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  • Published: 1 September 2021
  • ISBN: 9780141986364
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 464
  • RRP: $26.00


The Science of Physical Activity, Rest and Health

The myth-busting science behind our modern attitudes to exercise

In industrialized nations, our sedentary lifestyles have contributed to skyrocketing rates of obesity and diseases like diabetes. A key remedy, we are told, is exercise - voluntary physical activity for the sake of health. However, most of us struggle to stay fit, and our attitudes to exercise are plagued by misconceptions, finger-pointing and anxiety.

But, as Daniel Lieberman shows in Exercised, the first book of its kind by a leading scientific expert, we never evolved to exercise. We are hardwired for moderate exertion throughout each day, not triathlons or treadmills. Drawing on over a decade of high-level scientific research and eye-opening insights from evolutionary biology and anthropology, Lieberman explains precisely how exercise can promote health; debunks persistent myths about sitting, speed, strength and endurance; and points the way towards more enjoyable and physically active living in the modern world.

  • Published: 1 September 2021
  • ISBN: 9780141986364
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 464
  • RRP: $26.00

About the author

Daniel Lieberman

Daniel E. Lieberman is professor of human evolutionary biology and the Edwin M. Lerner II Professor of Biological Sciences at Harvard. He has written more than one hundred articles, many appearing in the journalsNature and Science. Lieberman is especially well known for his research on the evolution of the human head and the evolution of running, including barefoot running (earning him the nickname the Barefoot Professor). His research and discoveries have been highlighted widely in newspapers, magazines, books, news programs, and documentaries.

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Praise for Exercised

Endlessly fascinating and full of surprises. Lieberman strikes a perfect balance of scholarship, wit and enthusiasm for his subject. This is easily one of my books of the year

Bill Bryson, bestselling author of The Body

Myth-busting, illuminating, brilliant - Lieberman will completely change the way you think about your body

Professor Alice Roberts, presenter of Our Incredible Human Journey

Part user manual for the human body and part detective story exploring our evolution, Exercised will change the way you think about exercise, diet and your own wellbeing

Neil Shubin, author of Your Inner Fish

A surprising, erudite and revelatory look at the natural history of physical activity and why exercise is both so necessary for us and so unnatural. A must-read for anyone with a working body and mind

Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times-bestselling author of The First 20 Minutes

A fascinating read, and one that could nudge you toward a healthier (and longer) life

Amby Burfoot, editor of Runner's World

Excellent - well written, amusing and touching on the lives of all who read it

Richard Leakey, FRS

Entertaining and informative... The book is full of helpful tips - you'll build muscle faster by extending muscles under load rather than contracting them; the kind of chair you sit on doesn't matter as long as you strengthen your back muscles and move regularly - conveyed in a humorous and sympathetic style

Steven Poole, Guardian

Eye-opening, mind-expanding and potentially body-shaping

Paul Wilson, Men's Health

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