence pathway: an evolutionary perspective. Frontiers in psychology, 7, 1285.

Lewis, B. A., personal communication. May 2019.

Lewis, B. A., et al. 2014. A randomized trial examining a physical activity intervention for the prevention of postpartum depression: the healthy mom trial. Mental Health and Physical Activity, 7(1), 42-49.

Lieberman, D. E. 2015. Is exercise really medicine? An evolutionary perspective. Current sports medicine reports, 14(4), 313-319.

Rhodes, R. E., et al. 2018. Theories of physical activity behaviour change: A history and synthesis of approaches. Psychology of Sport and Exercise.

US Department of Health & Human Services. 2018. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition. Washington, DC.

US Department of Health & Human Services. 2018. 2018 Physical activity guidelines advisory committee scientific report. Washington, DC.

WHO. 2019. Prevalence of insufficient physical activity. Accessed May 2019.

source: https://indiancinema-analysis.com

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50 Replies to “Why Exercise Is Hard”

  1. Viewer support makes MinuteEarth possible! Making videos is a littler harder than exercise, but your support makes it worth it! Wanna help us? You can become our patron on Patreon or member on YouTube! Just visit https://www.patreon.com/MinuteEarth or click "JOIN". Thanks!!

  2. i'm Brazilian, that flag is a bit wrong for people below 20, because we play soccer, go to the beach, hike things like that, but above… well… we are lazy as heck

  3. I’m not sitting down nor standing
    I’m lying on the bed and I’m not even holding my phone with my hand …

    My iPhone stand is doing it for me

  4. I know I left a really abrasive and confrontational comment when I first watched this about my not having any choice in the matter, and I wanted to find that comment to apologize for it — I didn't want to erase it, but rather say how I've realized I took your message the wrong way.

    I still think I got overly defensive, imagining you talking about my own life when you were making generalizations, but glancing over some recent comments as I was attempting to find my own, I realized that I wasn't entirely wrong in my stance, but I didn't express myself properly, and I don't think this video expressed your sentiments properly, either.

    Yes, we should all "be the change we wish to see in the world," but as others have rightfully pointed out, a lot of people simply do not have that option. I recently read a depressing article on Huffington Post about DuPont and C8, and something that struck me is that a lot of the townsfolk who were defending DuPont even as they were being poisoned, did so because it was their very livelihood at stake. There are a lot of changes that we, the general public, can affect, but the biggest problems are on much grander scales, and ideas like "biking to work" cannot work for a large portion of the populace unless our systems, institutions, and even physical infrastructure undergo massive changes (whether that be radical change, or incremental change with the goal being many years away).

  5. Laziness is the source of creativity and inventions. People are too lazy to do a long walk, so they made vehicles. People are too lazy to think, so they made Google. And so on and on. Laziness is both a gift and a curse for humanity. It depends on how we use it.

  6. 2:30
    VR wants to know your location!
    I have a VR at home and sometimes i use it and sometimes i don't.
    The main factor i don't sometimes is simple.
    It is exhausting to always disconnect/connect cables to avoid damaging the device itself by making it be used without using it.

  7. I watched about 10 YouTube videos in pajamas with my 8 yr old son and the last one was this. We got dressed up and went for a 1 hour walk. Thank you MinuteEarth!

  8. I'm very happy to see this message getting boosted. I take it as a personal challenge to work on the problem of sedentary society due to its effect on our mental health, but nobody wants to talk about it. So thank you for doing your part. 🙂

  9. @MinuteEarth I like playing video games but I also like to be physically active so my favorite game is Just Dance or vr minecraft

  10. Some of this stuff needs to be taught starting at elementary school so it becomes part of the next generation's life which will lead to a permanent change in culture

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