Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Sitting around eating honey and barbecued porcupines.

From To Fix That Pain In Your Back, You Might Have To Change The Way You Sit by Michaeleen Doucleff.
There's a perception that we sit way more than any other culture out there — or even any culture throughout time. For the first time in human history, we sit for these long stretches, day after day.

Anthropologist David Raichlen at the University of Arizona says that is not accurate.

"No. Not from our data," says Raichlen.

Raichlen studies modern hunter-gatherers called Hadza, in Tanzania. They live primarily off wild foods, such as tubers, honey and barbecued porcupines. And to acquire this food, there's no doubt they are active.

They climb and chop trees to get honey. They dig for tubers and pound nuts.

"They do a lot of upper body work," Raichlen says. "And they spend quite a bit of time walking — at a pretty high rate of speed."

On average, Hadza adults spend about 75 minutes each day exercising, Raichlen says. That amount is way more than most Americans exercise. Many of us can't muster a measly 2.5 hours each week, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So there's no doubt the Hadza are in better cardiovascular health than most Americans.

But do the Hadza actually sit less than we do?

A few years ago, Raichlen and colleagues decided to find out. They strapped heart-rate monitors onto nearly 50 Hadza adults for eight weeks and measured how often each day, they were just, well ... sitting around. The results shocked Raichlen.

"The Hadza are in resting postures about as much as we Americans are," he says. "It's about 10 hours a day."

By comparison, Americans sit about nine to 13 hours each day, on average, a study reported in 2016.

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