CARTA: The Evolution of Human Physical Activity - Grazyna Jasienska - Physical Activity and Women's Reproductive Health

7/1/2021; 20 minutes

Human physical activities differ significantly from other species. How, when and why did these capabilities evolve? What adaptations underlie them? And how did the evolution of human physical activity affect other key human characteristics that have advanced our species? Grazyna Jasienska discusses different effects of activity on women's reproductive health.

The effects of physical activity on female physiology and health are much more complex than for men. Just like in men, activity is beneficial for many aspects of health, but physically active women also face important physiological trade-offs. Physical activity influences levels of hormones that are crucial for female health – estrogens and progesterone. But how much and in what way these hormones are affected depends not only on the type and intensity of physical activity, but also on other factors, such as the quality of environment that women experienced during their own fetal development and childhood.
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