Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 25 April 2019

Are you lazy? Your DNA could be to blame

Scientists at the University of Oxford have just discovered seven new genes that could help explain our aversion to activity

Scientist may have found a gene linked to laziness. Getty
Scientist may have found a gene linked to laziness. Getty

If you struggle to get out of bed in the morning, scientists have just discovered seven new genes that could help to explain why.

Researchers at the University of Oxford studied data from more than 90,000 people, and have identified a link between the newly discovered genes and activity levels.

The discovery means that laziness could, in fact, be down to genetics. However, scientists say the genes don’t let people off the hook for inactivity completely, but will help them gain a deeper understanding of fitness, sleep and health problems.

“How and why we move isn’t all about genes,” says Dr Aiden Doherty, who led the study. “But understanding the role genes play will help improve our understanding of the causes and consequences of physical inactivity.”

Scientists discovered seven new genes from studying activity patterns. Courtesy of: UKBiobank
Scientists discovered seven new genes from studying activity patterns. Courtesy of: UKBiobank

Participants in the study provided DNA samples and wore wrist activity monitors, which measured time spent sitting, moving and sleeping. Scientists were then able to compare the two to identify any links between genes and activity.

It is hoped the discovery will offer a better understanding of how inactivity affects obesity.

Professor Michael Holmes adds: “This provides scientists with a wonderful opportunity to learn much more about how genes and environment interact in our daily lives, causing us to move as we do, and possibly putting us at increased risk of disease. For instance, it might help us determine whether inactivity is a cause or a consequence of obesity.”

Further analysis of the data showed for the first time that increased physical activity causally lowers blood pressure and better sleep patterns.

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Updated: December 11, 2018 11:52 AM

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