The Science of Laziness

It can feel good lounging around and doing
nothing…sometimes too good! Whether it’s to avoid work or escape physical activity,
we’ve all had those days. But why are some people way lazier than others? Is there a
‘couch-potato gene’ that causes lazy behaviour? Evolution has molded our brains and bodies
to respond positively to natural rewards such as food, sex and even exercise. Wait – exercise??
Yup, the pleasure we experience comes largely from the dopamine system in our brain, which
conveys these messages throughout the body, ultimately helping to ensure the survival
of our species. For many, the pleasure derived from exercise can become just as addictive
as food and sex. But while we’re all up for more food and sex, many struggle with the
desire for physical activity, even though it’s an essential part of human biology. Scientists studying mice have found an interesting
genetic connection. After separating mice into two groups – those that chose to run
on their wheel more often, and those that decided not to run as much – the difference
was clear in their offspring. After 10 generations, the running mice would run on their wheels
75% more often than the other group, and by 16 generations they were running 7 miles a
day as opposed to the average 4 miles. It seemed their motivation for physical activity
was genetic. We all inherit genes from our parents that
play a key role in the development of our brains, and these genes can make some people
literally crave activity. In fact, the brains of the running mice had larger dopamine systems
and regions that deal with motivation and reward. They needed activity, otherwise their
brains would react similar to drug addicted rodents when deprived of cocaine or nicotine.
They were genetically addicted to running. We also inherit genes responsible for our
other traits – from impulsivity, to procrastination to work ethic and straight up laziness. And
it turns out our physical laziness may be linked to a couch potato gene – or rather,
a mutation in a normal gene which regulates activity levels. This gene is responsible
for a type of dopamine receptor – without it, you’re more likely to prefer sitting around,
and simply doing less than those who have the properly functioning gene. So the truth is, your desire for activity
may not be entirely up to you. But many environmental factors are also at play, which means you
aren’t doomed to a life of laziness. Although making a change will be harder for some, knowledge
is power. So if you think you are genetically lazy, get off the couch and fight your DNA.
Your brain will reward you in the end. Need some help to get there? Check out our
past videos on the Science of Productivity which might help you improve your motivation
and fight that laziness! And if you’d like to learn more about the
amazing science behind extraordinary athletic performance, check out one of our favourite
books “The Sports Gene” by David Epstein which was a major source for this episode. It’s
a great read and you get a copy of it using the link in the description below! And subscribe for more weekly science videos!


  1. Cute Milkie

    February 2, 2019 at 1:02 am

    This video made me lazy

  2. kostas lescinskas

    February 2, 2019 at 11:01 am

    First stop eat fast full of fats food.I stoped feeling like potato when start make my own cooked food.:)

  3. Dicki Monster

    February 4, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    That's just excuses get up and run

  4. zen

    February 5, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    naah ill watch it later

  5. samiul gamer

    February 6, 2019 at 3:10 pm


  6. Delay_ed

    February 9, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    When your parents tell you that you're lazy-

    "Sorry, mom. It's genetics."

  7. Norbert Szabó Zsolt

    February 12, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    You switch on and off your own genes by your consciousness, this video spreads bs.

  8. Chris Kogos

    February 20, 2019 at 6:22 am

    Pfft I knew it. It was in my jeans this whole time.

  9. Danny Peacock

    February 20, 2019 at 11:12 pm

    To be honest I only get out of bed to change what is in my dvd player

  10. nourat aboubacar

    February 21, 2019 at 11:32 pm

    That’s why I’m lazy I guess 😂🤦‍♀️

  11. Eurasian Tiger

    February 23, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    Everyone in my Family is extremly lazy me too

  12. Jason Le

    February 24, 2019 at 7:11 am

    Done procrastinating

  13. Ajmeena Shoeb

    March 2, 2019 at 6:32 am

    I’m supposed to go shower but I’m too lazy

  14. Almost Perfect

    March 2, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    I guess I got the jacking off genes

  15. JH Anime Piano

    March 3, 2019 at 3:28 am

    i think i have the couch potato gene

  16. agustdown

    March 3, 2019 at 10:25 pm

    i'm just depressed

  17. MrDrevnak

    March 4, 2019 at 12:44 am

    Laziness is not rewarded

  18. Alfonso Décimo

    March 4, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    I am not lazy i am in energy saving mode!😂

  19. Whitebeard

    March 5, 2019 at 6:36 am

    i was literally to lazy to type a comment but i did it!!

  20. glenn Sarka

    March 5, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    Aka the sience of me

  21. Quiet Fox

    March 8, 2019 at 8:54 pm

    People only clicked the dislike button because they were too lazy to hit the like button!😊

  22. Pro Pro

    March 15, 2019 at 12:27 am

    I’d be less lethargic if I weren’t so apathetic.

  23. Carina Stewart

    March 16, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    Gee thanks ancestors. U made me fuckin lazy.

