Study suggests 'silly walks' from Monty Python qualify as 'vigorous exercise'

The study asked 13 adults to conduct three different walking styles. Credit: British Medical Journal

A new study has suggested that a walk, made famous by the TV show Monty Python, could qualify as "vigorous exercise" and improve a person's health and aerobic fitness.

Researchers, led by a team at Arizona State University, examined the 'silly walks' of the show's Flying Circus characters: Mr Teabag and Mr Putey.

The duo were introduced in the 1970 sketch 'The Ministry of Silly Walks,' where John Cleese's Mr Teabag strides oddly with his leg kicked in the air and in a number of other silly ways.

Comparing the effects of silly walks against generic walking, the study used 13 adults between the ages of 22 and 71.

They watched the Monty Python sketch a number of times, before having their oxygen uptake measured while walking around a track.

Once they had walked normally for five minutes, the participants adopted the walking style of Mr Putey and then copied Mr Teabag's silly walk. As they did so their speed and metabolic readings were taken for all three variations.

The study, which has now been published in the British Medical Journal, concluded that Monty Python had "unwittingly touched on a powerful way to enhance cardiovascular fitness in adults".

Monty Python was a British comedy show, which first aired towards the end of the 1960s.

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