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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC Green Party announces candidate for Abbotsford South

Former provincial and municipal candidate Aird Flavelle seeks election

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Sept. 27

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Aldergrove farm invites artists for life drawing sessions

Art in the Country happens this Saturday, Oct. 3, at 26864 16th Ave

Langley East Liberal candidate denies NDP accusation of homophobia over crosswalk vote

Margaret Kunst said she has worked with LGBTQ youth with her PuCKS charity

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

B.C. VOTES 2020: Few solutions offered for ‘out of control’ camping

B.C. Liberals, NDP spend millions as problem keeps growing

Surrey’s Rialto Theatre shutters after 200% rent increase imposed

Owner says he’s devastated by the closure of the 26-year-old business

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

Horgan frustrated as Transport Canada mandate for BC Ferry riders returns

Transport Canada reinstates rule that bans passengers from lower decks

Most Read