NICE, the national institute for clinical excellence, released guidelines for dealing with obesity yesterday. A top person from NICE summarised the gist and suggested that we all know the basic stuff.
'You know,' he said, 'things like taking the lift and not the stairs.'
Now, I'm not saying this is bad advice, just not that relevant to those of us who only use a lift about twice a year. Which is probably most people who don't work in a multi-storey building. Which I'm going to go out on a limb and say is most people. I didn't get to the limb easily by the way - I climbed to that limb using muscles I didn't know I had. It was blooming good exercise.
Even escalators only feature in my life about once every couple of weeks. I just don't see that changing these minor methods of getting to other floors is going to account for a substantially increased calorie burn.
And really, the only time I am likely to be using a lift is when I'm staying in a hotel. And if I'm in a hotel I'm taking all the luxury they can give me. And I'll probably use their on-site leisure facilities and do so other exercise.
My theory is that NICE, being part of the government, are in the pocket of big business, specifically the petrochemical industry. So the more generally applicable, 'walk to the local shops, don't drive.' has been vetoed by the corporate paymasters of politicians. And lift-manufacturers can only dream of using their financial muscle to influence government policy.
So they just sit at home dreaming of a day when staircases are banned by the health and safety executive for being too risky a mode of inter-floor transmigration.