Their study of more than 60,000 U.S. adults from three national datasets found that those who believed they were less active than their peers died younger than those who believed they were more active. Even if they exercised a similar amount.
"Our findings fall in line with a growing body of research suggesting that our mindsets – in this case, beliefs about how much exercise we are getting relative to others – can play a crucial role in our health," co-author Alia Crum said.
"It's time that we start taking the role of mindsets in health more seriously," she added. "In the pursuit of health and longevity, it is important to adopt not only healthy behaviours, but also healthy thoughts."
So if you can't get yourself off the couch, just imagine yourself sweating it out and you could still reap some benefits.