Evolutionary Well-Being: the paleolithic hunter-gatherer as model for health and happiness

Evolutionary Well-Being:
the paleolithic hunter-gatherer as model for health and happiness
 
ECCO, VUB
 
Abstract:
 

Hominids have lived for millions of years as hunter-gatherers, and only thousands of years as farmers and later industrial workers. This means that evolution has shaped our body and mind for a paleolithic, hunter-gatherer lifestyle. The modern lifestyle, while being in many aspects safer and more comfortable, is essentially ill-adapted to our genome. This explains the prevalence of so many "diseases of civilisation" that seem virtually absent in hunter-gatherer populations. These include  obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, allergies, ADHD, depression, anxiety and dementia.
 
A reconstruction of the paleolithic lifestyle suggests a number of guidelines for avoiding these physical and mental problems, by making relatively small adjustments to our present lifestyle. These include a shift to a "paleo" diet, based on meat, vegetables and fruit, a more varied, adventurous style of physical exercise, more frequent exposure to nature, sunlight, heat, and cold, a more playful, relaxed attitude, and a more nurturing approach to child care, combining close bodily contact with free play and exploration. This talk will survey these guidelines and some of the scientific evidence behind them.
 
More info and references: see Heylighen's paleo website