People with a high IQ rarely get bored, leading them to spend more time lost in thought, according to scientists Florida Gulf Coast University.
The results suggest that less intelligent people are more prone to boredom, and may use physical activity as a way of alleviating it.
Using a decades-old “need for cognition” psychology test, researchers identified 30 students who expressed a strong desire to think a lot, and 30 who were keen to avoid anything too mentally taxing.
The test, which was taken online, involves rating how strongly participants agree with statements such as: “I really enjoy a task that involves coming up with new solutions to problems”.
The thinkers were found to be significantly less active from Monday to Friday than the non-thinkers.
There was no difference between the two groups over the weekend, something that the researchers were unable to explain.
While less active people may be more intelligent, the researchers stressed that physical activity is important to avoid the negative health affects of a sedentary lifestyle.
As the sample of just 60 students was so limited, further study with a larger sample group, plus non-students from different cultures may be needed to build on the findings.
The study was published in the Journal of Health Psychology