The Anthropocene, what does it eat in winter, one would wonder. These would be, put it simply, the transformations that the human body has undergone since the advent of civilization. Or the opposite: how humans have transformed their habitat. More precisely, this would be the times we live in today. Recently used, this term comes from the Greek anthropos (human) and kainos (recent or new).
We are constantly changing. In this immense theater of life, the lines are never quite the same from time to time. It all depends on the time, the setting, the place where the piece is performed. There is very little chance, says the popularizer of science, that we could have suffered, 1000 or 2000 years ago, “from asthma, seasonal or chronic rhinitis, tinnitus, acne, pain. lower back, fatty liver, irritable bowel syndrome, myopia, osteoporosis, sleep disorder, diabetes, depression, too high or too low blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, anxiety attacks , tuberculosis, Crohn’s disease, fungal infections, malaria, attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity ”, etc. We therefore depend on our environment.
Fascinating to learn that we are the product of amino acids which, when put together, form proteins which in turn form cells. And so on until an organized system is formed, whether it is a starfish, a tree or a human being.
From “S” to “Z”
Interesting is the comparison he draws between the huge chimneys that grew in cities, symbols of the industrial revolution of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, and the office towers which replace them today. With the difference that the battalions of workers standing in front of their machines have been replaced by contingents of people sitting at their desks. “Most of the work undertaken in the world today is done in this position, with the body bent at two right angles, resting on a chair, slightly hunchbacked, with the shoulders rounded forward and the nuchal ligament ( neck) stretched to prevent the head from crashing into the keyboard. Not to mention the invention of movies, television and video games, activities that are done while sitting. And, adds the author, that while our fingers travel several miles per day on telephone screens and computer keyboards, our feet, on the other hand, barely cover a single kilometer per month.
This is not without consequences for our body. Our spine suffers. And to warn us the author: “Unfortunately, most of those who have spent their time in a sedentary job can no longer stand properly after the age of 40, because the perfect“ S ”curvature of our spine starts to look more like a “Z”. In response to these changes in our lifestyle, our body defends itself and necessarily transforms. It is not quite the same as it was 300,000 years ago when Homo sapiens appeared.
One of the key moments in our recent history happened 13,000 years ago, when man ceased to be a gatherer and became a breeder. An agricultural revolution that lasted 4000 years. These changes inevitably led to bodily transformations.