I love TED talks. And I love podcasts. So it’s no surprise that I love the TED Radio Hour podcast.
Those who know me also know that one of my favourite sayings is,
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
So the episode titled Prevention caught my attention as I was bingeing on old episodes recently.
It delves into why it’s so hard to do the things we know we should do – like exercising or eating the right things.
Through my past work as a physiotherapist, my present work as a Health Coach, and my own experience of being a human being in a tempting world, I’ve been borderline obsessed with this phenomenon for many years.
Nearly every chronic disease can be prevented – or its symptoms at least mitigated – by taking these three actions:
- Eat well
- Be active
- Sleep soundly.
And yet how many people can honestly say they’re nailing all three of these known preventive strategies on a regular basis?
The paradox of prevention
It’s the classic paradox of prevention, according to many of the TED speakers interviewed for this episode.
It’s human nature to overvalue treatment (even when the treatment isn’t very good!) and undervalue prevention.
I get it.
It’s not exactly sexy to make a huge salad, or fit a high-intensity workout into your busy schedule, or turn out the lights at 10 p.m.
But if the benefits of any one of these activities were to be available in pill form, I’d buy up as many shares of the company as I could possibly afford!
Billions of dollars are spent each year treating cases of chronic disease.
What if those billions of dollars were allocated to preventing those same chronic diseases instead?
We might just have an epidemic of health on our hands.
Now I want to hear from you. What do you think is behind our desire to value treatment over prevention? What’s one product or service that could make preventive strategies the default choice? Leave your comments (or new business ideas!) below.