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The other possibility, of course, is that these women began to think of their work as exercise and therefore may have actually performed more strenuous activity because it would yield good exercise.

Right, but reported activity levels did not change.

That the women started working more strenuously after being told this is exercise was the first thought that crossed my mind as well. They abstract for the study only says that their behavior did not change. But is it possible that they strained their muscles more, for example, while performing the same tasks?

But I'm curious whether there were side effects. For example, did the women who now thought of their work as exercise hate their jobs more and complain that they were being underpaid at higher rates than the control group? They were, after all, working harder for the same pay. And if so, was this an ethical experiment?

Careful what you wish for, by the way: if you start to think of typing as good exercise, you might start running out of breath after two sentences.

Why not think the opposite: that when perceived as exercise the work is seen as better, not worse? Exercise is, after all, a commodity in developed societies.

My pseudomarxian vein promptly arise focusing in the social layer of this study. It is true as well that coal miners,park maintenance assistants, garbage gatheres, sweepers and other hard workers can swtich their contextual mind and think they are doing exercise?

I wonder if exercise is a valued commodity for everyone in developed societies, or just for people who spend their days sitting around, as well as those who are particularly concerned about looking good. Do people in professions that involve large amounts of manual labor generally tend to think of exercise in the same way as office workers?

Also, it seems to be a feature of exercise as commodity that it is valuable only when undertaken as an intrinsic good (though it may also be undertaken for the sake of other goods, e.g., enhancing one's pecs or trimming a waistline). On the other hand, if exercise occurs incidentally, in the course of performing a different sort of action (e.g., shoveling a driveway), it tends to make the activity loathsome.

Wouldn't exercising in the course of doing one's regular job be more likely to fall in the latter category?

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