Why being a couch potato comes so naturally

Why being a couch potato comes so naturally

We are designed to be attracted to lazy behaviour – that couch potato life – so just how do we flick the switch in our brains to become attracted to fitness and being active.

If exercise is always the last thing you feel like doing, you may be happy to learn that researchers from the University of British Columbia have shown that your brain is to thank for your lack of motivation.

While science shows us why we need to be more physically active to improve our health and quality of life, statistics show we are actually becoming less active. This year the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported a staggering 80% of children and young people aged 5-17 did not meet physical activity recommendations and 65% of Australians aged 65 and over were inactive or insufficiently active.

The new study offers a possible explanation: Our brains may be innately attracted to sedentary behaviour. “Conserving energy has been essential for humans’ survival, as it allowed us to be more efficient in searching for food and shelter, competing for sexual partners, and avoiding predators,” says Matthieu Boisgontier the senior author of the study.

“Anything that happens automatically is difficult to inhibit, even if you want to, because you don’t know that it is happening. But knowing that it is happening is an important first step,” Boisgontier says.

The answer to getting fit is to remember the slogan: ‘just do it’. Yes, you may not feel like it, ever, but your body and mind will thank you for it.


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