The Evolution of Human Physical Activity

Event Date (Pacific Time): 
Friday, May 14, 2021 - 12:00pm to 5:00pm
Event Chairs:

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

Live Symposium Webcast:

Access to the live webcast for this symposium will be provided here on Friday, May 14 starting at 12:00 PM (Pacific Time).

There will be two ways to watch on the day of the event:

  1. Zoom webinar:
    (American Sign Language webinar also offered:
  2. visiting this page and clicking on the video player link that will appear above under "Live Symposium Webcast" on event day

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This is an online-only event. Please email with any technical issues. Talks will be recorded by UCSD-TV and posted on this page in the weeks following the event. Follow this event page, as well as CARTA’s Facebook (@ucsdcarta) and Twitter (@CARTAUCSD) accounts for updates.

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

REGISTRATION FOR LIVE, ONLINE EVENT: As always, this online-only event is FREE and open to the public, however, please register to express your interest. To register, go to the bottom of this event page.

LIVE WEBCAST: This is an online-only event. Pre-recorded talks will stream beginning at 12:00 PM (Pacific), followed by a live-streamed Q&A where our speakers will answer audience questions beginning around 3:30 PM (Pacific). The Q&A will be also be recorded and posted along with the talks on the event page for viewing soon after the symposium has concluded.

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION: Questions for our speakers may be submitted prior to or during the event in the following ways (please indicate the speaker(s) that your questions are directed to, if applicable):

We hope to answer as many of these questions as possible during the event, but are considering options to deal with possible overflow questions and discussion. Watch our CARTA social media and emails for updates.

Free CARTA Zoom Backgrounds

Support Opportunities

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Registration Deadline: Friday, May 14, 2021 at 5:00 PM

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