The Benefits of Being Lazy

Everyone loves a little healthy competition, but some of us aren’t interested in breaking a sweat all too often. I admit that I’m lazy when it comes to physical activities. So I dove into researching “sports for lazy people.”

What I found in my research was better than I had hoped for. There’s a “sport” out there called couch surfing, and I’m not talking about crashing at a friend’s house. Couch surfers slap some wheels on a couch, tie it up to the back of a vehicle, and then it’s hang ten, man. There’s a plethora of videos on YouTube of these mobile couches in action–some on pick-ups, some on scooters and even some on water.

Although couch surfing is dubbed as a sport for the lazy, it’s misleading. It takes a lot of work to haul a couch, attach wheels to it and hook it up to some mode of transportation. That is, more work than I’m willing to put in for a joyride on a grungy couch that could end up killing me if it crashed. Is it really so wrong to just kick back and relax with an episode of X-Files every so often?

According to an article by Maria Patsarika in “The European Health Psychologist,” it is actually good for you. I doubt Patsarika would condone couch surfing, but she would surely approve of stationary couch-tivities. It’s during down time that a youth can “develop self-responsibility and self-reliance,” free of externally imposed structure and constraints.

In an article in The Guardian, Tom Hodgkinson writes to call everyone out for a nap based on the fact that one of the longest lived humans on Earth (he lived to be 110 years old) credited his triumph to the fact that he was lazy. Hodgkinson also points out that in a study in Greece in 2007, it was found that “systematic nappers had a 37% lower chance of suffering from coronary mortality.” That’s it, folks. I’m convinced. X-Files is good for you.

What’s even more affirming is the evidence that a decent amount of sleep has health benefits. I may not be good at soccer, but I am most definitely a pretty stellar sleeper. As students, we lead very busy lives and it’s important to allow the stress to dissipate and rest. Of course, you can rest on the sofa while Mulder and Scully chase down the bad guy, but make sure that doesn’t cut into a good night’s sleep.

According to “13 Reasons Not to Skimp on Sleep” on, authors Sarah Baldauf and Angela Haupt discuss the physical benefits of sleeping an adequate amount. For instance, “getting less than six to eight hours of sleep a night can age your brain by four to seven years.” In other words, not sleeping enough detracts from your brain’s ability to perform well in the daytime when you really need it to carry its weight.

Slow down. Kick back. Take a breath. And every now and then, hop onto a quickly moving couch to get that heart rate up.