Hardwired For Laziness? Tests Show the Human Brain Must Work Hard To Avoid Sloth

Posted by on September 24, 2018 in Sci-Tech, Science with 0 Comments

Article Source: Science Daily

Summary: Society has encouraged people to be more physically active, yet we are actually becoming less active. This new study offers a possible explanation: Our brains may be innately attracted to sedentary behavior. Electroencephalograms showed that test subjects had to summon extra brain resources when trying to avoid physical inactivity.

If getting to the gym seems like a struggle, a University of British Columbia researcher wants you to know this: the struggle is real, and it’s happening inside your brain.


The brain is where Matthieu Boisgontier and his colleagues went looking for answers to what they call the “exercise paradox”: for decades, society has encouraged people to be more physically active, yet statistics show that despite our best intentions, we are actually becoming less active.

The research findings, published recently in Neuropsychologia, suggest that our brains may simply be wired to prefer lying on the couch.

The researchers asked volunteers to react to simple stick drawings depicting scenes of physical inactivity and physical activity, and discovered that brain activity differed depending on the scene.
Credit: UBC Media Relations

“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 Boisgontier, a postdoctoral researcher in UBC’s brain behaviour lab at the department of physical therapy, and senior author of the study. “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 the rest of the article at Science Daily…

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