Musing on Muir in Sacramento, September 19, 2005

In early September of 2005, I attended the Governors Obesity Summit in Sacramento, CA. The summit brought together 125 people from private, government, and social organizations who are trying to stem the tide of chronic diseases caused by poor health. The FruitGuys was invited as a provider of fresh fruit that helps keep people healthy at work.

Before the summit, I sat in my hotel room looking out over the flat capital city and thought of naturalist John Muir as he set off on his journey over 130 years ago to heard sheep up into the Sierra. The journal he kept became a book, My First Summer in the Sierra. In his writings, Muir worried about having enough bread and protecting the flock of sheep from bears, coyotes, and the elements. He had wide open spaces, simple and limited foods, and natural predators on his journey . . . how our world has changed. Now instead of living in a day to day world defined by nature, we live in a world defined by time. And time, or the lack of it in my view, is a great contributor to the struggle we have in this country with chronic diseases caused by unhealthy habits. Food choices and exercise can sometimes put us in the awkward position of having to sacrifice time for our own health. The FruitGuys have tried to make eating fruit at work as convenient as possible. We now want to try and fit in physical fitness as well, and we are looking for ideas.

Do you have ideas on physical activity at work?

It is sad to say, but studies show that we may be the first generation that has a shorter life expectancy than our parents. That is staggering. I am looking for ways to support eating healthy at work with physical fitness. If you have ideas about how physical activity can be organized and motivated at work, I would love to hear them because we would like to help. Maybe you already do something that helps employees stay fit. In any case, I would love to talk with you.

Enjoy and be fruitful! – Chris Mittelstaedt

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