White Paper- Minutemen14

Working Hypothesis- We as humans have made life so absent of physical labor through advanced technology, that we have given up our valuable time and money to be a part of a gym in order to get some form of physical activity.

Purposeful Summary #1: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2021.655491/full

From the very beginning of the human race, the human brain has developed new ways to make survival more and more attainable.  This started over 2 million years ago with the development of the earliest stone tools.  There was a continuous growth for survival even down to the human brain itself.  Even going from homo erectus to homo habilis there was an increase in brain capacity.  This went on to later have crucial creations such as the wheel.  This made life so much easier by taking a lot of labor out of the equation.  Crafting carts with wheels meant less walking, more trade, even cattle drawn carts to take on a lot of the agricultural needs.  Humans naturally kept advancing and soon enough in the early 1700’s the industrial revolution was upon us.  This redefined transportation and increased the profit ratio for entrepreneurs as they didn’t need as much labor in order to produce the same product.  This led all the way up to the technological era during the latter portion of the 20th century which skyrocketed items that would be accessible to the public to make household chores and communication much easier.  However, the daily tasks of life such as preparing a full meal for your family or physically working on your house or for a career have all been replaced by technology and machines.  Instant communication such as the internet and smartphones have distracted us from other forms of entertainment and have trapped us on the couch or in bed.  This is horrible for the body as we can sit and have the world at our fingertips without moving a muscle.  This has led to a lack of activity and physical exercise as we have cut out anything strenuous.  Obesity and heart problems have skyrocketed; those classified as obese or overweight increasing by 30% since the 1960’s.  Even though many are living longer, the last years of life are often ruined by health concerns caused by inactivity.  We have improved life so much that it is starting to destroy us. 

Purposeful Summary #2 https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/factsheets/physical-activity.htm

It is evident that the lack of physical activity has made us physically inadequate.  “Only 1 in 4 US adults and 1 in 5 high school students meet the recommended physical activity guidelines,” says the CDC.  This tells us that the majority of people in the US are not physically active enough to meet the standard amount of activity.  It is shown that medical complications due to this lack of activity have built up over $100 billion in medical bills annually.  Cancer, diabetes and heart disease, three of the most deadly conditions, are directly linked to the lack of exercise.  Not only are we missing out on ridding ourselves of these horrible diseases, but we are also losing out on the extra benefits of physical activity.  This includes better sleep, physical and cognitive stamina increases and bone density/skeletal health.  The combination of eating right and exercising regularly takes stress off of your body in more ways than one.  Eating cleaner takes stress off digestion, exercising increases blood flow which takes stress off of your heart, and the combination of the two will reduce body mass which takes stress off bones and joints.  Our world has strirpped us of everything physical so in response, taking care of your body is absolutely necessary.  If you do not, our way of life is not set up for you to regularly get activity in.  Humans went from having to use every waking moment for survival, to being able to have food, water, shelter and communication all while not being forced to leave the house.

Purposeful Summary #3:  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00125-012-2677-z

While physical activity has outstanding health benefits, it is critical to both human mental and physical health and wellbeing. There are several forms of physical activity including sedentary and low-intensity behaviors.The aim of this analysis was to take a closer look at the interconnection of sedentary time with health issues, specifically diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular and all-cause mortality (Wilmot, Edwardson, Achana, Davies, Gorely, Gray, Khunti, Yates & Biddie, 2013). Research has been focused on seeking the links between the intensity of physical activity and overall health. Most of this research overlooks the potential importance of the distinction between “sedentary activity and light-intensity physical activity”(Wilmot et al., 2013). Examples of sedentary behavior include sitting in a car, sitting at a computer, watching TV, etc… Researchers note that objective measures have demonstrated that the average adult spends 50-60% of their day in sedentary pursuits (Wilmot et al., 2013). Past research shows that diabetes and mortality both have a moderate-to-strong association with sedentary behavior (Wilmot et al., 2013). The present analysis aims to further examine the association between sedentary activity and four outcomes including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular mortality and all-cause death.  Most human beings are practicing sedentary behavior for 50-60 percent of our days. Driving, TV time, desk time, etc.. People are purely lazy or they are busy working at a desk all day long or traveling to work. Spending time using technology.. You can circle it back to your hypothesis and how our lives are almost centered around technology in the workplace it has honestly just become such a habit and necessity in order to do anything so the little things like getting up to move or going to the gym seem so taxing and people either have a lot of trouble doing it or they skip out on it completely.

