In Praise of Walking

Be the first to favourite this.

Walking upright on two feet is a uniquely human skill. It defines us as a species.

It enabled us to walk out of Africa and to spread as far as Alaska and Australia. It freed our hands and freed our minds. We put one foot in front of the other without thinking – yet how many of us know how we do that, or appreciate the advantages it gives us? In this hymn to walking, neuroscientist Shane O’Mara invites us to marvel at the benefits it confers on our bodies and minds.

In Praise of Walking celebrates this miraculous ability. Incredibly, it is a skill that has its evolutionary origins millions of years ago, under the sea. And the latest research is only now revealing how the brain and nervous system performs the mechanical magic of balancing, navigating a crowded city, or running our inner GPS system. 

Walking is good for our muscles and posture; it helps to protect and repair organs, and can slow or turn back the ageing of our brains. With our minds in motion we think more creatively, our mood improves and stress levels fall. Walking together to achieve a shared purpose is also a social glue that has contributed to our survival as a species.

As our lives become increasingly sedentary, we risk all this. We must start walking again, whether it’s up a mountain, down to the parkor simply to school and work. We, and our societies, will be better for it.

Shane O'Mara

Shane O’Mara is Professor of Experimental Brain Research at Trinity College Dublin - the University of Dublin. He is Principal Investigator in, and was Director of the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, one of Europe’s leading research centres ...

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Also check out

Book
EDGE
Book
New
No Trespassing: the art and politics of walking in New South Wales
Richard White: walking/me...
New
Botanical Encounters

27 Nov, 2022

Book
New
Walking From Scores
Book
The Art of Walking: A Field Guide
Book
Sounds Wild and Broken: Sonic marvels, Evolution’s Creativity and the Crisis of Sensory Extinction
POINTS D'OUÏE, PAYS...
New
Publication, Démarches artistiques et préoccupations écologiques »

25 Nov, 2022

Book
No Map Could Show Them
Book
A Line Above the Sky
Book
The Illustrated Woman
Book
New
Days of Dark & Light – poems by David Thompson
Richard White: walking/me...
New
Tulips and Tractors

27 Nov, 2022