In the U.S. obesity is growing at a very fast rate. The Center For Disease Control reports one third of Americans are obese. Over the years the percentage of jobs in the U.S. have shifted from manual labor to design/management oriented jobs. Car manufacturing has less people on the assembly line and more machines. Staying inside staring at a screen for 6.5 hours every day will definitely build up stress and anxiety. There once was a time when engineers and designers would work hands on with products. Ever wonder why you have a difficult time sleeping? All these problems stem from one essential truth: Humans are made to be active.
Manual Labor Can Help Obesity
If the average employed person goes to work five days a week and works 40+ hours and all they do is sit, we have a problem. Instead of people sitting doing something, why not moving doing something? Technology has drastically changed how people do work all round the world. The questions is how has technology benefited people? Machines can make many more products than ever before, but is that what matters? Does the profit of earned cash out way peoples' health? Greed and consumerism is evident by how people perform business. Being content and healthy might be a better profit. Laboring for something has always been an accepted fact. Are people these days trying to bypass this simple truth?
Manual Labor Can Help Stress
When people sit for long periods of time they are not releasing the needed endorphins their body gives off when exercising. Endorphins lubricate the body, allowing the brain to think more clearly and not get stuck as often. When the brain is in a bind the person gets upset and stress begins. Physical work every day will help people to be more productive, as well as enjoy their day.
Manual Labor Can Help Learning
The quality of learning in the U.S. has been dwindling. People are not wired to sit in a class and read ABOUT the topics they are interested in, but rather be engaging WITH the topic. Physical interaction alerts the senses and further intrigues the learner. Studying by memorizing is not natural and only disinterests the learner. Living off the land as the Indians did was the most natural and beneficial means of living. Asking what is the purpose of living and learning are good questions to ask.
Manual Labor Can Help Sleeping
Sleep depravity in the U.S. has been growing as well. People are suffering from insomnia and only a few hours of sleep each night. Stress is the number one cause of sleep depravity but following as a close second is lack of activity. Farmers usually get the most sleep out of anyone in the U.S. due to the fact that they are physically active 4 - 6 hours a day. Some cubical dwellers go to a gym after work to get their needed exercise. This way of exercising is not good for your body. It starts adrenaline pumping and can keep you from sleeping at night.
At the End of the Day
At the end of the day people need to evaluate their working environment. Sitting all day will not help your diet. Find a job that can offer you hands on ways of relating to your work. Trying to exercise before or after work only makes your schedule even more busy. The feeling of a good hard days work never felt better, especially when you go to sleep.
John Dove on October 18, 2017:
Tasks one does around the house -- such as painting, grass-mowing, scrubbing floors, etc. -- can be thought of as manual labor, or simply exercise. For folks who do not do manual labor to earn their bread, think of each household task as exercise that helps keep the body healthier and less obese.
Jennifer Mugrage from Columbus, Ohio on April 26, 2016:
I agree with your main point. People are designed to move around and use their hands and body for various skills. It does improve our physical and mental health, and our sleep.
Your tone makes it sound like people in sedentary lifestyles just choose that kind of lifestyle because they are ignorant or stubborn. I hope that's not what you meant to convey, because it's a lot more complicated than that. In our society, it can be hard to get active time outdoors. The gym might not be a great solution, but it's better than not being active at all. Other good solutions are camping and yard work, and hobbies such as carpentry. But some people in very high-pressure jobs may not have the leisure for this.
I also agree that the trades are overlooked and under-respected as a good career choice. However, if you are in midlife and already have professional or academic training, it might not be so easy to switch to a manual job midstream. Such jobs usually require certification, apprenticeships, etc., and many people may not be able to continue to meet their expenses during the year or more it would take to get qualified. That's a shame.
You made me smile with the line "sleep depravity." I think you mean "sleep deprivation" ... though of course, lack of sleep can certainly lead to behavior that seems depraved ...
All the best.
DavyCrockett (author) on February 02, 2012:
Thanks, I will definitely take a look at yours!
The Finance Hub from Portland, Oregon on February 02, 2012:
Manual labor is great! May not be what everyone wants to do but it has many tremendous benefits! Great hub, hope you enjoy mine as well!