In a time of isolation, sitting inside and avoiding the streets, we are alienated from one of the most important activities for our wellness: walking. In Praise of Walking by Shane O’Mara explicates how transformative walking is for our bodies, how it grows brain cells, works our muscles, spurs our creative minds, and brings joy. As we walk, we gain the ability to balance, weave through a crowded city, and run our “inner GPS” system. In Praise of Walking proves that walkability is more than just a metric, it is crucial to making a healthier city.

In this conversation with Saundra Thomas, Shane O’Mara discussed the intersections of wellness, public health, and urbanism.

“As our lives become increasingly sedentary, O’Mara makes the case that we must start walking again—whether it’s up a mountain, down to the park, or simply to school and work. In Praise of Walking illuminates the joys, health benefits, and mechanics of walking, and reminds us to get out of our chairs and discover a happier, healthier, more creative self.”
— Florence Williams, author of The Nature Fix

Author bio
Shane O’Mara is a professor of Experimental Brain Research at Trinity College Dublin; he is a psychologist and neuroscientist.  He has published over 140 papers, written for multiple newspapers and magazines, edited for academic books, and currently publishes a regular newsletter.  He is also the author of Why Torture Doesn’t Work and A Brain for Business—A Brain for Life. His research interests focus on functions ‘within the brain’ (memory, stress, depression, for example), and on the ‘brain in the world’ (using a ‘brain’s-eye view’ lens on social, cultural, and policy issues).

OHNY Stacks is a series of book talks exploring the unknown, the unseen, and the unnoticed. These conversations shine a light on the impact of some of the historical staples of American life and how they have shaped our cities and continue to affect inhabitants.

This event was hosted live on Zoom. Watch here.