Definition: A couch potato describes someone who leads a sedentary lifestyle with very little to no exercise. Activities they partake in include watching television, playing video games, being on the computer or sitting for much of the day.
Origin: It has been said that couch potato was first said during a telephone conversation by Tom Iacino of Pasadena, California on July 15, 1976. He humorously advocated ‘vegging’ on the couch while eating junk food instead of any of the numerous fad diets sweeping the country. Robert Armstrong, a friend of Iacino’s and an underground comic artist, took the term and created a cartoon of a couch with a potato on it. From there he inked a series of comics featuring these couch potatoes with Jack Mingo and Allan Dodge. Armstrong went as far as to trademark the term.
Jack Mingo and Robert Armstrong, The Official Couch Potato Handbook, San Francisco: Last Gasp, 1987.