YOU CAN STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP for being a lazy daydreamer. Some recent research suggests that lazy people are actually smarter than people who always seek out physical activity, because smart people don’t get bored as easily and can entertain themselves by thinking instead of doing.
The research was done on students at the Florida Gulf Coast University. Researches first had the subjects fill out a “need for cognition” questionnaire that aimed to find out how much they like thinking and problem-solving… or not. Then they fitted them with a movement tracker, and proceeding to track their level of activity over a week.
The resulting data showed that the thinking group was a lot less active than the non-thinking group throughout the week, and this information was considered a “robust” statistical finding.
Interestingly, there were not differences found between the groups on the weekend, which they did not know how to explain. I can, however: this was a group of college students, who probably come together a lot more over social activities than during the week when some of them are actually trying to use their brains.
Overall the researchers think that the non-thinkers of the world get bored more easily, and therefore have to find something to do, which often is physical. Other studies have found that people with high intelligence are more likely to seek out alone-time and actually utilize it to think through difficult or challenging thoughts. They actually want to think, where less intelligent people don’t.
Of course this means that the super-smart people of the world might need to pay attention to how sedentary they are in general, and make time to get those bodies moving a little more. No matter how smart you are, you should still be aiming to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week to keep up with general health and wellness. But if you’re very intelligent, you probably already knew that anyway.
The researchers seemed confident that awareness was key, as it is for making pretty much every other healthy life choice:
“Ultimately, an important factor that may help more thoughtful individuals combat their lower average activity levels is awareness. Awareness of their tendency to be less active, coupled with an awareness of the cost associated with inactivity, more thoughtful people may then choose to become more active throughout the day.”