An epidemiologist from the UK, he proved the connection between exercise and heart health, and laid the scientific groundwork for the modern aerobics movement.
The New York Timesreports that Dr. Morris believed that the relationship between exercise and a decreased risk of heart attack could be found among those who worked on Londonâ€™s double-decker buses.
In 1949, he began tracing the heart-attack rates of hundreds of drivers and conductors. The drivers sat for 90% of their shifts, while the conductors climbed about 600 stairs each working day. The results of his research, published in 1953, indicated that the conductors had fewer than half the heart attacks of their sedentary colleagues.
He confirmed his findings in a study of postal workers, and again in civil service workers.
The bottom line?
60 years ago, Dr. Morris proved that those who exercised reduced their risk of heart attack and promoted the concept that those who had had a heart attack should exercise.
John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.