Moscow Squats to Fight Obesity

While we were all busy with the latest research at Obesity Week, the folks who run the subways in Moscow were busy solving the problem with squats to fight obesity. That’s right — 30 squats before a high-tech subway fare counter and you get a free ride on the Moscow subway. Obesity averted.

Moscow Squats

You can find videos bubbling over with enthusiastic endorsements for this innovative obesity prevention initiative. How did Bloomberg let Moscow scoop him on this one? And did we mention that this gives us all another reason we’re panting to go to the Winter Olympics in Russia?

As entertaining as this spectacle may be, perhaps it’s not so bad to draw attention (with a smile) to the benefits of increased physical activity. “Much more attention should be given to promoting physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness as a means to reduce risk for disease and death,” wrote Vaughn Barry and colleagues in commentary on their new meta-analysis published by Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases. Their analysis found that cardiorespiratory fitness is a better predictor of mortality than weight status.

Honored during Obesity Week with the Mickey Stunkard Lifetime Achievement Award, Steven Blair delivered a compelling lecture on the need to focus more on physical activity as a critical component of energy balance.

It might take more than a few extra squats on the Moscow subway.

Click here to read more about Moscow subway squats, click here for the study by Barry et al, and click here for Blair’s lecture at Obesity Week 2013.

Sunset Squat, photograph © Nathan Rupert / flickr

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