Results of a new US-based study seem to prove that intelligence is linked to IQ – as smarter people tend to spend more time lazy-ing around that their less intelligent counterparts.
The findings of the study lends well to the notion that people with a high IQ get bored less easily, leading them to spend more time engaged in thought. And active people may be more physical as they need to stimulate their minds with external activities, either to escape their thoughts or because they get bored quickly.
Researchers from the Florida Gulf Coast University tested a group of students with the ‘need for cognition’ questionnaire – a classic test dating back 30+ years.
The questionnaire asked participants 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”.
The researchers, led by Todd McElroy, then selected 30 ‘thinkers’ and 30 ‘non-thinkers’ from the pool of candidates.
Participants were then monitored for 7 days as a wrist which tracked their movements and activity levels, providing a constant stream of data on how physically active they were.
Results showed the thinking group were far less active during the week than the non-thinkers.
The findings of the study, published in the Journal of Health Psychology, were described as “highly significant” and “robust” in statistical terms.
One bit of information worth noting is that the weekends showed no difference between the two groups, something which has not been able to be explained.
Researchers suggested the findings could lend weight to the idea that non-thinkers get bored more easily, so need to fill their time with physical activity.
But Mr McElroy cautions that the downside to being brainer – and lazier – is the negative impact that comes from having a sedentary lifestyle. In an interview with The British Psychological Society, McElroy suggested that the less active people, no matter how clever they are, should aim to raise their overall activity levels to improve their health. “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.”
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