October 17-21, 2023
Erice, Sicily, ITALY

Workshop Organizers

Conference goals

Danny Longman (Loughborough University, UK)
Stefano Parmigiani (Università di Parma, Italy)
Davide Ponzi (Università di Parma, Italy)

Purpose of the Workshop

Conference goals

Why is regular physical activity essential for optimal health? How has our evolutionary past shaped how we respond to exercise today? How can an evolutionary perspective of physical activity inform approaches to maximizing athletic performance?

Regular physical activity is essential for health, and, of course, for high-level athletic performance. Sports and medical sciences have made tremendous progress in furthering our understanding of the proximate mechanisms explaining how regular exercise links to both health and athletic performance. However, a coherent theory explaining why (a) regular exercise is so crucial to our health and (b) our physiology responds the way it does to exercise remains absent.

We propose that an evolutionary perspective is key to addressing this fundamental limitation. Contemporary human physiology is the product of millions of years of evolution. As a result, consideration of our evolutionary history is necessary to address the ultimate mechanisms providing a deeper understanding of why our biology is the way it is. The workshop aims to provide a forum to discuss the value of applying an evolutionary perspective to enhance both health and athletic performance.

Workshop Topics

Conference goals

  • - Evolutionary biology
  • - Exercise immunology
  • - Energetics and metabolism
  • - Exercise, sports and mental health
  • - Human athletic paleobiology
  • - Human evolution
  • - Life history theory
  • - Nutrition, hydration and performance
  • - Physical activity and aging
  • - Physical activity, sports and women's health
  • - Public health

Speakers & Topics

Ann Caldwell

Life history, physical activity, and body weight management

Daniela Caporossi

Physical exercise and transgenerational programming in offspring

Arran Davis

The effects of social support and integration on fatigue, energy expenditure, and outputs during physical exercise

Eimear Dolan

Energetic Trade-offs, Constraints and Compensation - Insights from Endurance Athletes

Kirsty Elliott-Sale

Physical activity and reproductive health

Lewis James

Hydration and endurance performance: time to rethink hydration guidelines for athletes?

Grazyna Jasienska

Evolutionary human biology, physical activity and reproductive health

Daniel Lieberman

Human evolution, lifelong physical activity and health

Danny Longman

Human athletic paleobiology, life history and energy allocation

Marcello Maggio

Physical activity, health and aging

Frank Marino

Exercise limitation or regulation?

Davide Ponzi

The evolutionary basis of sex differences in sports competition: from performance to vulnerability

David Raichlen

An evolutionary perspective on physical activity and brain health

Jay Stock

Life history, repetitive loading, and the mechanobiology of cortical and trabecular bone among athletes

Alex Wadley

Applications of exercise immunology in clinical health

Jonathan Wells

Evolutionary public health