Where does the term "hunter-gatherer" come from?
Our ancestors were real hunters and gatherers. Even the Neanderthals went hunting and gathering food. But just a few thousand years ago, known to us as the Stone Age, our ancestors were on the move for food and social contact. Researchers reliably know that people were forced to travel long distances to hunt or to gather supplies and fuel.
The food consisted of what was collected on the way: nuts, berries, fruit or fish and meat, seasoned with herbs if at all. People walked an average of three kilometres just to quench their thirst from a water source. Even for interpersonal contact or, very fundamentally, for procreation, people had to move from one place to the next. In that sense, our ancestors really lived very healthily.
Hunters and gatherers settle down - what this means for us
In the course of these many thousands of years, the human body has adapted to constant movement - and still needs it today. However, through the production of tools, agriculture and animal husbandry, and with it the settling down, the way of life changed massively from nomad to arable farmer. In the course of time, and increasingly rapidly in recent years, the need for movement has diminished.
Today we live in a time of division of labour. Physical work is usually done by men, while women do lighter housework. Gathering food and clothing is no longer necessary in the form of our ancestors. Farming or simply being a farmer is no longer financially attractive for many in the civilised or western world. Today, people only go hunting and into the forest for leisure. And thanks to technological development and a flourishing economy, we now have many things that make our lives easier but not necessarily healthier.
Locomotion in the past - today
Whereas at the beginning of the last century we still got around on foot or horseback, today we drive a car or take the train. To get from one floor to the next, we now take the lift instead of the stairs as in the past. Office work that used to be done standing at standing desks is now done at PC workstations. There is one shop for all groceries. And many purchases are made on the internet and brought by parcel service.
This can be Evolution overstrain: It takes thousands of years and many generations for humans to evolve or adapt to new conditions. Comfort may be all well and good, but our bodies are still used to and need movement. The body expresses this through pain, discomfort, obesity and other diseases brought on by the modern, unhealthy lifestyle.
The hunter-gatherer gets fat - and needs sport
In the western world, entire societies are becoming obese and nutrition institutes are booming, because people no longer intuitively know what food is good for them. Despite or precisely because of all the changes, people today are more dependent than ever on exercise. Many do sport, or at least try to. Even though the days of heavy physical work are over, there are opportunities to move even in office jobs or when working standing up. What is important is the quality of the movement. What matters is natural, intuitive and spontaneous movement.
Move in a sitting position
Aeris offers ergonomic office chairs for work and home, such as Aeris Swopper and Aeris 3Dee or the active standing chair Aeris Muvman. These chairs challenge and encourage intuitive movement. Of course, this is by no means the amount of movement our ancestors had, but it is a step in the right direction. At least you can train muscles and movements while sitting and thus prevent one-sided stresses that lead to chronic ailments.