The biology of humans might be inclined towards laziness, suggests a new study. The paper has been published in Current Biology.
The 9 volunteers of the study had to wear leg braces that would impede their usual walking pace. Since walking became more strenuous, the participants attempted to change their normal walking habits – that might have developed over a long time period – to use the least energy. The energy savings, though, were very small in some cases.
The researchers concluded that the subconscious nervous system is constantly improving movements to keep the energy expenditures low. They say that their study results are in line with the common tendency of putting in only the minimum effort into tasks as much as is possible.
“Here we have provided a physiological basis for this laziness by demonstrating that even within a well-rehearsed movement like walking, the nervous system subconsciously monitors energy use and continuously re-optimises movement patterns in a constant quest to move as cheaply as possible,” said Dr Max Donelan.
Furthermore, our brains are always working out ways to make tasks as efficient as possible. The researchers explain that this is what happens when someone decides to go for a run.
“This is bad news for those of us who eat too much,” said Dr Donelan.