We all know being a couch potato isn’t good for your physical health, but now, there are findings that it may also be bad for your mental health, affecting your personality. The largest study of its kind led by the University of Montpellier in France combined data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study and Midlife in the United States and a total of 9,000 people answered questions back in the 1990s. Twenty years later, they answered questions regarding exercise and health.
The study found the less active subjects showed a greater reduction in four of the five big personality traits: conscientiousness, openness, agreeableness and extroversion. (The fifth trait, neuroticism, was not found to be affected.) ER physician Dr. Travis Stork points out this speaks to the mind-body connection.
If the unhealthy risks of being a couch potato like heart disease and stroke are not enough, maybe avoiding your personality taking a negative dive will motivate you to get up and at ‘em! The Doctors point out, this doesn’t mean you fully have to give up your Netflix and chill time, but as plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon says, “You’ve got to earn that couch potato time! There’s nothing better than you work out, you feel like you pushed yourself physically, and then you go ‘I’m going home now and I’m going to be a couch potato’!”