Are you lazy? Science says it proves something incredible about you…

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Kayleigh Dray
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We all know that one person who has well and truly earned the nickname of “lazybones”. They sleep until past noon on the weekends, they’ve worn out the snooze button on their alarms, their ideal evening revolves around their sofa, and their worst nightmare is to sit down with a full plate of food and realise that the remote control is on the other side of the room.

Most importantly, they’re firm believers in the concept of “put off today what can be done tomorrow” – which tends to wind up their mum/boss/increasingly irate housemates no end.

But, despite what that overflowing pile of laundry/paperwork/dirty dishes would have you think, being lazy is actually an incredibly good thing.

Well, that’s according to scientists, at least.

In fact, laziness is apparently a sign of high intelligence.

Findings from a US-based study have suggested that people with a high IQ get bored far less easily, which leads them to spend more time engaged in thought.

Basically, they don’t need to stimulate themselves with external activities because their mind is running riot with a constant stream of entertaining thoughts.

The research – which was conducted by Todd McElroy and a team from Florida Gulf Coast University – involved a group of students being given a ‘need for cognition’ questionnaire to fill in.

Participants were asked to rate how strongly they agree 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”.

This allowed researchers to separate the group into ‘thinkers’ and ‘non-thinkers’.

Researchers then strapped a device to each participant’s wrist, which allowed them to monitor and track their movements for seven days.

At the end of the week, the results were clear: ‘thinkers’ are far less physically active than ‘non-thinkers’.

Hmm. We guess listing all of those hobbies on our CVs wasn’t actually worth it after all, then.

However, while laziness is a sign of high intelligence (woo!), researchers had a word of warning for genius-level couch potatoes everywhere.

Speaking via the British Psychological Society, they reminded us that it’s totally fine to sit and chill with our many, many thoughts – but, you know, the NHS also advises we walk at least 10,000 steps each and every single day.

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

“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.”

Images: iStock / Gossip Girl / Rex Features


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.