I came to think of how working out requires a will to "get things done". Some people are successful in their career while working regularly out at the same time, and some people are procrastinating both exercise and career related actions. To "get things done" often takes some physical effort as well, which may make a difference in body fat.

Is there be an association between overweight and general procrastination/lack of motivation?

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    $\begingroup$ This sounds like an assertion that you decided to frame as a question so it fit the format here. $\endgroup$ Feb 3, 2015 at 17:42
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    $\begingroup$ Sounds like an interesting question to me, any data on this would be equally interesting. $\endgroup$
    – Alex
    Feb 3, 2015 at 18:28
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe you should look into a correlation between overweight person and depression. I remember that I've seen some studies discussing that overweight and obese people can become depressed, not just because they feel guilty or something, but because chemistry in their brains can change. I would send you links but it was long time ago. And depressed person can procrastinate a lot due to lack of energy. Also, this is just me assuming, change in level of insulin and it's effect on mood,energy levels etc. I draw this from that feeling when you overeat and feel sleepy and dizzy. $\endgroup$ Feb 4, 2015 at 10:58
  • $\begingroup$ These are just my ideas and some vague memories, so take it with a grain of salt. Therefore I'm not leaving this as an answer but a comment. $\endgroup$ Feb 4, 2015 at 11:00
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not thinking of depressed people, though. I'm thinking in general, whether being overweight could be a result of not being productive. $\endgroup$ Feb 4, 2015 at 12:36

1 Answer 1


No. An association between overweight and procrastination appears to have no direct empirical support to speak of.

The most direct evidence I can find on the matter was a study into industrial workplace productivity's association with overweight, which found a very small (approximately 1%) loss in productivity over other workers associated with moderate or extreme obesity, but this was explained in terms of decreased ability and increased time to perform physical tasks (Gates et al., 2009) rather than self-regulation, motivation or time management. In particular,

Moderately or extremely obese workers (BMI 35) experienced the greatest health-related work limitations, specifically regarding time needed to complete tasks and ability to perform physical job demands.

It does appear there have been some conceptually similar economics investigations into whether overweight is associated with engaging in hyperbolic discounting more generally (Scharff, 2009), but overall, there does not seem to be any empirical reason for believing that overweight is associated with procrastination in any practically meaningful sense.


  • Gates, D. M., Succop, P., Brehm, B. J., Gillespie, G. L., & Sommers, B. D. (2008). Obesity and presenteeism: the impact of body mass index on workplace productivity. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 50(1), 39-45.
  • Scharff, R. L. (2009). Obesity and hyperbolic discounting: Evidence and implications. Journal of Consumer Policy, 32(1), 3-21.
  • $\begingroup$ Wowza, I think that's the fastest acceptance I ever had. $\endgroup$ Apr 20, 2015 at 13:47

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