You may now have another excuse to binge watch television shows and take naps during the day.
A new study reveals that intelligent people live a more sedentary lifestyle, as they rarely become bored and spend more time lost in their own thoughts.
Researchers found that those who fill their day with physical activity are often ‘non-thinkers,’ and do so to stimulate their minds in order to escape their own thoughts.
In a study published to the Journal of Health Psychology, researchers from the Florida Gulf Coast University explained that ‘the relationship between cognition and physical activity is an important question for the human experience, and the interaction likely extends across the lifespan.’
The researchers pulled from previous works to explain that physical activity levels are associated with physical behavior.
For example, a past study found that those deemed non-thinkers became bored much easier and also experienced the negative effects that comes with it.
Those with high ‘need for cognition’ appeared to avoid this behavior because they were able to provide their own mental stimulation.
‘Thus, high-NFC individuals seem more content to ‘entertain themselves’ mentally, whereas low-NFC individuals quickly experience boredom and experience it more negatively,’ reads the paper.
The team at Florida Gulf Coast University used a tool, which is about 30 years old, to test a group of students for their study.
This ‘Need for Cognition’ questionnaire rates people with how strongly they agree or disagree 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 tool has been used for more than three decades to examine the link between ‘enjoyment of effortful cognitive endeavors and other variables related to cognitions,’ the team writes in the published study.
To understand if laziness is a sign of intelligence, the team selected 60 undergraduate students from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.
Half were deemed ‘thinkers’ and the other ‘non-thinker’s – these labels were given to individuals after they completed the Need for Cognition test.
Each individual was then given an ‘actigraphy device’ to wear over the next seven days .
This allowed the team to monitor the 60 students’ movement and activity levels and received a stream of data to analyze.
After the seven days, the team compiled the pulled samples and found the ‘thinkers’ were much less active than the ‘non-thinkers’.
However, the weekends proved to be the same for each group, as ‘activity levels for high- and low-NFC individuals did not differ significantly’.
‘It is important to note that part of the ‘weekend effect’ in our study may be due to our sample population, which consisted of college students,’ explains researchers.
‘Although college students are a standard participant pool in the vast majority of experimental psychology studies, their behavior and habits may be more indicative of young adult behavior than adult behavior in general.’
‘It is reasonable to assume that this ‘weekend effect’ may change as people progress through different life stages, which is a question that future researchers may want to consider.’
Researches also note that those who are more intelligent and lazier may endure negative side effects from their sedentary lifestyle.
‘Ultimately, an important factor that may help more thoughtful individuals combat their lower average activity levels is awareness,’ shares the British Psychological Society regarding the study.
‘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.’
This article originally appeared on the Daily Mail.