Something to be said for the good old days

August 5, 2020

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Something to be said for the good old days

So how did we get to this place in just the span of a few decades? Let’s look at what our parents and grandparents did differently than we do today. They walked more, drove less (if they drove at all). They gardened more, often for food, and prepared more of their own meals rather than eating out at restaurants. They didn’t sit in front of the television for hours and hours every night, didn’t have such long commutes to work, didn’t take so many long airplane flights, and had to physically stand up and walk over to a file cabinet or to a library to find a document rather than just click a mouse.

Personal quantification devices like the Nike Fuel Band and the FitBit are all the rage, but our grandparents didn't need them to stay in shape.
Personal quantification devices like the Nike Fuel Band and the FitBit are all the rage but our grandparents didn’t need them to stay in shape.

According to studies conducted at the Mayo Clinic, our parents and grandparents burned 1,500-2,000 calories per day more than we do now, just by living life. Their BMRs (Basal Metabolic Rates) were far higher as a consequence of making so many more small movements throughout their day. They were a fitter generation than ours despite not having had access to 24-hour gyms, “personal quantification” devices like the Nike FuelBand and the FitBit, or exercise-tracking apps on their cell phones.

So can we replace those calorie burn opportunities without going full-Amish and giving up our technology-rich lifestyle? One popular solution is to adopt a treadmill desk. Standing desks will also help a few more calories a day but if you’re looking to burn a few hundred calories a day you’ll want to consider advancing to a walking workstation. Learn more about how standing desks compare to treadmill desks in calorie burn.

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