Genetic and Environmental Effects on the Individual Variation and Continuity of Participation in Diverse Physical Activities
Kaartinen, S., Silventoinen, K., Korhonen, T., Kujala, U. M., Kaprio, J., & Aaltonen, S. (2021). Genetic and Environmental Effects on the Individual Variation and Continuity of Participation in Diverse Physical Activities. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 53(12), 2495-2502. https://doi.org/10.1249/mss.0000000000002744
Published inMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
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© 2021 American College of Sports Medicine
Introduction Participation in diverse physical activities has beneficial health effects. However, little is known on how genetic and environmental factors affect this trait. Thus, we examined to what extent these factors explain participation in diverse leisure-time physical activities from late adolescence to adulthood using a twin study design. Methods The participants were Finnish twins who reported their participation in diverse leisure-time physical activities at ages 17 (N = 5429) and 34 years (N = 4246). The number of physical activities engaged in were analyzed using applications of structural linear modeling for twin data. Results On average, the total number of physical activities engaged in during leisure time was slightly over three at both ages and in both sexes, with moderate heritability estimates (40–58%) from adolescence to adulthood. Environmental factors shared by co-twins (e.g., childhood family environment) influenced only in adolescence, being higher for women. Environmental influences unique to each co-twin explained the remaining variances (34–57%), being higher at age 34. Participation in diverse leisure-time physical activities correlated moderately between ages 17 and 34 (rTRAIT = 0.30 95% CI 0.25–0.35 in men and 0.26 95% CI 0.22–0.31 in women). Additionally, genetic influences on participation in physical activities correlated moderately between adolescence and adulthood (rA = 0.51 95% CI 0.39–0.64 and 0.44 95% CI 0.34–0.55, respectively). These common genetic influences explained 93% of the trait correlations found in men and 85% in women. Conclusions Genetic and unique environmental influences explain a large proportion of variation in the number of leisure-time physical activities. However, the estimates vary by age and sex. Common genetic background mainly explains the continuity of the participation in diverse leisure-time physical activities between adolescence and adulthood. ...
PublisherLippincott Williams & Wilkins
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- Liikuntatieteiden tiedekunta 
Additional information about fundingThe research work has been supported by the Academy of Finland (grants 265240 and 312073 to J.K.), the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture (to U.M.K.), the Juho Vainio Foundation (to S.A. and U.M.K.) and the Finnish Cultural Foundation (to S.A.) and the Doctoral Program of Public Health, University of Helsinki (S.K.). Data collection of the FinnTwin16 study has also been supported by the U.S. National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (grants AA-12502, AA-00145 and AA-09203 to Prof. Richard J. Rose) and by Academy of Finland (grant numbers 100499, 205585, 141054 to J.K.). ...
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