Probably.  You’ve promised yourself to exercise thousands of times by now. You even made the precise plan for the exercise. Still, somewhere along the way, you stopped to working out. Usually, these kind of decisions are easy to list, but hard to follow. Maybe you find yourself without motivation. Or just too lazy for the long term physical effort. Either way, you just drop it until you decide to start again, only to quit once more. Of course, we are all aware that physical inactivity is associated with overweight and obesity. The incidence of obesity has become a serious health issue and a modern disease. The scientists conducted research about behavior patterns of obese and non-obese mice. The results may give us the answer why we are unable to stick to the exercise plan.


Dopamine System Dysfunction

Researchers from the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases conducted the study about the causes for physical inactivity. The senior researcher, Alexxai V. Kravitz, has examined the behavior of mice diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He noticed the behaviors similarity between obese mice and Parkinsonian mice. Kravitz said: “There’s a common belief that obese animals don’t move as much because carrying extra body weight is physically disabling. But our findings suggest that assumption doesn’t explain the whole story.”

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After an observation, he came to the conclusion that the inactivity of mice is related to dopamine system dysfunction. It is already known that the dopamine is critical for movement. On the other hand, obesity is associated with inactivity.  Mice were fed classic and high-fat diet to show if overweight is the direct cause of inactivity. The results showed that the obese mice had deficits in the D2 dopamine receptor. Another study author, Danielle Friend explained: “There are probably other factors involved as well, but the deficit in D2 is sufficient to explain the lack of activity,”

Image Credit: Friend et al., Basal Ganglia Dysfunction Contributes to Physical Inactivity in Obesity, Cell Metabolism

Perhaps our lack of willingness to exercise is more connected with physiological causes than with laziness. These causes are sometimes so strong that the willpower itself cannot overcome it. Also, these results may help to reduce the stigmatization of obese people. Physical inactivity is more a consequence than a cause of obesity.