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Why walk on two legs?

May 18, 2017

‘Four legs good, two legs better’

(George Orwell; Animal farm)

Somewhere between 3 and 6 million years ago our ancestors decided that walking on two limbs was better than four. Homo Sapiens (you and I) evolved about 200,000 years ago and took full advantage of walking upright. It made it easier to pick fruit from low lying branches. It meant we had one arm free to carry the baby and another to carry tools. It also made us look scarier; especially when, like the young lads squaring up to each other on a Saturday night, we drew ourselves up to our full height. Since lycra had not been invented we didn’t bother with the bicycle, but moving on two limbs allowed us to cover large open spaces very quickly.

            However all that efficiency came at a price and soon the immortal words “Oh! My back” were first uttered. Yes, lower back pain, bulging discs, arthritis in the knees or ankles and the occasional collapsed foot arch is the price we still pay.

Thankfully today we have the podiatrist/ chiropodist with a range of physical therapies, and other interventions, so there is no need to revert to walking on “all four”.