Inactive Equals Lazy?


Yesterday I ended up in a conversation with another blogger about use of the word lazy when it comes to physical activity. Stephen had highlighted how media outlets and even UK Active (a non-profit committed to improving the health of the nation through promoting active lifestyles) uses the term lazy when talking about engagement in physical activity - the active become the 'fittest' and the less active become the 'laziest' - but are people who are less active really lazy? Or are people falling back on a cliched stereotype of lazy because it is easy? 

There are a myriad of reasons why people don't participate in physical activity - they're embarrassed, they've had bad experiences in the past, they're busy, they don't know how to access activities, they're intimidated, they don't believe physical activity is 'for' them, they don't have the resources to access it. The list goes on and on, and all these reasons are underpinned by some pretty hefty social issues as well. I am forever saying that participation is complex, and that's because it it. It is not as simple for many people as lacing up their trainers and going for a run, and to say people are lazy for not doing so is ignorant of the impact of privilege - parents who encouraged an active lifestyle, resources to access facilities, confidence to walk into a gym or a class, time and freedom from other commitments. However, until there's a move away from reductionist perceptions around participation we aren't really going to make true progress, and I'd urge everyone to consider the language they use, lets facilitate rather than shame.

if you want to know more Stephen had written an excellent article, which you can find here.