The joy of manual labor is not only the ability to produce something tangible.
More importantly, this is a skill you can get good at; your skill speaks for itself.
In white-collar office politics, there are seldom straightforward measurements. Every action is fraught with navigating the politics of choice and opinion, hierarchies, and turf management, while metrics are a sliding scale of ad-hoc rationalization.
Yes, you can still be micromanaged and overworked doing manual labor, but the appeal is in the objective proof that transcends petty politics.