You might get a hard time for being lazy – but science is fighting your corner. Not being particularly energetic might mean you just like to be challenged mentally.
People who don’t like to spend too much time thinking tend to be more physically active than those who’d rather exercise their brain, according to a new study published this month by the Journal of Health Psychology.
Researchers enlisted 60 people, and divided them into those with a higher “need for cognition” and those with a lower need. This need for cognition is defined as a “tendency to engage in and enjoy effortful cognitive endeavours”.
Todd McElroy, a professor at Florida Gulf Coast University and one of the study's authors, told Broadly that people with a higher need prefer doing challenging puzzles, and those with lower need for cognition prefer tasks that don’t necessarily stimulate the mind.
The researchers fitted with subjects with a device that tracked their movements – and found that those with low need for cognition moved significantly more.
All the participants were students, so they weren’t in sedentary or physical jobs that may have swayed the results.
McElroy added to Broadly:
Just because you seem to be lazy, or what people would qualify as lazy, you actually might be engaging in some type of higher motivated thought.
The study concludes that people who like to use their brains more aren’t necessarily smarter, but they’re more comfortable being at one with their thoughts.