Surely we all are?
It will be millions of years before our limbs become an almost unnecessary part of the body like our appendix, but life style is heading a large number of people to an existence like the occupants of that space ship on the cartoon film Wall-E.
The other excuse almost everybody quotes is my knees won't allow me to run, I know lots of runners have knee problems but it must be an overquoted excuse to not bother to exercise.
I think I have a foot in both camps, (see what I did there?) yes some are less biomechanically equipped for running, but some can't now because of lifestyle choices.
Ive been trying to get my mate to come out running for months now, he uses the same excuse. Although instead he says " I'm a sprinter, i cant do distances" however he hasnt done an ounce of any sprinting for since ive known him ( 8/9 years) lol
Lol Nam - I think I might have met a few of those Neanderthals over the years too .
This is an interesting debate.
Also I dont think we should colour the past as some kind of 'Golden Era' - human nature being what it is, I am sure there would be a few people sitting around the camp fire 8000yrs ago, going 'But I'm too tired to go out hunting tommorrow, can't we just stay here?'
And, the activity people did in the distant past was not necessarily running, like flat out - more akin to a run / walk / stalk the prey kind of thing. But certainly involving more movement than the vast majority of the population can or want to perform now.
I would say that the adoption of the bipedal gait meant that we are primarily designed for walking rather than running. A study found that human running was slower and less energy efficient than chimp knuckle walking, but walking was more energy efficient and thus gave early man an evolutionary advantage over the apes when foraging for food. No-one claims they are 'not designed for walking', but many people have some form of bio-mechanical problem that means they find running uncomfortable.
Of course, ignoring all the evolutionary theories for a minute, someone saying that they're not "built to run" could simply mean that they gave it a go and found it hard work, and then decided to do something else to keep fit instead (or not). Way before becoming a regular runner I gave it a half-hearted attempt every now and then, would end up getting shin-splints and give it up as a bad job. I'm fairly sure at one stage or another I thought I just wasn't built for running. Cycling, yes; running, no. Obviously with the benefit of hindsight and my vast running wisdom I can see now that I just performed the classic newbie errors of trying to run too fast, probably in rubbish footwear.
I'm still not built for swimming. Water and breathing - what's that all about?
Mind you there is no reason why people should run if it makes them uncomfortable. There are other equally effective ways of maintaining fitness.
Lou Diamonds wrote (see)
Last weekend I dusted off my pom-poms and went to support ms D in a local 10k. I Commented afterwards what a wide range of shapes and sizes there was, even amongst the sub 40s. Maybe, kittenkat, you are taking your friends comment too literally in assuming she was referring to a physiological inability: maybe she felt that she psychologically 'not built to run'.
I did extrapolate...
Can anyone remember those Time Team programmes when they dug up an Iron Age skeleton and then retrospectively rebuilt the person's face onto the skull? It's interesting because they have to make certain assumptions. However, they never dug up a skeleton on any of those archaeological programmes and said "Oh, this person was big boned, they must have been fat". Doesn't that strike you as odd? Of course it may mean that every single person whether idle rich or poor labourer was as skinny as each other. It may also mean that inside the idle fat person at the bus stop is a skeleton that is basically the same as any average runner's. I like to think that.
Sure, some people are taller than others. There will also be long term lifestyle effects. My Grandmother worked in the cotton mills and undoubtedly suffered from stunted growth. All her children and grandchildren were much taller. Obese kids will quite likely get skeletal disorders, because they were made obese by their parents. Isn't that a form of child cruelty, just like it was for the 13 year old mill girls?
Blisters - good point - the lifestyle we lead leaves traces on the skeleton. We can look at diseases in past populations by looking at the traces these diseases have left on the bones - some of the more gross changes I have seen during my work have included large pitting of the skull caused by severe late stage VD (this person was most likely insane by the time they died), and some of the more hideous effects of ancient diseases like leprosy.
A fit healthy person engaged in lots of physical activity will generally have larger more obvious insertion points were the muscle tendon connects to the bone surface. A heavier person can still have been engaged in physical work - think of all the lifting a farm labourer would have done for instance.
As for fat people in the past - we have plenty of pictures of Henry 8th , but as far as I know no-one has ever gotten to analyse his bones!! But other things come out in the wealthy in the past - gout for instance is always assumed to be associated with rich-living, e.g. drinking out of wine goblets that have a high lead content during the Middle Ages.
But, just so we dont confuse the issue - this isnt Evolution at play . This is lifestyle, disease, and what hardships (or not) people have experienced during that life.
If two morbidly obese adults get together and produce a morbidly obese child, is that a genetic trait, or is it because they live an unhealthly lifestyle that the child is exposed to from the moment of conception? Now, there in lies the question......I would suggest it is lifestyle.
And I would wholeheartedly agree. ^^^^
Not only do fat people have fat kids, they also have fat dogs (if they have a dog).
What you have said is what I was trying to say earlier but obviously not as well as you.
Its about time this forum had a Science Corner .
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