Fitness Regimes: greed is good!

Jasmine Wing invites Canary Wharf execs to exercise themselves to the limit.

In the Financial Times columnist Lucy Kellaway has spoken out against execs exercising too hard. Unlike ‘virtually everything else’, sport ‘does not broaden an executive’s worldview,’ she warns. Extreme regimes only instil a sense of superiority among pumped-up CEOs. This is bad for their companies, bad for their families, and absolutely no good for their bones.

Kellway was weighing in against another journalist, Harriet Green of the Times, for seeing a direct relationship between muscle building in the gym and the strength of individual companies. While I agree with Kellaway that there is no simple equation between muscle tone and business resilience, I don’t agree with her conclusions.

To the contrary, chief execs – especially those working in East London’s financial district – should push themselves to their physical limits, but for a different set of reasons.

On the exercise front, this town – especially this part of it – needs all the inspiration it can get. A recent report from UK Active found that Newham is now the ‘least active’ borough in Britain, with almost 40 per cent of adults undertaking less than 30 minutes of moderately intensive exercise each week.

Playing host to the Olympics has not invigorated local people and prompted them to participate in sport, as some pundits falsely prophesied in the run up to London 2012. Public Health England continues its efforts to get people ‘moving’, and UK Active’s Dave Stalker maintains it is possible to ‘reverse the inactivity trend’; but as yet there is no sign of this happening.

In these circumstances, a trickle down effect from Canary Wharf’s high-fliers would be more than welcome, not least because the vast majority of East Londoners have always been ready to follow the money.

So come on, you corporate types, show us some old school burn. When it comes to punishing exercise regimes, your sheer greed would set a good example to the rest of us.