Sunday, December 16, 2007


Hector is a fan of old-time songs. His favourite is that old Noel Coward number about his canary, the one who has circles under his eyes. Hec says he can relate to that.

But when we heard him humming along today it was an adaptation of another old favourite from the dilettante days of yore, ‘Let’s Fall in Love’. It went like this:

Cockatoos in droves do it
Wedge-tailed Eagles, regally, do it
Budgies, in or out of smugglers, do it
Even effete parakeets do it
Let’s do it
Let’s trot along ...

Now Hec’s far from being a fitness fanatic. But he does flit around everywhere with tremendous energy and fits in at least 20 press-ups a day (when nobody’s looking).

And today’s little ditty, he tells us, was inspired by something he read about the latest fitness report on Aussies.

Not to put too fine a point on it, it seems they’re an idle shower. Nearly half of them are not even active enough to maintain good health.

A study found that one in five of those fortunate enough to live in the well-serviced and specially protected biosphere known as Australia don't even manage one 10-minute walk a week.
It reported that 16 per cent of those interviewed were ‘completely sedentary’. In Hector talk, that means they do three fifths of five eighths of a quarter of one sixteenth of bugger all to help themselves maintain fitness. The remaining nanojoule of energy is probably reserved for lifting the beer glass to the lips.

And two-thirds did not meet recommended guidelines for moderate intensity physical activity in the previous week.

A total of 47 per cent were not sufficiently active for good health, according to the survey of almost 1500 adults. (Hector wonders how they managed to dredge up the energy to participate in the survey.)

Naturally, in these days when nothing is every your fault or your responsibility, but always someone else’s and preferably that of the amorphous entity known as ‘government’, getting Aussies off their butts is seen as a job for the government. Memo Prime Minister Rudd: Have you got a vision thingy for this dire crisis?

It seems that most of those questioned blamed their lack of attention to serious detail (maintaining a capacity to walk more than two steps without a Bex and lie-down, for example) on long working hours, increasingly lengthy travelling times to and from work, and the fact that their workplace didn’t provide a gym facility and showers.

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