A Google search of the question “Why is it so hard to go exercise?” returns roughly 324 million hits. When faced with the daunting task of physical activity, the list of excuses is long: Too busy, too tired and in most cases, just not feeling it.
But a new study from the University of British Columbia suggests that the real obstacle standing in the way of people getting active isn’t their lack of motivation, time or energy.
It’s their brains.
Two years ago, Matthieu Boisgontier, then a postdoctoral research fellow at KU Leuven in Belgium, noticed a disturbing trend. Even though copious amounts of money and effort poured into campaigns and research encouraging people to adopt active lifestyles, nothing improved. Global physical activity levels were, and still are, abysmal. More than a quarter of the world’s adult population — about 1.4 billion people aged 18 and older — were “insufficiently active” in 2016, the World Health Organization reported this month.
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