Blame our ancestors for why it's easier to be a couch potato.
- A new study shows that the brain prefers to expend as little energy as possible.
- Putting forth less effort had advantages for our ancestors.
- Being inactive is not beneficial in modern life and needs addressing.
This animation shows the experiment the participants were asked to perform, moving the avatar closer or farther from the image shown.
Credit: UBC Media Relations
The Germans have a lovely saying for the benefits of keeping an idle mind: ‘die Seele baumeln lassen’, meaning ‘let the soul dangle’.
The Renaissance painter Albrecht Dürer was regarded by his friends as a master in the art of mind-wandering. He could become ‘enwrapped’ in his own pleasant reflections, wrote the German humanist Willibald Pirckheimer, at which times Dürer ‘would seem the happiest person on Earth’.