You know those days when you just don’t want to wear anything other than leggings and that baggy jumper you’ve had for years that has holes/rips in and is generally fairly uncouth? Yep, the weekends where you basically only want to interact with your favourite characters on TV, finally take the time to work out all those Netflix hacks and order food in. Well, science says that it doesn’t make you lazy, it actually means you’re smart. So there.
The Journal of Health Psychology has found a correlation with people who exercise their brain a lot and their physical exercise habits. Apparently, those with a higher need for cognition are more likely to want to spend their days lounging around rather than being physically active. This was measured by people’s ‘tendency to engage in and enjoy effortful cognitive endeavours.’ Doing puzzles counts as a high cognitive activity while more mundane tasks tend to count as lower cognitive activities. On the other hand, people may also use exercise as a distraction or form of procrastination before doing a challenging mental task.
So, basically, what we’re hearing is that sometimes you’re going to want to be lazy and just lounge around in your pyjamas but it doesn’t technically qualify as ‘lazy’ because you’re just resting your body so your brain can work. And the chances are that you might actually be engaged in a kind of higher motivated thought that’s waaaaay beyond you.
Here’s to redefining the word ‘lazy’ (let’s call it ‘cognitive’ from now on.) Although, obviously, a balanced lifestyle is the best, it’s nice to know that sometimes it’s OK to not want to do anything, because it’s just our brains working out how to continue being clever. Although, it always helps to know how to motivate yourself to exercise, too.