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Death by Comfort : How modern life is killing us and what we can do about it - Paul Taylor

Death by Comfort

How modern life is killing us and what we can do about it

By: Paul Taylor

Paperback | 8 November 2022 | Edition Number 1

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2023 Australian Business Book Awards Winner - Health and Wellbeing

We are ancient genomes in a modern world, and it’s not going well.


Modern humans are the most overweight, depressed, medicated and addicted cohort of adults that has ever lived, yet life has never been so good!

Our sedentary lifestyles and ultra-processed foods are making us overweight and sick. Our thermoneutral environments are making us soft. Our digital world is leaving us physically disconnected. Clearly, something is wrong with modern life.

The solution? Embrace discomfort. This book from physiologist, nutritionist and neuroscientist Paul Taylor explores the science behind counting your steps, cold showers, intermittent fasting, ‘digital sunsets’, and much, much more – and how it can improve your physical and mental health.

Backed by powerful research, Death by Comfort is a fascinating and entertaining exploration of what we need to do in order to survive and thrive in the modern world.

About the Author

A former British Royal Navy Aircrew Officer, Paul Taylor is an Exercise Physiologist, Nutritionist and Neuroscientist who is currently completing a PhD in Applied Psychology, where he is developing and testing resilience strategies with the Australian Defence Science Technology Group and The University of Newcastle. He is the Director of The Mind-Body-Brain Performance Institute, where he delivers resilience, leadership and executive performance workshops. In 2010 he created and co-hosted the TV series Body and Brain Overhaul and he appeared regularly on The Biggest Loser TV series as a subject matter expert. In 2010 and 2015, he was voted Australian Fitness Industry presenter of the year.

Paul is the host of The MindBodyBrain Project Podcast and his latest venture is The Resilient Mind, an online program and App that is currently used by a number of Corporations and has proven benefits for resilience, mental wellbeing and levels of burnout of participants.
Industry Reviews

I loved this book. For where we are at as a species, and also as individuals trying to navigate the beauty and mayhem of the human experience, it is the right book, with the right messages, delivered in an easy-to-understand language, at the right time. Paul is part educator, part coach, part terrifying drill sergeant and exactly what most of us need. This is an invaluable resource that, for many, will become an integral part of their new operating system.

Craig Harper, speaker, author, researcher, podcaster and PhD candidate


Many of us have been taught to avoid stress. In our most stressful moments, perhaps we have dreamt of escaping to a peaceful island where we can surf and lay in the sun all day. What if this attempt to escape stress is not the solution but the problem? This book shows that rather than avoiding stress, we can use stress to become stronger, more socially connected, healthier and smarter. The book is based on cutting-edge science, is easy to read, and is filled with clear insights and guidance.

Joseph Ciarrochi, professor of psychology and co-author of What Makes You Stronger


Paul has a brilliant ability to communicate science in an entertaining and engaging way. In this book, he expertly describes how the comforts of modern life are eroding our health and wellbeing. Get out of your comfort zone and use your human-evolved big brain to read this book. Although the science can get complex, the messages are not: eat real food, exercise often, get the right level of stress for you to feel motivated, challenge your body outside of your climate-controlled house to deal with heat or cold, build resilience. Apply the book's principles to your life and I'm willing to bet you'll experience the benefits.

Dr Joanna McMillan, nutrition scientist and accredited practising dietitian


In Death by Comfort, Paul has gone to the next level in translating bleeding-edge science into practices and tools that you can use every day to give yourself a life that is what you want it to be. Paul says what needs be said: that without unlocking the power of exercise, diet, sleep and managed stress, we can never be the best we can be. More than that, this book will ignite a debate around building a society that makes these things normal and part of what a health system should really do: keep us healthy.

Grant Schofield, Professor of Public Health and Director of the Human Potential Centre, Auckland University of Technology


I've always known Paul Taylor to be a master communicator. Then he wrote Death by Comfort and took that term to a new level. This easy-to-read book will truly challenge you to think about what's possible for your future self in all aspects of health. It will help you understand both the consequences of doing nothing and the incredible rewards of getting uncomfortable. You will learn, think and feel differently about how you look after that body and brain of yours. The people I care about will be hearing all about this book.

Lisa Stephenson, high-performance coach, author and speaker

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