  24. Marks, Jude

    March 16, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    Im sorry, but i have to say this is a lil stupid

  25. XBlaiir X

    March 17, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    I watched this while eating potato chips in the couch…..LOLOLOLLLLOOOOOLLLLL

  26. Kim Taehyung

    March 19, 2019 at 6:00 am

    Dad: ur too damn lazy. Ur not going to succeed in life.

    Me: well guess who’s fault it is.

  27. PurplePineapple 3000

    March 20, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    I can’t stay on the couch for more than 1 hour. I went to the gym today, and I’m only 12. It’s in my DNA. I got good genes!

  28. Hari Kishore

    March 23, 2019 at 10:49 am

    0:12 That's how I'm watching this video now.

  29. DWNtoERTH

    March 29, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    Dopamine directly impacts motivation and focus.

  30. DWNtoERTH

    March 29, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    Shit I have both genes

  31. Jena Holland

    April 1, 2019 at 7:41 am

    i am to lazy to watch full vidio😢😢😢

  32. Logic Seeker

    April 2, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Will daily jogging bring back motivation? I become lazy in Michigan winters then come out of my cave in the spring.

  33. Jon the Misunderstood

    April 4, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    I'm not lazy, I call it Listless
    Take that Mom!

  34. Shibaaa

    April 4, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    Why’d you have 2 man and woman chromosomes fuckin each other 🤮🤮

  35. Bear 20

    April 8, 2019 at 5:10 am

    i got it from my dad no wonder i never get nothing done im just so damn lazy all the time i kinda hate it and i think its to a point where id call it a disorder , its just that bad. im not even gonna have kids so this is another reason for me not to breed an offspring lmao

  36. Viktor the victor

    April 9, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    I'm too lazy to get out of bed and kill myself :/
    Any advice?

  37. ashley778909

    April 16, 2019 at 12:58 am

    Not sure if im lazy or still depressed. I think its a mix of both

  38. Amanda Heard

    April 18, 2019 at 8:40 am

    This feels racist…. idk

  39. eRRoR606 _ 707

    April 18, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    “Those who expend great, energy in their lives, I salute you.”

    -Oreki Houtarou

  40. Hakeem Canonio

    April 19, 2019 at 11:42 am

    Too lazy to watch, sorry.

  41. marsh.inCOLOR

    April 26, 2019 at 2:26 am

    i have two blue collar workers for parents who are completely unable to slow down. both of my sisters have taken into their work with great productivity. still however at the age of 15, i’m pretty sure i may be high on the list of the least ambitious and most slothful on the planet. this genetics shit is complete bull! not genetic research as a whole but the “couch-potato” gene.

  42. EL Grek0

    May 5, 2019 at 9:07 am

    The dislikes come from evolution deniers and from proud to be a hard worker cunts

  43. Hung Vu

    May 5, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    I rather love being proactive more than watching TV all over the day at home.

  44. Aizen Sousuke

    May 6, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    Im so lazy i havent eaten for 3 years


    May 10, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    Iam too lazy to talk to someone

  46. Ferid Latic

    May 12, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    I was very men yo madafaka i become lazy i wastnt lazy before

  47. John kuku

    May 16, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    ( added to watch later)

  48. -FUN MEMES-

    May 23, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    I could like to see the science of boredom because its basically the cause of laziness so eh yeah.

  49. Tokunbo Muraina

    May 25, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    Today I am very lazy today I am a lazy girl 😥😳😭😁

  50. 이달의소녀 이브

    May 29, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    I'm so lazy that I took 5 years to watch this video

  51. master shooter64

    June 2, 2019 at 11:28 am

    Sooo… its not my fault that im lazy and can't finish any homework

  52. Iman Shahid

    June 3, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    these comments are making me lazy af fr….

  53. Darealdovahkiin

    June 10, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    Haha couch potatoes hard today for the first time in a year, back at it tomorrow

  54. l i a

    June 12, 2019 at 9:42 am

    The thumbnail is me rn, legit lol

  55. KLJF

    June 12, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    if we didn't have lazy people nothing would have ever been invented . unless you think donkeys can invent stuff ? well do you ?

  56. Sarah Maria Molina Garcia

    June 12, 2019 at 11:56 pm

    Being lazy makes me soooo stressed, I mean I know I have to be productive, but I'm so lazy to actually do something

  57. Ray Yuen

    June 15, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    I grew up in a family where I wasn't allowed to cook or clean because the parents always wanted me to study. So, the legacy remains : I rarely cook or clean. They produced a lazy citizen.😂😂 Not my fault.

  58. 1am

    June 17, 2019 at 8:08 am

    I only get energized after I exercise and it feels like I need to move. Or sometimes when I listen to music, I also need to move. Or when I lack sleep, I do a lot of erratic movements.

  59. If not Why not

    June 21, 2019 at 10:21 am

    I'm too lazy to comment lol

  60. 300IQ Wizard

    June 21, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    I deserve an award for being lazy. I just love it!

