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October 24, 2016   |   Ithaca, NY


Drop and Give Me 30! Russia Encourages Fitness Among Commuters

To promote wellness in honor of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Russian officials offer subway riders the option of doing 30 squats in lieu of paying 30 rubles for a ticket during the month of November. Electronic vending machines give riders two minutes to properly perform their squats. According to this article from CBSnews, officials of the Russian Olympic Committee are taking several steps to make people more active during their daily commute. This includes putting exercise bands on hanging bus handles. This is a great way to make the spirit of the Olympic Games accessible to more people. People’s perception of elite level activity becomes more manageable when it can be incorporated into everyday life, and people see how easy it is to make simple changes to their daily habits. While I’m not convinced that this idea would work as well for Americans, many Russian commuters seem to embrace the opportunity to increase their fitness. Several athletes representing Russia in the Olympic Games are on board with the idea, and have been promoting the use of the machines in the months leading up to the games.