Laziness may not be such a bad trait after all, a new study shows. A study published in the Journal of Health Psychology claims that lazy people have higher intelligence.

Apparently, people with high IQ get bored easily, so they spend more time thinking, which may seem like they are not doing anything. Meanwhile, the researchers led by Todd McElroy at Florida Gulf Coast University claims that active individuals are more likely to join physical activities when bored so they could avoid high-level thinking.

The Florida Gulf Coast University research team gave an online psychological test of “Need For Cognition” to 30 students to determine who show strong desire to think a lot, hence their name thinkers, and another 30 non-thinkers who would rather avoid doing anything that is too mentally challenging. The participants have to agree and 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”.


Lazy person in bed. Credit: Pixabay/Wokandapix

The thinkers’ and non-thinkers’ physical activities were then tracked for seven days using an accelerometer on their wrists. The research team found that the thinkers were significantly less active from Monday to Friday. On the other hand, both groups have the same amount of physical activity during the weekend.

The research team cannot explain why their investigations led to these results. Moreover, they assert that more studies about laziness and its association with intelligence are needed to further understand this situation, and this does not mean that the researchers are advocating a sedentary lifestyle.

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