Motivation to Exercise and Laziness May Be Genetic

3 years 9 months 3 weeks ago May 01, 2013 May 1, 2013 Wednesday, May 01 2013 Wednesday, May 01, 2013 8:38:00 AM CDT in News
By: Andie Lowenstein

COLUMBIA - A team of scientists at MU recently interbred rats to determine if motivation to be active or indolent is inherited.

For some time now, exercise scientists suspected that the motivation to exercise - or not - may be linked to genetics.

MU Professor of Physiology Dr. Frank Booth oversaw a team of researchers, who conducted a study to test this theory.  The scientists looked at how active the rats are by putting running wheels in their cages and tracked their activity for six days.  Afterwards, the rats with the higher levels of physical activity were interbred while those with the least activity were bred together.

Five years and 10 generations later, the scientists discovered that the descendants of the more active rats were 10 times more likely to exercise on their own than the lazy ones.

Researchers have also studied identical twins.  They found that the twins used in their study typically exercised as much or as little as their parents or siblings, even if they grew up in different environments.

"There is a genetic basis for being physically active," Dr. Booth said.  "The question becomes: Are you predestined because of those genes? We don't think so.  So we're now working on different things to show that if we get the animals physically active that they will overcome the predisposition to want to be inactive."

Orthopedist Dr. Matt Thornburg believes there are other factors that affect our behavior as well.

"Environment plays a large role in this.  Parents, your friends.  When I was younger you played outside.  Now kids can sit inside on I-Pads, videogames, TV."

Dr. Booth says that technology, cultural factors, and lifestyle factors have gotten in the way of our natural instinct to be physically active. He believes that we have "genetically engineered" a lot of physical activity out of our lives as well as health.

However, scientists don't want the research to be another excuse not to exercise.  They urge adults to keep their children physically active.

Dr. Booth says the next step in this research will be to modulate the genes either by gene transfer or drugs.

More News

Grid
List
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Two people were arrested after taking law enforcement on a high speed chase throughout mid-Missouri Sunday, according... More >>
13 hours ago February 19, 2017 Feb 19, 2017 Sunday, February 19 2017 Sunday, February 19, 2017 6:36:00 PM CST in Coverage From Callaway
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A group of homeowners raised money for a man who was arrested in their neighborhood after... More >>
13 hours ago February 19, 2017 Feb 19, 2017 Sunday, February 19 2017 Sunday, February 19, 2017 6:05:00 PM CST in News
OVERLAND - The Overland Police Department cancelled the Amber Alert for a 9-month-old boy Sunday. According to police, the... More >>
17 hours ago February 19, 2017 Feb 19, 2017 Sunday, February 19 2017 Sunday, February 19, 2017 2:10:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has started complaining about the coverage his administration receives, but the Republican... More >>
18 hours ago February 19, 2017 Feb 19, 2017 Sunday, February 19 2017 Sunday, February 19, 2017 1:21:21 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia saw one of its warmest weekends of the year so far with temperatures in the high 60s... More >>
18 hours ago February 19, 2017 Feb 19, 2017 Sunday, February 19 2017 Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:53:00 PM CST in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY- One man died and another was seriously injured in an overnight crash in Callaway County Sunday. According... More >>
19 hours ago February 19, 2017 Feb 19, 2017 Sunday, February 19 2017 Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:20:00 PM CST in News
BOONE COUNTY — The Boone County Fire Protection District responded to 12 natural cover fires on Saturday. The Columbia... More >>
1 day ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 8:28:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia (UUCC) and Missouri Faith Voices hosted a resistance training Saturday to educate... More >>
1 day ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 6:35:00 PM CST in News
BOONE COUNTY — Two people were taken into custody after leading police on a car chase through multiple counties Saturday... More >>
1 day ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 5:16:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — An online tool has disappeared for people to find out whether they are buying puppies from... More >>
1 day ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 4:46:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A government report shows the number of farms in Missouri fell last year while the remaining... More >>
1 day ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 4:41:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — The Acting Company based out of New York has crossed the country and is now in Columbia to... More >>
1 day ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 3:03:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Special Olympics Missouri Regional Basketball Tournament returned to Jefferson City for the third year Saturday. ... More >>
1 day ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 2:48:00 PM CST in News
JOPLIN (AP) — Supporters of Route 66 are pushing to have the roadway added to a national list of historic... More >>
1 day ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 1:14:00 PM CST in News
CAMDEN COUNTY — A male suspect attempted to gain entrance to a residence on Hackberry Trace in Montreal Saturday, the... More >>
1 day ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 1:05:00 PM CST in News
PINEVILLE (AP) — The Harry S. Truman Coordinating Council and the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission will be meeting to... More >>
1 day ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 12:38:29 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — The Homes for Computers Program distributed 40 computers to eligible low-income Columbia families on Saturday. One mother... More >>
1 day ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 12:33:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Applications for concealed carry permits in Missouri have been dropping after passage last year of a... More >>
1 day ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 11:21:00 AM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 60°
8am 60°
9am 64°
10am 66°
11am 67°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
7:30a
Cops Reloaded
8:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
9:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
American Ninja Warrior
9:00p
Timeless
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Jane the Virgin
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld