The Evolution of Human Physical Activity

Event Date (Pacific Time): 
Friday, May 14, 2021 - 12:00pm to 4:30pm
Event Chairs:

Tatum Simonson, UC San Diego School of Medicine
Daniel Lieberman, Harvard University

This was an online-only event. Talks were recorded and will be posted on this page for viewing soon. Please check this event page, as well as CARTA’s Facebook (@ucsdcarta) and Twitter (@CARTAUCSD) accounts for updates.

Summary:
Exercise is well known to provide many health benefits, and human physical activities differ significantly from other species. Although hunter-gatherers sometimes climb and fight, they also walk long distances bipedally (the topic of a previous CARTA symposium) as well as run, dig, throw, carry and more. How, when and why did these capabilities evolve? What genetic, physiological and anatomical adaptations underlie them? And how did the evolution of human physical activity affect other key human characteristics such as enlarged brains, high-quality diets, extended life-history strategies, gene-culture co-evolution and high levels of cooperation? To address these and other related questions, this symposium will integrate research on genetics, biomechanics, physiology, neurobiology and behavior. Because more and more humans today are primarily sedentary, we will also explore implications of the evolution of human physical activity for contemporary health and disease.​

Event Sessions

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