I was struck today reading in the Globe and Mail about the rapid growth in personal elevators by the extent to which we’re gradually removing all possibility of physical activity from our daily lives.
And yet, it’s terrific that more homes are accessible to the elderly and the disabled.
The challenge is once elevators are installed not using them unless you need to. And that seems impossibly hard.
I think about the moving sidewalks and gate to gate trams in modern airports. They make travel possible for people for whom otherwise it would be too much. Still most people who use them seem perfectly capable of walking.
I’ve had similar thoughts about the remoteness of some of Canada’s national parks. After two days of canoeing and portaging, I was struck by how beautiful Algonquin park is. And yet only the physically fit can see it. I thought it would be lovely to make parts of it accessible to those in wheel chairs. And yet how to keep the physically capable but lazy away from whatever accessibility method we use?
Read about the rise in home elevators here here.
One of the first comments on the Globe article is this: “And the endless quest for a completely sedentary lifestyle continues…”
That’s exactly my worry.
I thought of the movie Wall-E and the future, movement free humans….
“WALL-E indeed seems to be making a statement about fitness and the obesity crisis. “It shows a future in which mankind literally spends all day on a giant starship moving around in floating chairs, drinking liquified food from Big-Gulp-esque cups, and forever surfing (and chatting) on chair-mounted video screens,” says the source.
A section of the film reveals the history of mankind’s fall into sloth and fat: “There’s an amazing sequence where the camera pans over portraits of the previous captains of the ship — and we watch as they slowly devolve into amorphous blobs with each successive generation. Will the lethargic humans re-awaken to their possibilities as people? I hate spoilers: you’ll have to see the movie to find out!”