Lifestyle sabotages you more than old age

A Hadza man on a hunt, with his bow and arrow.

Many of the health issues we just chalk up to “getting old,” actually have very little to do with getting old at all. Instead, these issues have roots in our unhealthy modern lifestyle; most notably that we sit on our arses too much.

This was made clear in a study done on hunter-gatherers in Africa several years ago. The study showed they don’t have the same health issues as they age that we do. The main difference: They move and we don’t. 

According to an article on NPR, a team led by anthropologist Herman Pontzer, an associate professor at Hunter College, provided GPS units with heart monitors to a group of Hazda adults, a tribe of hunter-gatherers in northern Tanzania. 

Among the highlights they found:

  • Hazda adults get about 135 minutes PER DAY of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. U.S. guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes per week… and only about 10 percent of Americans achieve that.
  • The Hazda’s biomarkers show no evidence of risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
  • Hazda men and women who are 60 and 70 years old easily keep up with younger members of the tribe. 

You can read more about the study here.