Walking Silly Can Actually Be Good for You

John Cleese in
John Cleese in "Monty Python"

Monty Python is known for illustrating life as a lumberjack and never expecting the Spanish Inquisition, but it seems its Ministry of Silly Walks actually has more benefits than we realized. 

The sketch involves John Cleese playing a bowler-hatted civil servant in a fictitious government ministry, whose job it is to develop silly walks. He is met by Michael Palin whose own silly walk just doesn’t quite cut it, and is thus seeking a governmental grant to improve it. 

Although the skit came out in the 1970s, a recent study in The British Medical Journal (BMJ) has found that performing a silly walk can actually improve your health!

Walking in a bizarre manner a la Cleese’s Mr. Teabag requires 2.5 times more energy than regular walking and can thus qualify as vigorous exercise. Doing so for just 11 minutes a day can equate to the weekly recommendation for vigorous activity of 75 minutes. 

Teabag’s walk involves performing a straight high-legged kick with each leg, as well as contorting your legs by scrunching your knees together downwards. In comparison, Mr. Putey’s walk done by Palin was described as the right leg not being silly at all, while “the left leg merely does a forward aerial half-turn every alternate step.”

According to the study, which featured seven men and six women, men burned eight calories per minute when they emulated Mr. Teabag.