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New Course for MU: Couch Potatoes 101

The quad at UM-Columbia (KWMU photo)


Columbia, MO – The University of Missouri - Columbia will offer a new class this fall, on couch potatoes.

Students will learn of the health risks of being too inactive, ranging from heart disease to cancer to dementia. One of the class's teachers says it's "ludicrous" that colleges don't do more to teach students about healthy lifestyles.

The course is believed to be the first of its kind in the country.

More specificially, it will explore how lack of exercise contributes to obesity and unhealthy aging marked by heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, cancer, muscle wasting, frailty and dementia.

Marybeth Brown, a physical therapy professor who will share teaching duties for the course, worked as a physical therapist in nursing homes earlier in her career. Now, she's convinced that exercise could have helped people avoid being institutionalized.


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