What One Turkish Province Is Doing to Get People Fit

What One Country Is Doing to Get People Fit

Photo: Pond5

We all know it can be a serious struggle to make time to exercise every day. Between rushing out the door in the a.m., putting in long hours at work and hurrying home to cook dinner at night, squeezing in a cardio session can feel close to impossible. (Hate running? Here are five other options you can try.) But what if your boss would let you come in late — as long as you promised to hit the gym beforehand?

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That’s exactly what’s happening in one Turkish province this year. A new health initiative, called Our Cure is Sport, will allow government employees to arrive at work one hour late so that they fit in some exercise, according to a report from Fortune magazine. People participating in the program will also have access to a dietician — and get help finding a workout they love.

The campaign is part of a broader effort to help fight the rise of obesity in Europe. In Turkey, nearly 62 percent of adults are overweight, and about 28 percent are obese. (That may sounds like a lot, but in the U.S. more than a third of adults are considered obese, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.) What’s most alarming in Turkey, though, is the obesity rate, which increased by 44 percent between 2002 and 2014, according to the Turkish Statistics Institute.

The usual culprits — increased consumption of processed foods and a lack of exercise — are likely to blame, according to reports. (Curious how bad the food you’re eating is, on a scale of 1 to 10? Use this food calculator to find out.)

However, there’s still no word on how employers will know if participants are actually using that extra a.m. hour to sweat, rather than sleep in. But for us, this sounds like a privilege we wouldn’t want to abuse.

Need inspiration? Check out these 19 ways to trick yourself into becoming a morning person.