Genetic Factors Associated With Human Physical Activity

Are Your Genes Too Tight To Prevent You Exercising?

Xueying Zhang, John R Speakman (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The benefits of physical activity (PA) on health and fitness are well known. Recently, it has become apparent from studies of heritability that there is a considerable genetic component to PA. However, PA is such complex phenotype that the measurement and quantification of it provide a challenge to a clearer understanding of its genetic basis. In this review we assessed available evidence from family and twin studies that have estimated the heritability of PA. Heritability is greater when evaluated by accelerometry compared to questionnaires, and for questionnaires higher in twin studies. Accelerometry studies suggest heritability of PA is around 51-56%. There have been many genome-wide linkage studies, candidate gene studies and four genome wide association studies (GWAS) to highlight specific genetic factors linked to different PA levels. These studies have generally failed to replicate identified loci with the exception of the melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) and this may be because of the variability in the measurement techniques used to characterise the behaviour. Future work should aim to standardise the procedures used to measure PA in the context of trying to identify genetic causes. The link of genetics to physical exercise is not so tight that it prevents voluntary interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)840-852
Number of pages13
JournalEndocrinology
Volume160
Issue number4
Early online date5 Feb 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

Fingerprint

Accelerometry
Twin Studies
Human Activities
Receptor, Melanocortin, Type 4
Genome-Wide Association Study
Genes
Genome
Exercise
Phenotype
Health
Surveys and Questionnaires

Keywords

  • BODY-MASS INDEX
  • WIDE LINKAGE SCAN
  • ALL-CAUSE MORTALITY
  • ENVIRONMENTAL-INFLUENCES
  • RECEPTOR GENE
  • FTO GENE
  • FAMILIAL AGGREGATION
  • ENERGY-EXPENDITURE
  • ACE GENE
  • POLYMORPHISM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

Cite this

Genetic Factors Associated With Human Physical Activity : Are Your Genes Too Tight To Prevent You Exercising? / Zhang, Xueying; Speakman, John R (Corresponding Author).

In: Endocrinology, Vol. 160, No. 4, 04.2019, p. 840-852.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{ddd69c761f3b44fd9a8e07ae3c3d620b,
title = "Genetic Factors Associated With Human Physical Activity: Are Your Genes Too Tight To Prevent You Exercising?",
abstract = "The benefits of physical activity (PA) on health and fitness are well known. Recently, it has become apparent from studies of heritability that there is a considerable genetic component to PA. However, PA is such complex phenotype that the measurement and quantification of it provide a challenge to a clearer understanding of its genetic basis. In this review we assessed available evidence from family and twin studies that have estimated the heritability of PA. Heritability is greater when evaluated by accelerometry compared to questionnaires, and for questionnaires higher in twin studies. Accelerometry studies suggest heritability of PA is around 51-56{\%}. There have been many genome-wide linkage studies, candidate gene studies and four genome wide association studies (GWAS) to highlight specific genetic factors linked to different PA levels. These studies have generally failed to replicate identified loci with the exception of the melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) and this may be because of the variability in the measurement techniques used to characterise the behaviour. Future work should aim to standardise the procedures used to measure PA in the context of trying to identify genetic causes. The link of genetics to physical exercise is not so tight that it prevents voluntary interventions.",
keywords = "BODY-MASS INDEX, WIDE LINKAGE SCAN, ALL-CAUSE MORTALITY, ENVIRONMENTAL-INFLUENCES, RECEPTOR GENE, FTO GENE, FAMILIAL AGGREGATION, ENERGY-EXPENDITURE, ACE GENE, POLYMORPHISM",
author = "Xueying Zhang and Speakman, {John R}",
note = "Financial Support: X.Z. was supported by a studentship from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. J.R.S. was supported by a Wolfson merit award from the United Kingdom Royal Society.",
year = "2019",
month = "4",
doi = "10.1210/en.2018-00873",
language = "English",
volume = "160",
pages = "840--852",
journal = "Endocrinology",
issn = "0013-7227",
publisher = "The Endocrine Society",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Genetic Factors Associated With Human Physical Activity

T2 - Are Your Genes Too Tight To Prevent You Exercising?

AU - Zhang, Xueying

AU - Speakman, John R

N1 - Financial Support: X.Z. was supported by a studentship from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. J.R.S. was supported by a Wolfson merit award from the United Kingdom Royal Society.

PY - 2019/4

Y1 - 2019/4

N2 - The benefits of physical activity (PA) on health and fitness are well known. Recently, it has become apparent from studies of heritability that there is a considerable genetic component to PA. However, PA is such complex phenotype that the measurement and quantification of it provide a challenge to a clearer understanding of its genetic basis. In this review we assessed available evidence from family and twin studies that have estimated the heritability of PA. Heritability is greater when evaluated by accelerometry compared to questionnaires, and for questionnaires higher in twin studies. Accelerometry studies suggest heritability of PA is around 51-56%. There have been many genome-wide linkage studies, candidate gene studies and four genome wide association studies (GWAS) to highlight specific genetic factors linked to different PA levels. These studies have generally failed to replicate identified loci with the exception of the melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) and this may be because of the variability in the measurement techniques used to characterise the behaviour. Future work should aim to standardise the procedures used to measure PA in the context of trying to identify genetic causes. The link of genetics to physical exercise is not so tight that it prevents voluntary interventions.

AB - The benefits of physical activity (PA) on health and fitness are well known. Recently, it has become apparent from studies of heritability that there is a considerable genetic component to PA. However, PA is such complex phenotype that the measurement and quantification of it provide a challenge to a clearer understanding of its genetic basis. In this review we assessed available evidence from family and twin studies that have estimated the heritability of PA. Heritability is greater when evaluated by accelerometry compared to questionnaires, and for questionnaires higher in twin studies. Accelerometry studies suggest heritability of PA is around 51-56%. There have been many genome-wide linkage studies, candidate gene studies and four genome wide association studies (GWAS) to highlight specific genetic factors linked to different PA levels. These studies have generally failed to replicate identified loci with the exception of the melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) and this may be because of the variability in the measurement techniques used to characterise the behaviour. Future work should aim to standardise the procedures used to measure PA in the context of trying to identify genetic causes. The link of genetics to physical exercise is not so tight that it prevents voluntary interventions.

KW - BODY-MASS INDEX

KW - WIDE LINKAGE SCAN

KW - ALL-CAUSE MORTALITY

KW - ENVIRONMENTAL-INFLUENCES

KW - RECEPTOR GENE

KW - FTO GENE

KW - FAMILIAL AGGREGATION

KW - ENERGY-EXPENDITURE

KW - ACE GENE

KW - POLYMORPHISM

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85063968915&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.mendeley.com/research/genetic-factors-associated-human-physical-activity-genes-tight-prevent-exercising

UR - https://doi.org/10.1210/en.2018-00873

U2 - 10.1210/en.2018-00873

DO - 10.1210/en.2018-00873

M3 - Article

VL - 160

SP - 840

EP - 852

JO - Endocrinology

JF - Endocrinology

SN - 0013-7227

IS - 4

ER -