WASHINGTON: People who are lazy spend more time engaged in thought, leading them to be more intelligent than their active counterparts, a new study suggests.
Active people are more physical as they need to refresh their minds with external activities, either to escape their thoughts or because they get bored easily, researchers from Florida Gulf Coast University in the US said.
People with a high intelligent quotient (IQ) get bored less easily, leading them to spend more time engaged in thought, they said.
Researchers gave a classic test – which dates back three decades – to a group of students.
The ‘need for cognition’ questionnaire asked students to rate how strongly they agree with statements like “I really enjoy a task that involves coming up with new solutions to problems”, and “I only think as hard as I have to”.
From the candidates, researchers led by Todd McElroy, selected 30 ‘thinkers’ and as many ‘non-thinkers.’ For the next one week, both groups wore a device on their wrist which tracked their movements and activity levels, giving a constant stream of data on how physically active they were, ‘The Independent’ reported.
The results showed that the thinking group were far less active during the week than the non-thinkers, researchers said.
The findings are ‘highly significant’ and ‘robust’ in statistical terms, they said.
According to researchers, non-thinkers get bored more easily, so they need to fill their time with physical activity.
However, they suggest that less active people, no matter how intelligent they are, should aim to raise their overall activity levels to improve their health.
The findings were published in the Journal of Health Psychology.