Armchair Gains: The Amazing Benefits of Being Lazy!

Written by Neola Wilby
Reviewed by Erica Lee, RN
featured image for article on armchair gains

Before I do a deep dive into my armchair gains, let me give you a quick recap on how I came upon my discovery. So, a long time ago, I was a lawyer. In that corporate world of high-flying Type-A personalities and shoulder pads, my colleagues wore their stress levels like a badge of honour on their pinstripe power suits.

A constant barrage of ‘walk and talk’ busyness always forms such a major part of the corporate clique… think Wolf of Wall Street, without the hookers and drugs.

Even outside the hustle of business life, we (society, that is) put productivity on a pedestal.

“How are you?” “Oh, I’m sooo busy ….”

The American Dream demands hard graft. It’s ingrained in our culture that working hard is a matter of pride.

Sacrifice, commitment, blood, sweat and tears = success, right?

In the 21st century, our fragile minds are increasingly bombarded with information. And our already hectic lifestyles become a delicate juggling act between lofty career plans, never-ending social commitments, family time, chores, hobbies and health. All of these can get a little overwhelming.

But let me tell you something, instead of being super-productive, being lazy can actually make you more successful. Here’s how you can readdress your stress levels and get some serious armchair gains from the comfort of your, well you guessed it, armchair!

Let’s get started!

1. Getting ripped whilst watching Netflix (the ideal armchair gain for many!)

Most people think that ‘Brad Pitt in Fight Club’ physique can only be achieved by spending every waking hour in the gym, but that’s a common misconception. The most important training session of the week isn’t even performed in the gym.

The changes we want our body to make in response to our hard work actually takes place when our body is in a state of rest, not while sweating through a HIIT session or grinding through the last set of deadlifts.

Top athletes maximize their performance by including rest days to give themselves a physiological and psychological break.

The take-home message? Swap the cardio/deadlifts for your TV now and then for a smarter, less stressful, and more productive way to achieve your training goal.

watching netflix can give you armchair gains

2. Say goodbye to the to-do list

We may feel the most productive when we’re firing through our to-do lists, like a beaver chewing a log. But ignoring that list and doing absolutely nothing has its benefits too!

Think about your most creative moments, the times when you had an epiphany-like surge of inspiration – a new idea or a sudden life realization.

Where were you when that creative inspiration stuck you? It probably wasn’t while completing reports and spreadsheets or pulling an all-nighter at the office and trying to get through all your tasks on the to-do list.

Those sweet moments of clarity are far more likely to happen while sipping wine and daydreaming on a beach. A calm mind welcomes insight, gives it the space it needs to problem solve, and avoids getting bogged down in the quicksand of the day-to-day tasks. You’ll find that you’re more productive in the long run.

3. Desk-time drooling: take some corporate nap time

There’s NO shame in a good power nap. Naps have been shown to improve alertness and creativity, reduce anxiety and depression, prevent burnout, and boost performance.

This is why the midday snooze is now being endorsed by forward-thinking tech companies like Google, Uber and the Huffington Post, which all have napping rooms/”pods” in their offices.

The nap gains aren’t just about increasing productivity…

A 2007 study of 23,681 adults found that those who took naps at least three times a week lived longer. They also had a 37% lower chance of dying from heart disease.

In addition, Britain’s oldest man, Reg Dean, lived through two world wars and 24 British Prime Ministers in his 110 years! He said his longevity was thanks to his laziness. This is an incredible example of long-term armchair gains!

4. Get efficient

Working less does not mean being less productive, it just requires more efficiency. Bill Gates once said that he would always “hire a lazy person to do a difficult job” at Microsoft. Why? “Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”

Super-efficiency is often confused with laziness. However, these people automatically have more downtime because they choose to work smarter, not harder. They are able to zone-in on the important things without wasting time and getting distracted.

Despite our glorification of ‘busy’, a break, a nap and even a ‘lazy’ attitude can actually have a positive effect on your body, your brain and those all-important productivity levels.

So let’s add a “mid-day nap” to our routine” or take a day to chill-out. Let’s restore our work-life balance to overcome the high demands in our life! 

Couch potato for a day! Who’s with me on looking forward to more armchair gains?!