Cambridge B1 Preliminary
B1 Preliminary - Reading Multiple Choice Exercise 6
Read the text and then for each question, choose which of the four possible answers is best. Think also about why the other three answers are not possible.
The Lazy Gene: What Makes Doing Nothing So Attractive?
Laziness, far from being a choice, might actually be deeply rooted in our genetic makeup. The so-called "Lazy Gene" theory posits that some individuals might be genetically predisposed to avoid strenuous activity, something that seems to contradict our modern society's focus on productivity.
The concept behind this fascinating theory traces back to our ancestors' way of life. Many thousands of years ago, human beings were hunter-gatherers, existing in harsh environments where energy conservation was key to survival. The less energy our ancestors used, the fewer calories they had to consume, which was beneficial in times when food was scarce. As a result, those who were genetically predisposed to expend less energy, and thus eat less, had a survival advantage.
This suggests that the genes promoting energy conservation may have been passed down through generations. However, in today's modern world, where food is abundant and physical activity is no longer essential for survival, this trait can manifest as 'laziness' or an inclination towards a sedentary lifestyle. There is scientific evidence to support this theory. A 2019 study involving rats demonstrated a clear genetic divide between those that were more active and those that were more still and preferred not to move around so much.
Behavioural geneticist, Dr. Stanley Lethargic, believes that the Lazy Gene could be more prevalent than we currently acknowledge. "With the advent of increasingly convenient technology and less physically demanding jobs, we see more and more evidence of this gene expression," he says. "It seems that our modern lifestyle might actually be enabling the Lazy Gene."
However, acknowledging the Lazy Gene does not equate to justifying a lack of motivation or effort. While it's true that our genetic predispositions can influence our behaviour to some extent, our individual decisions and actions still play a crucial role. Cognitive-behavioural strategies, regular exercise, and maintaining a balanced diet can help counteract the effects of this gene.
In essence, the Lazy Gene theory is an intriguing perspective that combines evolutionary biology with modern behaviours. While it offers a potential explanation for why some people seem to prefer inactivity, it's essential to remember that it does not excuse laziness. As individuals, we have the power and the responsibility to influence our behaviours and lead healthier lives, regardless of our genetic makeup.