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

VIDEO: Langley farm transforms to fantasy world

Filmmakers create short film with ‘tones of Lord of the Rings, but less fantastical and more gritty’

Fatal crash likely result of a ‘medical event,’ Langley RCMP say

Woman, 77, died following low-speed single vehicle crash

Councillors seek share of Langley City casino funds for Township

The City earned more than $7 million in casino revenue last year

Zoo donates $31K to endangered wildlife, some in Fraser Valley

In Sept., the Zoo will host its inaugural Turtle Dash to get the community moving for conservation

Man exposes himself to victim in Langley clothing store

Police have released a surveillance image of the suspect

VIDEO: Driver doing laps in busy Vancouver intersections nets charges

Toyota Camry spotted doing laps in intersection, driving towards pedestrians

Every situation is different, jurors hear at coroners inquest into Oak Bay teen’s overdose death

Pediatrician says involuntary treatment necessary following overdose, opioid use

RCMP across Canada to soon unionize, according to B.C. mayor

A spokeswoman for RCMP headquarters in Ottawa says it’s not yet a done deal

Explicit sex-ed guide for adults mistakenly given to Creston elementary students

The booklet clearly states online and inside that the guide contains sexually explicit information

Driver has $240K McLaren impounded minutes after buying it in West Vancouver

Officers clocked the car travelling at 160 km/h along Highway 1 in a 90 km/h zone

Former Vernon Judo coach pleads guilty to child pornography charges

Bryan Jeffrey McLachlan is set to return to court Sept. 4 for sentencing

B.C. Olympic skier sues Alpine Canada after coach’s sex offences

Bertrand Charest was convicted in 2017 on 37 charges

Former Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo to retire

‘Bobby Lou’ calls it a career after 19 NHL seasons

Most Read