The professor of the University of Kent Vybarr Cregan-Reid noted that there is increasing scientific evidence that the feet are key in human evolution, and shows one of the traces of human footprints oldest found dates back one and a half million years, found in Kenya.
The footprint helped determine that our ancestors ‘ feet remained virtually unchanged, while the rest of their bodies were roughly modified.
Today our feet are weaker, bigger and flatter. And this is bad news not only for the health of our feet but for our whole body.
The loss of efficiency of our feet is reflected in the fact that almost 80% of people who run (recreational running) suffer some kind of injury every year.
“Tens of thousands of years ago people used (feet) much more than now so it’s not a problem of overuse. Perhaps the problem is that we are not using them enough to get them used to a lot of use,” he explained.
With the Industrial Revolution, a more sedentary lifestyle began. From then on, our feet began to adapt to our new reality of not moving.
For example, the hard, flat surfaces we usually walk on a daily basis. Or the flat-soled footwear we usually use to cover those hard floors.
These do not allow the nearly 100 muscles and tendons we have on each foot to move as they used to when life was less comfortable, jobs required movement and people moved on foot.
By weakening the musculature, it makes our feet more fragile. The protective layer of Calluses used to be worn by our ancestors who spent a lot of time barefoot was also lost.
Although shoes are helpful, the incidence of flat feet has increased in many parts of the world.
How to reverse the damage to our feet
One of the simplest things we can do to improve the health of our feet is walking. Ideally, barefoot.
A study of children in India found that those who did not wear shoes or sandals had fewer flat feet.
Cregan-Reid believes we should rediscover our feet to learn how to use them again.