Consider: the Stone Age is now thousands of years back in the past. With every passing era, early man took changing centuries in his stride. Like all animals, he was created to be on his feet. At first, he chased, hunted. Then; he combined these activities with farming. But he remained on his feet. Upright. And when the sun set, he lay down, back and legs straight out.
The Industrial Revolution ushered in modernity. That progressive element which had crept into our lives could have been used constructively. But it only made us the sedentary animals we are today. We get out of bed to sit down for breakfast. We travel, or try to travel, on our rumps to work. Once there, we work .on our seats. Coming home is a rewind of the journey to work. Then, we sit down before the TV-VCR till the calorie-chair beckons us to dine, and sleep nods us to bed. It’s truly, backside to the future.
Get the picture? The operative word, the key to our lifestyle, is sit, which even as it rhymes is, the very antithesis of fit. If we are critics of your armchair, it’s with reason. If by living in the lap of luxury, man is losing his spine and finds modern life a pain in the backside, the reason often is just below him. The chair and he have conspired to be on a sit-down strike against nature.
In the process, we deaden ourselves – physically and mentally – because we don’t bother to break out of our numbing lifestyle. We don’t allow nature’s exercise – standing, walking, bending – to revitalize our muscles. We don’t allow those vital active processes to pour more oxygen into us. We are our enemies – ruining ourselves in a quiet but violent way. And as terrorism breeds in a politically criminalized society, heart attacks breed in our violated bodies.
Rebels have realised that to get politicians to hear them, they have to jolt them. It begins with asking, then shouting, and finally, physical violence. Similarly, our body begins to rebel. The symptoms are many – obesity, aches and pains and finally, the terrorism of a heart attack.
You can’t afford to slow down in your life in the fast lane. So, work tensions, the philosophy of all work and no play combined with a sedentary lifestyle make you worse than a dull boy.
What happens if you leave your vehicle unused for days in the garage? The battery runs down, of course. The same thing happens to an unworked body. With more than 50 per cent of his body being muscle, today it is medical men – even more than bodybuilders – who say we are what our muscles make us.
In the course of centuries, man’s evolution from the leafy jungle to the concrete one, has left him with more muscles than he normally uses. Man was built for action – not atrophy.
While our historical heritage gives us an insight into our natural selves, it is scientific know-how that adds an understanding to our perceptions. And the foundation of science itself is based on observing the simple, yet wondrous things that happen all around us.