healthHealth and Medicine

You’re Not Lazy, You Have A High IQ, Study Suggests


Katy Evans

Katy is Managing Editor at IFLScience where she oversees editorial content from News articles to Features, and even occasionally writes some.

Managing Editor

Arena Creative/Shutterstock

Daydreamers and sofa-lovers rejoice, a new study has revealed a correlation between laziness and a high IQ, meaning that staring off into space or avoiding the gym could mean that you’re not just being lazy, you’re actually demonstrating your intelligence.

According to the study published in the Journal of Health Psychology, people with a high IQ get bored easily, leading them to spend more time thinking – so even though they may not look like they are doing anything, they are actively engaged in thought.


On the other hand, people who are active tend to participate in physical activity to occupy themselves when bored and to avoid high-level thinking.

The researchers, from Florida Gulf Coast University, got students to take a psychological test to identify those who expressed a desire to think a lot and those who preferred to avoid anything too mentally exhausting by rating how strongly they agreed or disagreed with statements like: “I really enjoy a task that involves coming up with new solutions” and “I only think as hard as I have to.” 

They then took 30 “thinkers” and 30 “non-thinkers” and fitted them with a fitness tracker that monitored their physical activity for a week.

The results revealed that the thinking group were far less active from Monday through Friday than the non-thinking group, with those who agreed with statements that didn't require a high level of thinking partaking in a much higher level of physical activity. However, there was no difference between the groups during the weekend, something which the researchers haven’t been able to explain, though they admit the sample size being small and the study for only a short period of time means more research is needed to conclusively draw a correlation.   


However, if you’re feeling smug that your laziness is a sign of your intelligence, which makes you too busy thinking profound thoughts to exercise or be active, lead author Todd McElroy has a different view.

"Ultimately, an important factor that may help more thoughtful individuals combat their lower average activity levels is awareness," said Mr 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."


healthHealth and Medicine
  • tag
  • intelligence,

  • IQ,

  • laziness,

  • need for cognition test