What about the typical diet of each group?
People I know who do factory work generally smoke, drink, and eat poorly. (Much of my family & friends.)
Everyone says people who work in the trades have nagging to serious physical ailments from the years of physical abuse and strain from their work. It's a huge detriment to the career. People warn yea, the money is good, but you'll be shot to hell by age 50. Yet, no one seems to be worried that people who work out regularly will suffer the same fate.
What are your experiences? Will someone who is active for 30 years from age 20 to 50 experience the same physical breakdowns as people who work in the trades from age 20 to 50?
Anything too repetitive and hard will hurt you. I think that's why the trend is to a few hard workouts that are efficient, rather than hours and hours seeing little gain.
My grandmother owned a dress factory, but she worked on the machines for over 30 years. Even though people often thought she was 20+ years younger than she was, it was because they hadn't looked at her hands. They were old old hands. I also know a carpenter who still works 20-40 hours a week in his sixties. He actually looks super, but again, his hands are beat up from hammering, cutting, etc.
Mark has written about how his health was effected (affected?) by years of hard training. But when I think of "active," I don't think of "punishing." There are a gazillion ways to stay active, but a tradesperson who uses the same muscles day in and day out for 30 years might get some injuries in the process.
You might want to google some of the Mr. Universes of the 1980s and 1990s who are still fit and see what their take on it is.
Yes, something like that can be hugely damaging. If you think about both the kinds of activities and the length of time spent at them ...
Someone in that line told me that over time using motorized digging and compacting tools will literally strip the cartilage out of the joints of your fingers. You've seen how those things vibrate. Now imagine holding one.
And, as I said, length of time. Advice from someone like Mark is usually to do a lot of low-level activity, like walking, and some intense but very short workouts. This might mean something like 15 to 30 minutes three times a week. Some people do something like Tababta sprints, and that's done in eight minutes.
You've also got plenty of recovery time on the four days on which you don't exercise. Someone doing manual labour has to come in and do the same again next day without a rest-day.
You could certainly hurt yourself with ill-judged or badly carried out exercise routines over time. But I don't think it really compares with some kinds of heavy manual labour, where the types of activity may be difficult to do without strain, the activities may go on for long stretches of time, and you have no rest-days to recover.
big, huge difference between working out & being active, and working a construction job.
when i lift weights, i use perfect form and control tempo & function. when i volunteer with habitat for humanity and do house construction, i simply have far less control over angles, pressure, moment arms, body positioning, repetition, muscle recruitment... the job just needs to get done, and i'm often sore afterwards (not in the way i'd ideally want).
"dean ornish and dr. davis think the palmitic acid our bodies use for fuel while we sleep is poison if we eat it. zero-carbers like charles washington think the oldest fuel in our evolutionary history – glucose - used by organisms a billion years ago and without which the brains of modern mammals cannot survive for more than a few minutes – is an unnatural toxin if you eat it. both views ignore basic facts of medical physiology and defy evolutionary history." - kurt harris
Factories are basically crimes against humanity.