  61. 300IQ Wizard

    June 21, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    I know the key to laziness mastery.

  62. Molly Moko

    June 26, 2019 at 6:23 am

    I learnt nothing.

  63. Mohammed Abdul moid adnan

    June 26, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    Who else is on the couch and has to do something else right now?

  64. Matthias Rambally

    June 26, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    I'm really lazy I lie down on my bed for the majority of the day

  65. GoblinGaming

    June 28, 2019 at 3:53 am

    Trust me I love exercising but it doesn’t cure sadness

  66. Chanuth Gunawardene

    June 28, 2019 at 10:55 am

    Great now I'm going to go take a nap!

  67. I Like YouTube.

    July 1, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    Motivation:Im about to end this guy whole career.

  68. Viky K.Z.

    July 3, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    But my parents are both hard working people…
    Shit I think I'm adopted

  69. adjfo

    July 5, 2019 at 7:29 am

    Does anyone feel burnout even if you do nothing at all?

  70. Pranjli Mehta

    July 5, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    Let's beat laziness!

  71. Jay Kune

    July 7, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    Make sense

  72. Shawn Ramsey

    July 7, 2019 at 8:58 pm

    I clicked on this video by searching “I am a coach potato”

  73. Cody Cartoons

    July 11, 2019 at 3:05 am

    Me: maybe if i watch this, ill learn how to stop being lazy
    Me *after vid*: Meh, maybe later

  74. Neo Dintchly

    July 12, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    Too lazy to go to school

  75. kP

    July 13, 2019 at 9:34 pm

    The floor is lava
    Like if you are lazy to move 😂

  76. Boby Singh

    July 14, 2019 at 2:14 pm


  77. rahul mishra

    July 16, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    I want to become lazy

  78. OG SQUAD

    July 17, 2019 at 11:46 am

    I wouldn’t say I’m lazy I just don’t have anything to do 🤣🤷🏾‍♂️

  79. Jacob Hanley

    July 18, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    I’m so lazy I can’t even finish th-

  80. 재민나

    July 22, 2019 at 9:38 am

    this makes me want to work hard so my future children will be motivated as hell 24/7

  81. no one

    July 24, 2019 at 6:54 am

    I am not lazy,I am just very motivated to do nothing

  82. Bts army Kookieee

    July 25, 2019 at 8:26 am

    Welp, thanks dad I guess

  83. mugiwara pirates

    July 26, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    Iam have become a so lazy that I don't even care to go on date

  84. SnowPulse

    August 2, 2019 at 1:56 am

    Found my excuse

  85. ayse gcl

    August 2, 2019 at 6:36 am

    Im soooooooo lazy I don't think i've ever met someone more lazier than me lol

  86. amor vincit omnia

    August 4, 2019 at 1:55 am

    Lazyness is a right. I believe we should organise our societies so we can be as lazy as possible.

  87. 3bodyZZ

    August 6, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    Efficiency is clever laziness

  88. Only One MITCH!

    August 6, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    I'm so lazy I literally googled:"How to stop being lazy "or "How to work hard"

  89. takeru kas

    August 6, 2019 at 10:37 pm

    laziness is like

  90. Sterling Lowery

    August 6, 2019 at 10:54 pm

    2:05 Knowledge is not power, knowledge is potential power. For knowledge without application is worthless.

  91. kiranbala devi

    August 11, 2019 at 6:43 am

    sometimes it is painful to be so lazy that u can't wake up and serve urself any food , in hunger 😢😢😭😥😫😫😫😩

  92. Irelevant

    August 17, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    I'm a lazy bastard I'm so lazy that I walk in a footrace

  93. D3ATHBOI

    August 18, 2019 at 2:52 am

    Ur making us lazy watching this..

  94. James Goner

    August 26, 2019 at 10:58 am

    so the best thing to do is that we all should stop exercising. That way, our kids won't need physical exercise to feel good.

  95. Pronosnics wallah

    August 26, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    "Fight your DNA" that, that here…

    Really got me

  96. H L

    September 2, 2019 at 9:02 am

    There might be nothing as lazy if people care enough to look at psychological reasons behind self-destructive actions. DON'T BLAME PEOPLE or belittle them as🐢slow🐌WHO NAP OR SLEEP MORE BECAUSE it's probably all because of DEPRESSION, TRAUMA ETC🐰CAUSED FROM ABUSIVE FAMILY MEMBERS OR COLLEAGUES!
    Think about how every being wants to be healthy and be better, and so the actually smart people don't blame or belittle other people as LAZY.

  97. bigfish langille

    September 2, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    BS 😂 my relative's and ancestors were motivated and some famously ,so I wish i could use that for an excuse

  98. tocodelray

    September 2, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    Instead of couch potato gene think of it as a snake gene… lying in wait ready to strike!

  99. unknown Artist

    September 3, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    I'm too lazy to watch this.

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