Today, technology makes loafers of us all. But smartphones, computers and the internet are not only changing the ways we work and play, they are changing our bodies... The author raises (and answers) some unexpected, offbeat questions. Why are Sardinians shorter than other Europeans, but live longer? Why are there no bad backs in Shakespeare’s plays? And why was it that it was ‘only once we started to sit down in chairs that we realised we really ought to get out of them’?
In a work of remarkable scope, Vybarr Cregan-Reid ranges across ancient history, science and literature to tell the story of human evolution and adaptation to our changing world. He writes with enthusiasm for the wonders of our biology... Yet his purpose is to show how badly things are going wrong. His anger at the way our modern lifestyle is causing suffering is heartfelt – he endures chronic back pain due to a sedentary lifestyle and asthma made worse by toxic air pollution.