In Bejing, a mandatory exercise regimes have been reinstated after a three year hiatus. Radio broadcast exercise programs are to run at 10AM and 3PM every day, and over 4 million workers will be participating. Zhang Yujing of the Beijing Federation of Trade Unions says, “we want all state-owned enterprise workers to have restarted this routine by next year.”
It doesn’t sound like a terrible idea. I think it would be fun to stop work for a daily yoga break. Fun in a big-brother-is-watching-and-thinks-you-look-chubby kind of way, but still.
That said, how much difference will the program really make? The radio broadcasts are only 8 minutes long. I guess 16 minutes of exercise a day is better than none, but it’s still only going to burn off around 150-200 calories (so, less than a candy bar. Or a yogurt). Many people also overeat after exercising, and I’m not sure that there’s a nutritional component to the plan (training you to not eat 5 cookies because you were good and exercised). So basically, I think there’s a possibility this could backfire. But I’m not that concerned about it, because I’m busy eating my healthy American treat, the donut-burger.