The STEM 1.0 Airline Program Home Page

Key points:

1. We’re in the midst of the Inactivity Epidemic: The average adult spends 9-10 hours sitting each day.

2. The more you sit, the more likely you are to developing chronic illnesses, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.

3. The good news: you don’t need to do much physical activity to reduce your risk of getting these illnesses.

4. 1% changes - such as 15 minutes of walking each day - reduces your risk of getting breast and colon cancer by 24-50%.

“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise - not too little and not too much - we would have found the safest way to health.” – Hippocrates

A new drug has been discovered with such broad ranging powers that it may end up being the cure for all human disease. Early reports suggest that it can be used to prevent and treat almost every chronic disease faced by humans. The list of benefits of taking this drug are truly amazing:

This drug has been shown to:

·      lower your risk of certain types of cancer by 24-50%,

·      prevent and treat cardiovascular disease,

·      reverse type 2 diabetes,

·      reduce the number of cold and flu infections that you get by 75%,

·      prevent osteoporosis,

·      alleviate depression and anxiety,

·      prevent Alzheimer’s disease,

·      improve memory, learning, problem solving and concentration,

·      make you happier.

There is only one catch to this drug. You have to take it almost every day for the rest of your life. You have to be consistent. If you do that you’re guaranteed to get the benefits. Have you figured it out yet? Most likely yes, given the theme of this unit! This “drug” is exercise. It does all of the above and much, much, more. Are you in?

I hope so. But keep in mind that you are faced with a grand challenge – the inactivity epidemic.

As with the challenges we face with when it comes to eating well, it’s not easy to build exercise into our day. And many of our daily tasks are killing us. We commute to and from work using cars or public transportation. Most people - perhaps you or perhaps not, depending on your assignment - have sitting jobs. Pilots have to sit while flying.

The British Medical Journal reports that the average adult spends between 9-10 hours sitting each day. That’s a lot of sedentary behaviour! And it happens because our world is built to sit us down. Which means that our world is also built to make us sick.

We now know that sitting is an independent risk factor for chronic illnesses. Basically, the more sedentary you are, the sicker you will probably get. Consider that a recent review of 43 studies found that people who reported sitting for more hours of the day had a 24% greater risk of developing colon cancer, a 32% higher risk of endometrial cancer and a 21% higher risk of lung cancer.

But what can all of us do to improve our health and wellness? 

We need to move more – and move more consistently. Whether you have some or almost no movement in your workday currently, you need move daily to build your best life.

Short bouts of activity throughout your day can supercharge your health and performance. Fifteen minutes of exercise – like a short walk – can increase your ability to concentrate and problem solve. Fifteen minutes of walking each day reduces your risk of breast and colon cancer by 24-50%. The good news is you're probably already getting this by walking to and from the plane at the airport.

Remember, it’s all about being 1% better and learning about human health and performance. Fortunately, the idea that exercise is medicine is exploding around the world. Researchers and clinicians are now discovering powerful links between movement and health.

We’re going to spend some time together exploring these links. If you didn't already fill out the health, wellbeing, and performance audit at the beginning of the program, please take five minutes to fill out this physical activity questionnaire. We can then give you specific recommendations on how to improve your daily physical activity habits. When it asks about a typical weekday, fill in what you do on a typical workday. When it asks about a typical weekend, fill in what you do on a typical day off. 

Today's POWER-UP: Sprinkle movement into your day 

1. Follow the 20/20 rule: For every 20 minutes of sitting, stand and stretch (or just stretch) for 20 seconds. If standing isn't an option like when you're flying, TRY THIS ULTIMATE DESKERCISE ROUTINE OR THESE 8 DESK STRETCHES FROM THE MAYO CLINIC

2. If you take public transportation to work, stand up instead of sitting down.


The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist Sky Regional employees with improving their general health. It is not intended and should not be used in place of advice from your own physician or for treatment or diagnosis of any specific health issue. Sky Regional is not responsible for the content of this program which has been specially developed and is being provided to you by the Wells Group Inc., in consultation with Sky Regional. By participating in this program you acknowledge that undertaking any new health, diet and/or exercise regime involves certain inherent risks, that you assume such risks, and that you release Sky Regional and the Wells Group Inc. from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.