This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.
The BBC has, rather astonishingly, published an article which trashes a previously reported study on joggers who exercise strenuously have the same life expectancy as people who do barely any exercise at all.
You can see it here:-
A small extract.
But, although the overall number of people studied was large, the number of strenuous joggers was not. Only 36 people fitted the strenuous jogging category - two of them had died.
Critics say these numbers are too small to be statistically significant.
A text book example of the Trojan number. The rest is good too. Of course us Brignellites have known this for years now, but there is more joy in heaven over one sinner repenteth etc.
One swallow doesn't make a summer though. That exercise is good for you is one of the shibboleths of the new health fascism, so any study to the contrary is ripe for this sort of treatment. I await similar treatment being given to other studies the BBC reports.
Yes, but I doubt the BBC pension fund is invested in anything to do with joggers, let alone strenuous ones.....
Though what does stick in the mind is that the "inventor" of jogging, Jim Fixx died young... (He died of a heart attack while jogging at 52 years of age)so perhaps this was one not to repudiate too early but to collect additional data on.
Given the number of marathon runners every year and joggers ignoring the traffic they are inconveniencing, I can't believe they could only find 36 strenuous joggers for the study.
It is possible to explain that incident using the 'BBC is hopelessly left-liberal biased' theory. The most well-known advocate of the benefits of strenuous exercise in recent decades has been the left-liberal icon Jane Fonda.
Fonda invented the idea of the celebrity fitness video, and maybe the whole idea of the fitness or workout video, back in the early 1980s. One of the central themes of the Fonda style of exercising is that you were encouraged to exercise to the point where it hurt, this idea being summed up in such catchphrases as "feel the burn" and "no pain, no gain". I can imagine somebody within the BBC noticing that the original article, which implied strenuous jogging might be dangerous, did not tie up with the teachings of Jane Fonda.
The theory that strenuous exercise is good for you has been given a new lease of life in more recent years with the claim by some medical researchers or sports scientists that the exercising activity can be reduced to a short burst of intense exercise lasting only a few minutes, instead of the more commonly adopted time-consuming sessions of half-an-hour or so. One of the BBC's most prominent employees, Andrew Marr, decided to follow this advice in 2013 and managed to give himself a stroke:
Marr blamed newspapers for putting the idea in his head of trying out intense exercise, but as I remember it the BBC were the biggest promoters of this fad, and even went as far as broadcasting a Horizon science documentary in 2012 publicising it called "Horizon: The truth about exercise".