Lazy People Are Smarter And More Successful Study Suggests

It's good news for lazy people, as a study has revealed that lazy people are apparently smarter and, in turn, more successful.

The study looked at groups of people of varying "need for cognition."

Unsplash | Thibault Penin

The study associates laziness with "need for cognition" (NFC). Individuals with high NFC are more likely to enjoy puzzles and brainteasers, while those with low NFC are less likely to enjoy complex thinking.

One psychology journal described the need for cognition as:

Unsplash | Drew Coffman

"Some individuals have relatively little motivation for cognitively complex tasks. These individuals are described as being low in need for cognition. Other individuals consistently engage in and enjoy cognitively challenging activities and are referred to as being high in need for cognition."

The study looked at people's levels of NFC compared to the activity levels.

Unsplash | John Schnobrich

The study was published in the Journal of Health Psychology, and used FitBit-like monitors on groups of students who were "high or low in need for cognition and measured their physical activity level in 30-second epochs over a 1-week period."

The results that they came up with shocked those conducting the study.

Those with low NFC were the far more active group.

Unsplash | Josh Gordon

According to the findings, "low-need-for-cognition individuals were more physically active"; however, they did exclaim that the difference in activity levels was less pronounced during the weekend.

So, it would appear that those of us leading a more sedentary life have higher NFC.

Science boffins are always telling us what is killing us, so it's good to have some good news for once from them!

They also expressed a suggestion as to why this may be the case.

There have been suggestions in the study that this correlation may be due to the fact that those with low NFC have to exercise more to stimulate their brains as they become bored more easier.

However, those with high NFC find it much easier to stimulate their brains:

"High-NFC individuals seem more content to 'entertain themselves' mentally, whereas low-NFC individuals quickly experience boredom and experience it more negatively", the study reports.

Some people continued to try and offer explanations for this trend.

Unsplash | Ben White

Some people tried to link this study to the difference between careers where people are typically sat down all day — such as accountants, lawyers, etc. — compared to physical labouring jobs — such as construction workers.

However, this study was exclusively done on students before they had started their careers, thus ruling out any correlation of this nature.

There are some high-profile celebrities who support this trend.

Twitter | Late Night with Seth Meyers

Bestselling author of "Moneyball" and "The Big Short", Michael Lewis (pictured above), has publicly claimed how useful he finds laziness can be. In an interview with CNBC, he explained:

"My laziness serves as a filter. Something has to be really good before I'll decide to work on it."

In light of this idea, laziness can be seen as an ability to recognize when time spent working needlessly hard on something would be a waste of time, time which could be spent on something more useful.

However, there are also exceptions to the rule.

Unsplash | mohammad saemian

Richard Branson, for instance, wakes up at 5am every day in order to eat breakfast with his family.

He then uses this early morning start to engage in early morning physical activities such as tennis or swimming, and finally, after a full day of work Branson goes to bed at 11 pm, ready to start again tomorrow. So clearly, there are exceptions to the rule.

There is a hope that this information will also hope to inspire a few more lazy people to up their activity levels.

Unsplash | Adi Goldstein

While the temptation may be to think, "Oh, well, the answer is to keep being lazy then," this is not the case. Todd McElroy, one of the lead researchers in the study, explained that a sedentary lifestyle can have negative effects on a person's health, so those with high NFC may want to think about changing their habits.

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

There is likely to be more research conducted in this area in the future.

Unsplash | Chris Liverani

Hopefully, this research will inspire a few of the lazier people out there to head out for a run every now and then! Although, the allure of Netflix is pretty great. Maybe just one more episode... after all, it's the smart thing to do!

h/t: Independent & Daily Mail