Daniel Lieberman: "The Active Grandparent Hypothesis: physical activity and aging in humans versus other primates"

Talk link: https://youtu.be/ETpH03P6vCo

Primate Conversations with Daniel Lieberman - 26th Jan 2021

Talk abstract: Unlike non-human primates including chimpanzees and gorillas, humans who survive childhood are likely to live several decades after their reproductive lifespan in order to maximize their reproductive success. In this talk, I will discuss how natural selection favored extended lifespans and healthspans as both a cause as well as a consequence of lifelong physical activity. To provision and otherwise support their children and grandchildren, there was strong selection for human hunter-gatherers to remain physically active as they age. In turn, there was also selection for the stresses caused by PA to stimulate a wide range of repair and maintenance mechanisms that slow senescence, maintain functional capacity, and thus extend both healthspans and lifespans. Among the many consequences of this selection, insufficient lifelong PA may be an especially strong mismatch in humans than in most other species. This evolutionary history raises the untested hypothesis that lack of PA and its modern manifestation, exercise, may have greater effects on longevity and vulnerability to disease in humans than apes, and various model organisms used to study aging.

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