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Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2010 Aug;199(4):549-56. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-1716.2010.02117.x. Epub 2010 Mar 24.

The future: genes, physical activity and health.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA.


The assigned title for the Lindhard presentation was to examine the future of genes, physical activity and health. The current review is a summary of this presentation. Caution is expressed that technology is improving so rapidly that a future view is limited to a few years as opposed to the 100 years passing since Lindhard's achievements. The near futuristic opportunities and challenges for four major topic topics are reviewed here. Concerns are expressed over current usage of the terms 'control' group and 'non-responders' in exercise research. Our view is that 'control' needs to be differentiated between its usage for treatments of exercise to restore natural functions in individuals with less than healthy levels of physical activity and the inherited genome's expectation for physical activity levels to maintain normal function. For the second discussed topic, it is proposed that the term 'non-responders' should be replaced by the term 'low sensitivity' as there may be no such human who is a non-responder to every exercise adaptation. The third futuristic topic is exercise prescription as envisioned for individualized medicine. However, numerous limitations and challenges exist to truly optimal exercise medicine at the level of one individual. Finally, preventative physical activity medicine is discussed. Physical activity as a therapy now exists to prevent most of the chronic diseases. The future needs to understand the molecular basis for how the body becomes dysfunctional when its level of physical activity does not match the norm of physical activity that selected our inherited genome.

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