Sunday, October 11, 2009

Centralized Planning vs. Creativity for Fitness Promotion

In this NewsHour with Jim Lehrer report, reporter Ray Suarez flies to the Netherlands to examine their health insurance system. While the reporting makes those silly wooden-shoed Europeans look like geniuses when it comes to managing private insurance, one thing that was left unmentioned in the interviews was the number of persons bicycling everywhere in the background.

Do not be alarmed that the U.S. may have fallen behind the rest of the world in figuring out that there may be a negative correlation between physical activity and illness. We have a solution in hand: we're going to perform comparative effectiveness research on the topic and, if need be, hold more Congressional hearings while we also figure out how to make gasoline cheaper and add to our transportation infrastructure.

In contrast, Disease Management Care Blog salutes the Swedes for this novel inventive and fun approach to promoting exercise. Developed by Volkswagen under the banner of Fun Theory, it even has a Prize up for grabs for other ideas on how to change behavior for the better. Note that they even measured the outcomes.

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