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Couch Potatoes May Be Genetically Predisposed to Being Lazy, MU Study Finds

April 10, 2013

Genetics may play a role in exercise motivation, according to a new University of Missouri study. Researchers identified 36 genes in rats that may indicate physical activity level. Identifying these genes could be a crucial step in determining additional causes of obesity in humans. Researchers plan to continue their studies to explore the ways each of the 36 genes affect exercise motivation. This interdisciplinary research is correlated to Mizzou Advantage’s One Health/One Medicine initiative.

Story by MU News Bureau

Studies show 97 percent of American adults get less than 30 minutes of exercise a day, which is the minimum recommended amount based on federal guidelines. New research from the University of Missouri suggests certain genetic traits may predispose people to being more or less motivated to exercise and remain active. Frank Booth, a professor in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, along with his post-doctoral fellow Michael Roberts, were able to selectively breed rats that exhibited traits of either extreme activity or extreme laziness. They say these rats indicate that genetics could play a role in exercise motivation, even in humans. See more…