Scientists of the University of Geneva and specialists from the university cantonal hospital located in this city found out why it is difficult for many people to force themselves to attend a fitness or swimming pool if there is an opportunity to stay at home and do nothing.
Based on the results of the experiment with the participation of 28 subjects, they came to the conclusion that to make a decision in favor of active rest the brain needs more effort than in favor of the passive.
Participants in the study during the psychological tests preferred active pastime before the passive. However, when scientists examined the electrical activity of the frontal region of the cortex of the subjects, it turned out that more resources were required to the brain when they decided to put themselves under physical stress. This is the area of the brain, where the areas responsible for common sense and for the senses are located. When the subjects had to make a choice, there was a “struggle” between these sites.
Explaining the reasons for the propensity of people to passive rest, the expert of the medical faculty of the University of Geneva Boris Sheval noted that “minimization of efforts was a key value for a person in the process of evolution.”
“This trend towards saving and preserving resources increased the chances of survival and reproduction,” he explained. “Today, however, modern society regards this energy optimization as unnecessary, but it is necessary to encourage physical activity in spite of the desire to work less and use escalators and elevators.” According to the scientist, it is necessary to modify the space surrounding people so that they have less “opportunities for spontaneous behavior to minimize effort.”