Purposeful Summary #4: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3988884/

With rising obesity and weight related medical conditions, there is a correlation of areas of the workforce decreasing in physical labor.  The decomposition of our once labor intensive and industrial work could be the cause of the utter lack of physical activity whatsoever.  A survey was taken among over 25,000 members of the British workforce, that took down their activity in all facets of their life.  As physical labor decreased, the trend was most likely the same across the board. This goes beyond simply the correlation of occupation and activity level.  “In Europe more than 65% of the adult population is insufficiently active, and this has been related to increasing levels of obesity and related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and several forms of cancer,” according to the world health organization.  The amount of miles a person walks per year has gone down over 25% and is currently about less than a mile a day.  These effects were about the same in men and women, however the variation in results changed with regard to time period and region of the world.

Purposeful Summary #5:  http://sites.nd.edu/caroline-langley/category/farming-and-the-industrial-revolution/

Our jobs are no longer taxing on the body and labor has been so divided up across industry that everything is easily accessible.  We’ve gone from spread out forms of manual labor to extremely specific areas of the workforce.  This specialized labor is done using the help of machines to pick up the slack of manpower.  Humans used to have to spend their days working for survival, but now they have everything in the palm of their hands.  This is obviously so much more efficient, but there is no way to get any of that hard work back into our quick pace, mass produced lifestyle.  On the flip side of this, the improvement overall has made our food supply suffer as a result.  It was a crazy train reaction of improving agriculture, which made food more accessible, which made people live longer, which meant more people to feed, which finally led to a need for more output, which hurt the quality of our food.  This means that we live in a world where food quality has gone down and on top of it there is no need to exert energy on physical activity on a daily basis.  While we will live longer we are more likely to suffer from a deadly disease later in life.  We’ve ironically decreased our quality of life as a result of continuously trying to perfect our quality of life.

Topics For Other Papers:

Cognitive Health due to excercise

The effects of physical activity based on region of the world

The effects of food quality due to overpopulation

Current state of paper:
I feel pretty satisfied with the quality of sources I was able to find. I feel that I need to make sure that I do not repeat myself as a lot of my sources have great points that closely intertwine. Other than that I feel that I am ready to expand on these brief thoughts and dive into more analysis of my claim.

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1 Response to White Paper- Minutemen14

  1. davidbdale says:

    I love the counterintuitive image of legions of people liberated from the physical exertions of making a living and staying alive now having to pay good money to put themselves through pointless exercises moving equipment back and forth in order to give their muscles some sort of work to do. Once that image is planted, there may not be much more to say about it. Already your paper seems to be concentrating entirely on the “we have reduced labor” side at the expense of the “we pay others to increase our labor” side. I’m counting on you to stay alert to surprise. There may be opportunities to keep that contrast alive.

    I’m a little puzzled by the “we grow more food, but the quality has declined” claim. I see that the author you sourced made that claim but without explanation. It’s worth developing. We’re probably as able, or more able, to get fresh produce than ever before. We certainly eat more animal protein than our ancestors did. So declining quality must have something to do with the highly-processed character of much of what we eat. Either way, the point is essential if you’re going to develop BOTH the idea of declining exercise AND the idea of increasing calorie intake.

    One last note. Be careful not to speak for all humans. Billions of rural Chinese no doubt still labor extensively and have never needed a gym. You might need a categorical declaration. Comparatively well-to-do citizens of developed nations are probably your test subjects.

    This document is a work-in-progress, so I expect the feedback loop to stay open for many weeks, Minutemen. Please respond to show your respect for the process. Thanks!


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