Join
×

New research outlines how longer lives are tied to physical activity

November 22, 2021

A team of evolutionary biologists and biomedical researchers from Harvard are taking a run at it (sometimes literally) in a new study published in PNAS. The work lays out evolutionary and biomedical evidence showing that humans, who evolved to live many decades after they stopped reproducing, also evolved to be relatively active in their later years.

The researchers say that physical activity later in life shifts energy away from processes that can compromise health and toward mechanisms in the body that extend it. They hypothesize that humans evolved to remain physically active as they age—and in doing so to allocate energy to physiological processes that slow the body’s gradual deterioration over the years. This guards against chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and even some cancers. PHYS