CrossFit Discussion Board  

Go Back   CrossFit Discussion Board > CrossFit Forum > Fitness
CrossFit Home Forum Site Rules CrossFit FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-05-2007, 01:07 PM   #1
Kemal Eren
Member Kemal Eren is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ann Arbor  MI
Posts: 62
Fear of death prevents exercise

I just read an interesting Economics paper about how fear of death makes people make irrational health choices. The part that makes it very relevant to Crossfit: "Fear of death makes us spend fifteen percent of our income on medicine, from which we get little or no health benefit, while we neglect things like exercise, which offer large health benefits."

Here's a link (w/f safe): http://hanson.gmu.edu/feardie.pdf
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 01:15 PM   #2
Emily Mattes
Member Emily Mattes is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Baltimore  MD
Posts: 1,015
Re: Fear of death prevents exercise

Behavioral economics is extremely cool. For a long time economists assumed people were entirely rational actors and constructed economic models and advised economic policies on this fact. Of course, they are now figuring out that isn't true at all (see: irrational exuberance).

Paying off your credit card debt instead of buying a Wii, exercising, not smoking, saving for your retirement, these are all logically beneficial actions. But many people don't do them. Whether it is a desire for immediate gratification or other things, humans are not rational in their actions at all.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 02:01 PM   #3
Kemal Eren
Member Kemal Eren is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ann Arbor  MI
Posts: 62
Re: Fear of death prevents exercise

I agree, I find it incredibly interesting. I wonder how much knowing that your choices are probably irrational affects your ability to make a rational choice.

For instance, even though I can list a million reasons to exercise, and I know that it is irrational to ignore those reasons, sometimes I ignore them anyways. It's very frustrating when "I don't feel like it" trumps "will improve your quality of life, health, and life expectancy."
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2007, 03:17 PM   #4
Elizabeth Terris
Member Elizabeth Terris is offline
 
Elizabeth Terris's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Diego  CA
Posts: 1,189
Re: Fear of death prevents exercise

How ironic, I was just explaining to my mother that the reason I exercise and CrossFit is because I am afraid of death. I certainly don't want to die because I haven't taken care of myself.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2007, 06:42 AM   #5
Randy Kite
Affiliate Randy Kite is offline
 
Randy Kite's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Asheville  NC
Posts: 108
Re: Fear of death prevents exercise

Kemal,

Great thread, thanks for posting the link.

I worked with "youth at risk" for close to two decades. I used board games (Life and Monopoly) to teach them about making money decisions and planning for later needs.
Their lack of monetary management or even concern for the long term always surprised me.

Their parents frequently, if not always, displayed the same behaviors.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2007, 07:58 AM   #6
Steven Rogers
Member Steven Rogers is offline
 
Steven Rogers's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Lyons  Colorado
Posts: 46
Re: Fear of death prevents exercise

When examined closely, seamingly 'irrational' decisions usually have their own logic, though it may be faulty or, more often, based upon false premises or bad reward systems. There's enough uncertainty in the world that one can rationalize all kinds of tradeoffs between current and future gratification.

I knew and old figher pilot who was grounded for diabetes. He commented that if he'd known he'd live that long, he'd have taken better care of himself. People who don't save for retirement may believe that Social Security will be enough, or they tell themselves that they'll be able to save later.

When you encounter something that seems irrational or contradictory, examine the premises.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2007, 08:04 AM   #7
Ben Moskowitz
Member Ben Moskowitz is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: St. Louis  MO
Posts: 756
Re: Fear of death prevents exercise

I don't know if I'm adding anything important, but Douglas North finds human behavior to be comprised of
1) motivation
2) deciphering the environment

and the way that institutions ('the rules of the game') are set up affect both, leading to imperfect, divergent, and often inefficient outcomes.

so... get motivated to kick arse!?
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2007, 05:23 PM   #8
Kirez Reynolds
Affiliate Kirez Reynolds is offline
 
Kirez Reynolds's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Litchfield Park  AZ
Posts: 936
Re: Fear of death prevents exercise

Ben, a lot of my early background was Austrian economics, behavioral economics, etc; and specifically at GMU (where Robin Hanson is at), we used this simple framework for analyzing policy:

1. incentives
2. information
3. institutions
4. research & development, OR 'learning'

(Based significantly on Friedrich Hayek's work, for he pioneered the insights on how the marketplace depends on and produces information, hence the role of 'information' and 'learning' or R&D.)

This is relevant to what you posted, because: for any given proposed program or policy, you ask: How does it change or shape the incentives of all the relevant parties? How does it change the creation, dissemination or availability of information? How does it change institutions -- which are created, which are destroyed? And, how does it change the marketplace's or society's ability to learn?

(I guess I could go on to show how this is related to CrossFit and how it fits in the fitness industry... but that would be way more long-winded and tedious than I've already been... Here's a quickie though: Glassman's structuring of the affiliate program ['institutions'] significantly boosts the growth of the CrossFit practice and community. With the lowered costs and strong incentives, CF is rapidly generating more information all the time, and a lot of 'learning' is built into the structure of the community.)
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2007, 05:55 PM   #9
Tom Rawls
Member Tom Rawls is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Bristol  VT
Posts: 224
Re: Fear of death prevents exercise

The idea that people behave rationally most of the time is amusing.

What was it Robertson Davies, the Canadian writer said about economics? "I prefer my astrology without water."
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2007, 10:16 PM   #10
Kirez Reynolds
Affiliate Kirez Reynolds is offline
 
Kirez Reynolds's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Litchfield Park  AZ
Posts: 936
Re: Fear of death prevents exercise

Economic 'rationality' is not the same as "agrees with your own ideas"; rationality is not the same as 'reasonable'. It does not presume intelligence, wisdom or correctness.

To make it really simple: If you have a choice between two identical copies of X, but one of them will hurt you more than the other, you'll prefer the one that hurts you less. (Hey, this stuff isn't quantum mechanics!)

It's a specific definition that may seem true by definition (tautological). Nonetheless --- it's true. Humans are rational. As a descriptive thesis about human behavior, it's right on. This truth of human behavior needs to be accepted and accounted for in an exercise methodology like CrossFit. I'm probably not experienced or knowledgeable enough to elaborate it perfectly, but basically: the same truth of human nature means that over time, CrossFitters will tend to habituate their routines and thus come to optimize completion of workouts / exercises for less effort. This is a problem! For this reason, we must be eternally vigilant in confronting ourselves with truly novel challenges --- constantly mixing it up, constantly finding new confusion for the body. Otherwise, performance on workouts will come to look more like an acquired skill rather than a measure of fitness.

But if you're going to compare economics to astrology... yeah, you're not going to be too motivated to actually know what you're talking about. If you're rational.
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Jealousy & Fear of Success Randy Tarasevich Running a CrossFit Facility 21 03-07-2008 07:31 AM
Getting our building! CrossFit Cape Fear - Fayetteville NC John Velandra Community 16 10-19-2007 03:53 PM
CrossFit Cape Fear Facility Update John Velandra Community 8 07-13-2007 06:10 PM
CrossFit Cape Fear (Fayetteville NC) John Velandra Running a CrossFit Facility 10 02-21-2006 02:30 AM
Three bars of death Steven Stackpole Workout of the Day 11 03-04-2005 05:53 AM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:19 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc.