A Squat a Day

Can hunter-gatherers teach us healthier habits?

 This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

I always wear my Fit-Bit! But it doesn’t do much good when we mostly sit on our butts all day. Humans weren’t meant to be so sedentary, right?

Brian Wood at UCLA and his team studied the Hadza people in Tanzania. Twenty-eight members of the tribe wore tracking monitors for a week. The devices measured their location and muscle activity.  

And? Surprisingly, the average Hadza adult spends less time exercising than most Americans! The key to their good health? Might be how they rest. Wood’s team observed that the tribe hardly ever sit. Instead, they squat or kneel. These positions engage leg muscles much more than sitting. This may be how the Hadza avoid modern maladies like heart disease.

And when the Hadza are active, they go hard! We probably can’t incorporate hunting wildebeest into our daily routines. Who has the time? But maybe it’s time to switch to a squatting desk?

 Remember, always rest with your legs!  Candy Crush is optional.