Genetics of Exercise Behavior

  • Janine H. Stubbe
  • Eco J.C. de Geus

A sedentary lifestyle has been cited as one of the main causes of the explosive rise in obesity that starts at an increasingly younger age(Martinez-Gonzalez, Martinez, Hu, Gibney, & Kearney, 1999). Furthermore, regular exercisers have lower risks for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type 2 diabetes than non-exercisers (Albright et al., 2000; Kaplan, Strawbridge, Cohen, & Hungerford, 1996; Kesaniemi et al., 2001) and the percentage of people at risk because of inactivity is higher than for hypertension, smoking, and cholesterol (Caspersen, 1987; Stephens & Craig, 1990). Despite these well-documented benefits of exercise, a large proportion of adults in the Western world do not exercise on a regular basis (Crespo, Keteyian, Heath, & Sempos, 1996; Haase, Steptoe, Sallis, & Wardle, 2004; Stephens & Craig, 1990). As a consequence, a sedentary lifestyle – and the accompanying risk for obesity – remains a major threat to health in today’s society. This is reflected in public health recommendations which unanimously include an encouragement to a more active lifestyle (WHO/FIMS Committee on Physical Activity for Health, 1995; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005).


Physical Activity Leisure Time Leisure Time Physical Activity Twin Study Exercise Behavior 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological PsychologyVrije UniversiteitAmsterdam 1081 BTThe Netherlands

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