Are we healthier now than our great grandparents?

In many ways we are much healthier, the NHS exists providing free at the point of delivery healthcare, this didn’t exist until 1948. Prior to then, you could afford medicine or you couldn’t, and if you couldn’t you had no healthcare.

Medicine advances mean we are living longer and enjoying life well past the normal life expectancy of 100 years ago. Yet we now have illnesses were unheard of then, mental degenerative diseases such as dementia.

Progress has given us much but have we evolved to match the progress? Given the speed of human evolution, this seems unlikely as the speed of progress in the past 100 years was staggering, the last 50 years even faster, and since the internet and connectivity, the pace is blistering.

That is not all good news though.

We have stopped moving. Instead of being out in the fields harvesting crops or hunting for food, we sit. We sit in the car, at the office and at home. And our smart bodies have adapted: rounded shoulders, slumped posture, forward head and rounded back are all too common.

The body is designed to move. Yet, with increased urbanisation and the advent of technology, we are leading more sedentary lifestyles than we were 50 years ago – and it shows.

Progress comes at a cost, and the truth is bitter with some studies calling sitting the new smoking, linking it to increased rates of cardiovascular diseases and physical pain, especially lower-back pain. Read more…