The Science Behind Couch Potato Syndrome

couch potato syndrome

The science behind being a couch potato may be cooked up whole, or cut into pieces so it is easier to bite off, but the final message may be boiled down to something not unlike the consistency of mashed potatoes. Yes, it is as starchy and bad for you as a deep-fried spud… too much couch potato syndrome in your life can ruin your metabolism, damage your health, may diminish your chances of having kids, and worst of all, it may also may be due to your genes.

Couch potato syndrome and science meet not in the kitchen, but on the living room couch, on the bed, on a gaming chair, or at the workplace.

Too much of a sedentary lifestyle, says Neville Owen, Genevieve N Healy, et al., in their article “Too Much Sitting: The Population-Health Science of Sedentary Behavior” (originally available at the Exerc Sport Sci Rev) can compromise your metabolism. “Sitting time, TV time, and time sitting in automobiles increase premature mortality risk,” they say, and that it is beneficial to break up sedentary time in order to decrease substantial risks to health.

Scientists discover a Couch Potato syndrome gene

Douglas Robb reports that researchers from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte “have mapped out 23 specific chromosomal locations that account for 84% of the behavioral differences” between lazy mice and ones with high activity (human trials not yet forthcoming at that time) implicated that some people could be genetically predisposed to laziness while others are not.

So lazing around on the couch is genetically predisposed? This whole couch potato syndrome might just be an inherited trait that tends its wearers towards drinking beer and eating French fries while watching TV and getting fatter? I swear by Spuds Mackenzie it might be true! But what about accountability, I say!

These are merely excuses. However, passing those genes on to your offspring might be harder for those with couch potato syndrome all tied up in their DNA.

Couch potato syndrome may lower sperm count

According to an article by ABC/AFP on February 5, 2013 it is reported that men who watched TV for 20 or more hours had a whopping 44% lower sperm count than those who watched almost none, or none. And these were not old men either, but 189 young men between the ages of 18-22.

Exercise or the lack thereof was a huge factor in some study results published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Men who exercised at a “moderate to vigorous” rate for 15 or more hours per week had a 73% higher sperm count than men who exercised less than 5 hours each week.

All men, however, still evidently had enough viable sperm to father a child, according to studies, so passing those couch potato syndrome genes down might still be why we have lazy people in the world today.

Regardless of where it comes from, couch potato syndrome does not necessarily remove personal responsibility for one’s own health, and ideally should be a priority to everyone.

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