Being Lazy Could Mean You're Very Intelligent, Study Says

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John Slater via Getty Images
John Slater via Getty Images

Do you ever get reprimanded for laziness? Well, now you have a good rebuttal.

New research from the Journal of Health Psychology seems to supports the theory that intelligent people spend more time being lazy than people who are more active.

The findings show that people with a high IQ get bored less easily, leading them to spend more time thinking, rather than doing, while active people tend to be less lazy because they need to stimulate their minds with physical activities, either because they want to do less thinking or because they get bored fast.

Researchers from the Florida Gulf Coast University gave a 30-year-old test — called the "Need for Cognition — to a group of students, to find 30 participants who expressed a strong desire to think a lot and 30 other participants who preferred to avoid any tasks they considered mentally taxing.

The classic test asked students to rate how strongly they agreed with statements such as, "I really enjoy a task that involves coming up with new solutions to problems" and "I only think as hard as I have to."

After the 30 "thinkers" and 30 "non-thinkers" were selected, they were given an accelerometer to wear on their wrist for seven days to measure how physically active they were during the week.

"Ultimately, an important factor that may help more thoughtful individuals combat their lower average activity levels is awareness."

The results showed that the "thinking" group were "far less active" during the week than the "non-thinking" group, however on the weekends, results showed that there was no significant difference in the activity rates for both groups, something which researchers were unable to explain.

However, study lead Todd McElroy explained that the downside to being lazy, even if you're intelligent, is that it could lead to a sedentary lifestyle, which could lead to negative health effects. He also said in the study that everyone should try to lead a more active lifestyle to improve their health.

"Ultimately, an important factor that may help more thoughtful individuals combat their lower average activity levels is awareness," McElroy said, according to The British Psychological Society. "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."

Laziness isn't the only indicator of a high IQ, either. According to other studies, intelligent people use more curse words, stay up late at night and are really messy.

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