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Med Hypotheses. 2011 Jul 31. [Epub ahead of print]

Physical inactivity is a disease synonymous for a non-permissive brain disorder.


University of Gerona, Faculty of Human Sciences, Spain; University of Graz, Uni for Life, Austria.


The evolution of human kind has taken millions of years in which environmental factors gradually shaped the actual genome adapted to those circumstances. One of the most vital behavioural adaptations of mammals in general and especially humans is their capability of self-sufficiency through physical activity. Physical activity abilities, including long distance running, jumping, climbing and carrying things have probably been necessary to outrun wild animals, search for food and hide for danger. In contrast, individuals physically or psychologically unable to "take care of themselves" were more susceptible for early death and therefore for genetic extinction. The actual society is characterized by sedentary instead of "moving" individuals. Physical inactivity is not just a possible factor related with chronic disease, but should be considered the actual cause of the majority of human illness. Individuals know that exercise is necessary and beneficial. Nevertheless almost 75% of the actual population does not reach the estimated minimum of necessary activity. Physical inactivity belongs to the characteristics of sickness behaviour; the latter which probably is protective for the organism. Sickness behaviour, including depressive mood, seems to protect against infection, injury, social conflict and facilitates energy conservation. Sickness behaviour is based on immune-brain mechanisms and can be defined as non-permissive behaviour. Long-term non-permissive behaviour can lead to chronic disease because of reduction of physical activity and self-defeating coping styles, converting non-permissive behaviour in a non-permissive brain disorder. We propose that physical inactivity disease is synonymous for a non-permissive brain disorder and that NPBD produces a so called "reptile phenotype", characterized by hypothermia, poor hair growth, decreased fertility and low basal metabolic rate.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.