Are you feeling lazy? That’s OK – it’s just science

UBC study shows that humans are hardwired to prefer being sloth-like

Feeling lazy today? It’s OK – you’re actually hardwired to feel like that, according to a study from the University of British Columbia.

The findings, published in the October edition of Neuropsychologia, found that the struggle is real.

“Conserving energy has been essential for humans’ survival, as it allowed us to be more efficient in searching for food and shelter, competing for sexual partners and avoiding predators,” said senior study author Matthieu Boisgontier.

“The failure of public policies to counteract the pandemic of physical inactivity may be due to brain processes that have been developed and reinforced across evolution.”

READ MORE: Women underrepresented in research journals, says UBC prof

READ MORE: B.C. targets men in post-secondary campaign against sexual violence

Researchers recruited young adults for the study, put them in front of a computer and gave them the controls to an on-screen avatar.

Then, small images showing physical activity, or inactivity, flashed on the screen.

The young adults had to move their avatar as quickly as possible towards the pictures of activity and away from the pictures of inactivity, and vice versa.

By recording what was happening in their brains, researchers found that moving away from the active pictures was much harder for the subjects’ brains.

That came despite the fact that the subjects moved much faster when they moved towards the active pictures.

“The exciting novelty of our study is that it shows this faster avoidance of physical inactivity comes at a cost—and that is an increased involvement of brain resources,” Boisgontier, who is a postdoctoral researcher in UBC’s brain behaviour lab at the department of physical therapy, said.

“These results suggest that our brain is innately attracted to sedentary behaviours.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Regional unemployment rate drops

But fewer people are working overall

Horizon North construction to start soon

The first gear will start rolling into Kitimat at the beginning of 2019

Haisla yet to sign LNG benefits deals with the province

Other First Nations already receiving cash payments

Area First Nations benefit from LNG Canada project

Agreements with province provide cash, land

Work begins on a new Haisla health centre

It will include a telehealth room, a place for visiting physiotherapists and dentists

‘Are we going to play?’ Alberta boy with rare illness no big deal for classmates

Porter Stanley is one of 30 people in the world to be diagnosed with Beare-Stevenson syndrome, a craniofacial disorder.

Publication ban on name of girl killed in Abbotsford school lifted

Reimer’s family had supported an application by Black Press to lift ban

B.C. securities regulator probes ‘most expansive’ alleged trading scheme in its history

Liht Cannabis Corp states it’s doing internal investigation, welcomes BC Securities Commission probe

Air passenger rights: 6 things about what the Liberals are offering

For 3- to 6-hour delays, compensation is $400. Between 6 and 9 hours, $700. Over 9 hours is $1,000

RCMP, civilian vehicles rammed in North Okanagan incident

Police attempt to stop truck near Enderby, thought to be tied to alleged Salmon Arm armed robbery

New biker gang with ties to Hells Angels crops up in Lower Mainland

The Street Reapers were formed late last year and have been seen in Fort Langley.

10-lane George Massey bridge too big, B.C. study says

Consultants say replacement tunnel cost similar to new bridge

Couple caught up in B.C. Legislature bomb plot to learn their fate

John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were arrested as part of an undercover RCMP sting on Canada Day 2013

Ryan Reynolds to narrate movie about B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest

Vancouver-born actor known for Deadpool movies will voice film to be released Feb. 15, 2019

Most Read