Larger waistlines worry car manufacturers

Obesity is a rising issue. As our lives become more stressful and our free time is compressed, our jobs are becoming less physically demanding. It can be hard to motivate ourselves to exercise and eat right, especially when we feel cornered into opting for quick, cheap, processed food.
Not only is the increased weight of the population applying pressure on the health service, but now car manufacturers are looking at how expanding waist lines could affect their business.
The “global consumer trends and futuring” department at Ford in Detroit says that the car designing industry needs to prepare for larger people.
The issue goes beyond even simple size adjustment, says Sheryl Connelly, who works with the department. “We need to look at the human profile if the obesity epidemic continues. When you have these physiological changes you can get reduced response times… obesity could mean not being able to turn your head or look over your shoulder,” she said.
“We’ve already seen cameras mounted in rear bumpers so people can see behind them without having to turn around,” she cited as an example.
Mrs Connelly has produced a report for Ford looking at a range of issues likely to have an impact on car design in the future. This really highlights how much of an affect being overweight can have on people’s lives, making them potentially more unsafe behind the wheel.
Of course, driving itself is one of the minor factors lending towards obesity, with ditching driving and walking further being one of the most common “small ways” that we can improve our fitness and health.
It is important not to let stress oppress your life, and to dedicate some of that free time to keeping fit. Finding a fun way to keep active, such as taking up a new physical hobby, or engaging the whole family in an activity, can help to stop exercise becoming a chore, get you fit and keep you feeling healthier.

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