The monkeys in the single cages were further studied for a six-month period and they showed consistent levels of activity through out this time. Sedentary monkeys remained sedentary, and active animals remained active.
A follow-up study was performed with an additional 10 monkeys, which were housed in single cages and then moved to larger group housing. Again, a high degree of individual variability was found in activity level. However, activity level did not significantly change when monkeys were moved between types of housing. Sedentary monkeys remained sedentary even when they had a great deal of space to move around in and companions to interact with, while active monkeys remained active even when they were housed in a smaller space with limited interaction with other monkeys.
"Overall, these findings suggest that it is likely to take a significant conscious effort to change one's level of physical activity and override one's intrinsic inclination to be active or inactive. To state it more plainly, if you're a couch potato, suddenly becoming active may be harder than you think," said Judy Cameron, Ph.D., senior scientist in the divisions of Reproductive Sciences and Neuroscience at the OHSU Oregon National Primate Research Center. "Our current findings build further on work we did last year showing that activity is more predictive of long-term changes in body weight than even diet. With further study, physicians may be able to gauge a person's innate abilities to become mo
Contact: Jim Newman
Oregon Health & Science University