According to an article in today’s Daily Mail (‘The paper our doctors read’, so we know it’s medically sound), a new survey reveals we in the UK are among the laziest people on the planet.
Statistics show we are almost twice as idle as the French. That’s no mean feat as your average Gaul is rarely up before noon, and spends the rest of the day dipping croissants in his wine.
It seems a massive (literally!) 63.3 per cent of us don’t take enough exercise and, as a result, are grossly overweight and likely to drop dead by the end of the week. If not sooner. (Or until another survey comes along and says exercise is bad for us and should be avoided at all costs. Nothing would surprise me.)
Disappointingly, we are only Europe’s third laziest country, behind the current world champions, Malta (71.9 per cent) and the Serbs (68.3 per cent).
This is good news for the Maltese, who have had nothing to boast about since winning the George Cross in 1942, and inventing Maltesers in 1957. (I got that last one off Wikipedia, so it must be true. Clearly, having invented them, they scoffed the lot and now can’t get out of bed. Hence their current prowess.)
Worldwide, we’re way back in fifth place – beaten by Swaziland (69 per cent) and Saudi Arabia (68.6 per cent). (I have followers in the USA, Canada, Denmark and Israel – countries not on the list – and can only say, ‘You must try harder!’)
To be fair, it’s difficult for us in the UK to take serious exercise when we’re stuck at home all day, hoping for a break in the rain. (Just as the Swazis and our Saudi Arabian friends are doubtless waiting for some cooler weather in which to go out jogging.)
Apparently, if we all took more exercise, the scientists say we’d live – wait for it (no pun intended) – a staggering 0.68 years longer. I’ve dug out my calculator, done the maths and that seems to come to about 8 months.
I think I may have discovered the reason we can’t be bothered to get out of bed and run up a hill. In the rain or otherwise.
The article was accompanied by the following photograph which, I think, says it all.
Elsewhere in the news, papers just released reveal that, in 1943, Nazi agents planned to assassinate our wartime leader Winston Churchill by smuggling a bar of exploding chocolate into Number 10 Downing Street!
According to the Daily Mail (‘the paper Hitler liked to read’, so we know they’ve got their facts right), Winnie didn’t eat chocolate because he was a top-class athlete who used to run 50 miles a day. So the plan was scuppered from the start.
That was on the internet, too – I checked to make sure they weren’t having me on. And here’s a photo that proves it:
If it hadn’t been for Winston’s rigorous exercise regime, history would have taken a different course, and we’d all be even bigger today than we already are.
That’s a sobering thought. Or it would be if another survey didn’t suggest we’re also the drunkest nation in Europe.
I’m off for a lie down. All this writing has tired me out.
Thought for the Day
‘I went for a 20-mile run this morning, I didn’t do 20 miles, of course. I got to the end of the road and thought, “This is silly…”‘
Robert Walpole (1676-1745) (First PM of Great Britain)