Recent studies in the development of human physiology show that exercise is an evolutionary necessity rather than just a “nice to have.” It is therefore also one of the traits that sets humans apart from their closest relatives, the apes, who live a largely sedentary life without any adverse effects on their health. Herman Pontzer, associate professor for evolutionary anthropology at Duke University, found that human beings’ time as hunters and gatherers is hardwired into their bodies and impacts their brain, immune and nervous system. This well-written and informative article shows that, without a significant level of physical activity, humans will never be able to function at their optimum level. The article will benefit anyone concerned with human health and lifestyle.
In this summary, you will learn
- Why apes can be lazy and stay healthy, but humans can’t;
- How a change in diet set the path for the development of human physiology; and
- Why exercise is essential to make our bodies work better.
About the Author
Herman Pontzer is associate professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke University. His research focuses on how evolution has impacted human physiology and health.