Friday, May 24, 2024

Being A Couch Potato Changes Your Personality

While it is fun and mentally needed at times…but real couch potato personalities change and not necessarily for the better.

According to WHO, a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of chronic conditions including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, hypertension and more. It can also affect your mental health and increase the risk of depression and anxiety.  Being isolated from regular people interesting can not only make your more boring, being couch potato changes your personality.

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A French study, the largest of its kind, reveals something that will likely send shivers down the lazy spines of every inactive person. Researchers, using data on over 9,000 volunteers over two decades, found sedentary people in their experiment showed marked changes in character.

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A team led by psychologist Yannick Stephan of the University of Montpellier studied participants across the United States and according to Scientific American:

Stephan and his team found that subjects who reported being less active had greater reductions on average in conscientiousness, openness, agreeableness and extroversion—four of the so-called Big Five personality traits—even after accounting for differences in baseline personality and health. No link was found with the fifth trait, neuroticism. The changes in traits were small, but the link with exercise was relatively strong. Physical activity predicted personality change better than disease burden did, for example.

“Personality is, in part, what [behaviors] we repeatedly do, and changes in habits can consolidate into changes in personality,” epidemiologist Markus Jokela of the University of Helsinki told SA.

Related: Cannabis Users Exercise Much More Than You Think

These findings support earlier evidence of adopting a sedentary lifestyle will make you less prone to new experiences and less conscientious in general.

As SA explains, “Additional factors, such as genetics or earlier life events, might be affecting both exercise levels and personality,” but it does support the notion personality is linked to health.

Not being couch potato doesn’t mean running the Tough Mudder annually, but it does mean getting out, doing things and meeting new people. And exposing your mind to new ideas, concepts and flavors….outsde of what you see on a screen.

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So while exercise may not always seem like the most fun option in your day, it’s necessary if you want to be the kind of person who works hard and accomplishes life goals. Also, let’s acknowledge there’s a difference between being a couch potato and someone who’s enjoying a little R&R at the end of the day. Being on the couch streaming The Gilded Age, The Expanse, or another favorite show is perfectly ok, as long you don’t do it for weeks at a time.


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