How We’ve Evolved – the Evolution of Posture
We’ve spent a large focus on our blog this month discussing posture, back pain, spinal health, and related topics. As we did so, we started thinking about the history of man’s posture itself. We have a wealth of information on healthy posture as it stands today – but how did upright posture in mankind come about? How did we become the lovable bipedal species we accept as commonplace today? Are we still evolving, or has our posture achieved its optimum potential?
We did some digging and came up with a couple cool facts on the evolution of our upright position – we hope you enjoy!
We are not that different than other primates. Almost all other primates can sit upright, many primates can stand upright, and some can even walk upright (briefly). Other primates, such as chimpanzees, have evolved towards an upright
2. Upright walking helped human survival. Some of the survival benefits from upright walking included reaching low-hanging fruits and branches, freeing up hands for carrying food, supplies, and babies, and helping humans quickly traverse wide open spaces. The ability to stand upright also allowed humans to look larger and more threatening to predators.
3. Human evolution is imperfect. Evolution occurs over millions of years, and some of the benefits listed above are the effects of our evolution to bipedalism. However, the process is imperfect. The effect of gravity on upright spines has led to back pains unique to our species, and injuries such as slipped disks, arthritis, and foot problems.
4. We may still be evolving. Since evolution occurs over millions of years, it’s impossible to witness during the fact. However, things like disease resistance, the ability to digest milk, and our eye color actually point to the fact that we are still evolving. Time will tell – when our distant ancestors look back on us, they may point to our status to highlight the differences between us and them!