Is laziness really a sign of intelligence?

by L&D12 Aug 2016
Are you someone who prefers to stay home and read a book or watch Netflix?

Do you cringe at the thought of exercising or socialising with lots of friends?

If the answer to both those questions is yes, then this could indicate you’re a very intelligent person.

New research from the Florida Gulf Coast University has found that people who think a lot are much less active than people who think less.

It also found that people with a high IQ hardly get bored, which leads them to spend more time thinking.

In contrast, less intelligent people get bored easily which leads them to do more physical activity.

Other research has also found that introverts prefer being alone which allows them more time to think. Socialising prevents them from exploring their own thoughts which makes them unhappy.

The study involved distributing a ‘need for cognition’ questionnaire to participants to see whether or not 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". 

The researchers then chose 30 people they called 'thinkers' and 30 they described as 'non-thinkers' from all the candidates.

Over the next seven days both groups wore a device on their wrist which tracked their movements and activity.

Results showed the thinking group were far less active during the week than the non-thinkers. 

The findings of the study were published in the Journal of Health Psychology.

One of the researchers, Todd McElroy, said that despite the superior intelligence of the less active people, they should aim to raise their overall activity levels to improve their health.

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

"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."

It should also be noted that there have been many studies which link exercise to better learning, memory and employee performance.

For example, researchers at The University of Texas found people who performed physical exercises displayed increases in immediate and delayed memory performance.

Furthermore, scientists at the Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands discovered that people who exercised four hours after learning new material retained information better two days later than those who exercised either immediately after learning or not at all.

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