Genes may influence how much we like exercise

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It’s possible that some of us are born not to run. According to an eye-opening new genetics study of lab rats, published in The Journal of Physiology, the motivation to exercise — or not — may be at least partly inherited.

For years, scientists have been bedeviled by the question of why so few people regularly exercise when we know that we should. There are obvious reasons, including poor health and jammed schedules. But researchers have begun to speculate that genetics might also play a role, as some recent experiments suggest. In one, published last year, sets of fraternal and identical adult twins wore activity monitors to track their movements. The results indicated that the twins were more alike in their exercise habits than a shared upbringing alone would explain. Their willingness to work out or sit all day depended to a large extent on genetics, the researchers concluded.

But which genes might be involved and how any differences in the activity of those genes might play out inside the body were mysteries. So scientists at the University of Missouri recently decided to delve into those issues by creating their own avid- or anti-exercising animals.

Read the full, original story: Are You Programmed to Enjoy Exercise?

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