It’s funny how much of an echo-chamber my news feeds have become. Most of my life I’ve made the conscious decision to integrate myself into one of the smaller sporting communities as climbing and mountaineering are, inadvertently I’ve surrounded myself with some incredibly driven and talented athletes.
In this obscure niche community of mountain jockeys, we seem to have a misunderstood reputation as thrill-seekers or daredevils. Our non-climbing family members and friends gasp in bewilderment when they see the odd Instagram picture or video of us dangling hundreds of metres above the earth with grins on our faces. In all honesty, 99% of climbers are more risk advent than the general population. We live healthy lifestyles, getting into the clean mountain air on our weekends and training during the week, watching what we eat. The consequence of falling to our deaths as a climber exists, but the amount of safety procedures that goes into the sport makes it one of the safer sports out there. Car accidents and heart attacks are far more likely to kill most of us and no one seems to be doing anything about it?!
South Africa’s general health (or lack of it) has recently come up in my news feed a lot and I really had no idea how bad it’s become…. basically, the lifestyle that I and so many in my friend circle live is pretty much non-existent for most South Africans.
According to the latest Indigo Wellness Index with data pulled together from some rather substantial organisations such as WHO (World Health Organisation).
The Index measured this by assessing the usual suspects…
- Blood pressure
- Blood glucose
- Alcohol use
- Tobacco use
- Healthy life expectancy, and
- Government spending on healthcare.
South Africa scored “poorly on all measures, its scores on obesity, drinking, and life expectancy in particular that make South Africa the most unhealthy country in the world in 2019.”
sO WHAT ARE SAFERs doing about it?
Nothing really. Well, nothing that I’m necessarily aware of that is actually targeted at improving all of these issues.
The internet has a lot going for it, but as a South African we can feel pretty drowned out by the endless array of American content that I feel has little that most young South Africans can actually relate to. That being said, why do we even need American or British personalities to inspire us, entertain us and educate us?
There are a lot of local, homegrown South Africans that are doing incredible things. From Athletic achievements to community projects that are making this country healthier, fitter and happier. Actually, forget that, there are plenty in this country that have changed and inspired others to simply change their diet… I think we need to hear their stories, don’t you?
So, watch this space and get ready to be inspired …
For interest sake here is 1 of the many articles on this crisis: