When the term ‘mooching’ was used by Julia Bradbury on ‘The One Show’ last night surprisingly it set several lines of thought running simultaneously!

Hilarious random thoughts of how Miranda, or Michael McIntyre, might devise a silly skit around the word, its intonations, its various meanings* and how it might look in terms of a specific ‘walk’ or stance 😂

It turns out that ‘mooch’ has quite a range of meanings*. Who knew that you can ‘mooch’ whilst stationary in your room at home? Or even that you can mooch a lift? -where the meaning is more aligned to ‘cadge’ or ‘beg’.

Julia’s use of the word was in the context of ‘walking aimlessly’ or ‘hanging about’ outside and was given in response to the Covid Lockdown 3.0 situation and whether people were out and about legitimately in line with what might accepted as being ‘exercise’. The implication being that simply standing about or walking slowly is not exercise.

Her use of the word no doubt, quite rightly, referred to seeing lots of people hanging around in limited spaces with its potential risks of spreading the virus during our current pandemic but her comment usefully led to another thought stream around what constitutes exercise and it quickly becomes apparent that it genuinely and understandably means different things to different people.

It led my mind back over forty years to Leeds where, on asking a passer-by as a ‘fresher’ how to reach the market from City Square, my friend and I were looked at in surprise and concern. ‘Are you walking?!’ ‘It’s a very long way’. We thanked and set off. In under 10 minutes we were there! We had already walked four miles from Headingley and the market was under half a mile further on. We were young, we were fit, we were surprised in opposite measure to the passerby.

This then leads to the observation that we must be tolerant and kind and understand that one person’s half mile walk with many stops and starts may equal another person’s ten mile hike or someone else’s 70 mile bike ride!

Comparing the exercise benefits of simply standing versus sitting it may surprise many that the research on this has been growing exponentially over recent years.

Going into office spaces and installing standing desks with no chairs and holding standing meeting has grown in popularity, based on the simple principle that humans are designed to move all day NOT sit about. We have written many letters over the years in support of the benefits of standing desks for our clients.

Standing is far better for your back than sitting. It stacks the bones in the spine more correctly, strengthens the leg muscles and improves balance (hence reducing the risk of falls). Core muscles of the abdomen and of the glutes (butt cheeks) are also triggered and worked and strengthened.

Standing for three to six hours a day can prevent weight gain and even burn additional calories to achieve weight loss over time given that muscles burn more calories than fat. Furthermore working muscles helps to control blood sugar and blood fat levels, which can lower cholesterol.

Tonight when Julia’s latest walk is aired on ITV, and whilst we currently cannot all head for the cliffs in person due to the necessary pandemic restrictions, why not mooch in front of your widescreen TV (if you are lucky enough to have one) and imagine you are on a cliff top, breathing the ozone-filled sea air and remember that simply standing there is in fact ‘exercise’ for your body, whilst your eyes take in the views and your mind is free to wander and process the beauty of our British coasts and countryside all from the comfort of your front room.

Walking is well known to help with anxiety and stress. Something so very simple and free to do – what is stopping you?