Free Physical Fitness Essay Sample

Three recent articles from the New York Times served as the target of this critique paper. All three articles are focused on smoking. They are related to each other while also being related to physical fitness and wellness. The three articles used were namely: “Really?; The Claim: Smoking relieves stress” and  “Exercise Spurs Teenage Boys to Stop Smoking” both written by Anahad O’Connor, and “The Smokers’ Surcharge” by Reed Abelson. Altogether, these articles undertake and analyze some emerging issues on smoking.

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O’Connor largely writes about science and health for the New York Times and in his article entitled “Exercise Spurs Teenage Boys to Stop Smoking”, he argued that exercise can help male teenagers struggling to quit smoking. He pushed on with his case with the support from a research from the journal Pediatrics that showed significant results in the subject. The study showed that teenage boys who became part of a smoking cessation program and combined it with exercise were significantly less probable to continue smoking. The statistics showed that of the group of teenage boys who went to a single smoking cessation session, 5 percent had quit smoking compared to the 24 percent who quitted smoking from attending both the cessation program and combined with an exercise plan. He went on to close out the article with a quote on how surprising the results were.

Meanwhile in his other article, Really, O’Connor challenged a hypothesized benefit of smoking: relieving stress. Conversely, studies have shown that in reality, smoking causes long-term stress levels to escalate, rather than decline. He supported his statement with a study conducted at the London School of Medicine and Dentistry. He concluded that the calming effect of cigarette is a hoax in long-term considerations.

In Reed Abelson’s article, he focused on how smoking and other unhealthy lifestyle can affect employees’ healthcare benefits. An increasing number of employers have imposed financial penalties to employees who have unhealthy lifestyle. Surveys showed that in the last two years, the number of major American employers who impose such penalties doubled to 19 percent of the 248 companies surveyed. It is even expected to double in the coming year. Companies such as Wal-Mart even posted a $2,000 per year surcharge for some smokers. Abelson posed arguments contra the policy and cited some examples as to why it can fail to some degree. He argued that some hurdles face those who want to stop smoking such as nicotine addiction. The said policy is an alternative to posting incentives to “healthy” workers. Some were critical on the policy and saw it as a cost-shifting scheme. Arguments continued back and forth with the policy though the article ended with a critical response to the policy as it can apparently signify unintended consequences.

All the three articles were consistent with the global knowledge that smoking is dangerous to human health. In the first article which concentrates on teenage smoking, it showed how relevant physical activity is to stop smoking. The study mentioned in the article showed how significantly important exercise was in encouraging teenage boys to quit smoking. Most smokers start from a young age and thus, it is important to immediately resolve the threat as early as possible. Meanwhile in the second article, Really, a mythical benefit of smoking was contradicted with the a research. The study dispels the false benefit that cigarettes have and hence providing additional reason to the already long list of benefit of quitting cigarette smoking. In the last article, another upcoming detriment to smoking was undertaken. More and more employers choose to put on penalties to smokers and those with unhealthy lifestyle in terms of healthcare premiums. Smokers pose threat not only to their own but to others’ health as well. Consequently, companies decided to increase the shares of those smokers to their health insurance. It can be considered as a step towards achieving a healthier society as cigarette smoking poses more and more penalties.

In conclusion, the three articles were all justified in my opinion. It is because of the evidences that all the three articles presented as well as the overwhelming facts that led me this conclusion. It is detrimental to the physical wellness of any individual because of all the health risk it generates. Through the large amount of evidences that point out smoking as a health hazard and can affect physical health and wellness, I do believe and stand against cigarette smoking.


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