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Observation, evidence and change

In this age of Daily Mail and Fox Confused News interpretation of information that over-enthusiastically interprets scientific research, we each need to be careful about what we read, and the meaning that deduct from what's going on around us. The evidence is clear that more action on sustainability, food, energy and climate is needed and an obituary before Christmas reiterated the importance of patience, clarity and perseverance.

Professor Jeremy Morris, who died at 99 had been one of the first scientists to make the link between exercise and heart disease. 60 years ago, he initiated a study that looked into the relationship between the occurence of heart attacks and workers in different occupations. One thing stood out clearly - that the drivers of double decker buses, who sat still for most of their shift, had substantially more hear attacks than the conductors, who'd be working the step machine of the upper deck, stepping as many as 750 steps up and down each day. His figures for postmen who delivered on foot showed the same trend compared to their colleagues who sat still for most of the day.

Despite the evidence, when Professor Morris' research was published in the medical press in the early 1950s, it was received with widespread scepticism, and now - more than six decades later, in an age of increasing TV and Facebook consumption, health professionals, educators and GPs still struggle to make the link between information and behaviour.

Now's a time for stories that connect, make sense and lead to action.

Here's a little Do: start to collect a few more stories about change that has worked, for communities, for you, for others, for real.

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