Did We Evolve to Exercise?


Wednesday, October 13, 2021, 6:00pm to 7:15pm



Free Virtual Public Lecture

Daniel Lieberman, Edwin M. Lerner II Professor of Biological Sciences, Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University

Advance Registration Required.

Exercise is a paradox: everyone knows it is healthy, but most of us struggle to do it. Further, as technology and machines increasingly replace human labor, fewer people are getting enough exercise. In this talk, Daniel Lieberman will explain how an evolutionary and anthropological perspective on exercise can help. How much exercise did we evolve to do? Is exercise really a magic bullet? Why, how, and to what extent does exercise slow aging and promote health? Is there a best way to exercise? And, most importantly, how can we help each other exercise without nagging or coercing?

Evolution Matters Lecture Series
Series supported by a generous gift from Drs. Herman and Joan Suit

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About the Speaker

Daniel Lieberman is Edwin M. Lerner II Professor of Biological Sciences and a professor of the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. He received degrees from Harvard University and the University of Cambridge, and taught at Rutgers University and George Washington University before joining Harvard University as a professor in 2001. Lieberman studies and teaches how and why the human body is the way it is, and how our evolutionary history affects health and disease. In his research he combines experimental biomechanics, anatomy, and physiology both in the lab and in the field (primarily Kenya and Mexico). He is best known for his research on the evolution of running and other kinds of physical activities such as walking, but is also well known for his research on the evolution of the human head. Lieberman loves teaching and has published over 180 peer-reviewed papers, many in journals such as Nature, Science, and The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, as well as three popular books, The Evolution of the Human Head (2011), The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease (2013), and Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do Is Healthy and Rewarding (2020).