Man bored, tired at work

Man bored at work (© Viacheslav Lakobchuk - stock.adobe.com)


COLCHESTER, United Kingdom — The world’s most boring person may be the same person who handles all your finances! A new study examining the “science of boredom” has ranked the jobs, characteristics, and hobbies that people consider the dullest in society. That’s bad news for data analysts and accountants, who top the list of the most boring people around.

Researchers from the University of Essex studied more than 500 people across five experiments before crowning the blandest jobs and most boring personality traits and interests. As for hobbies that are sure to put your friends to sleep, results show people who enjoy religion, watching TV, bird watching, and smoking rank as the most boring individuals.

Moreover, participants in the study tend to believe that “boring” people shun big city living and prefer to live in small towns. Unfortunately, study author Dr. Wijnand Van Tilburg says this perception of what makes someone boring creates a tremendous stigma in society. The researcher says people typically dislike boring individuals and avoid spending time with them.

“The irony is studying boredom is actually very interesting and has many real-life impacts,” says Dr. Van Tilburg in a university release. “These paper shows how persuasive perceptions of boredom are and what an impact this can have on people.”

“Perceptions can change but people may not take time to speak to those with ‘boring’ jobs and hobbies, instead choosing to avoid them,” the study author continues. “They don’t get a chance to prove people wrong and break these negative stereotypes. The very fact that people choose to avoid them can lead to social ostracization and increase loneliness leading to a really negative impact on their lives.”

Boring people are less competent?

The study also found a surprising misconception about so-called boring people — which is that they’re less competent at their jobs. Despite this stigma, Van Tilburg says people who perform the “most boring” jobs also perform tasks which are vital in modern society!

“It was interesting to me to see the study showed that boring people were not seen as competent,” Dr. Van Tilburg says. “I would have thought that accountants would be seen as boring, but effective and the perfect person to do a good job on your tax return.”

“The truth of the matter is people like bankers and accountants are highly capable and have power in society – perhaps we should try not to upset them and stereotype them as boring!”

Top 5 most boring jobs:

  1. Data Analysis
  2. Accounting
  3. Tax/insurance
  4. Cleaning
  5. Banking

Top 5 most exciting jobs:

  1. Performing arts
  2. Science
  3. Journalism
  4. Health professional
  5. Teaching

Top 5 most boring hobbies:

  1. Sleeping
  2. Religion
  3. Watching TV
  4. Observing animals
  5. Mathematics

The study is published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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30 Comments

  1. alex says:

    y’all are nuts. i am a 63 yo college graduated white guy. been cleaning houses for 33 years. i even have tshirts that say if you’re bored, you’re not doing it right! never lacked for work and even the same house is never the same. every one has ebbs and flows, but bored? NEVER!

    1. Fred says:

      I’m in banking an confirm, it is and has made me, boring. Time for a change

  2. DuBose says:

    Religion is a hobby now?

    1. Ro Bo says:

      Apparently so, and I guess it’s the double whammy if you’re watching it on TV : )

    2. K.S. says:

      I was about to say the same thing. It definitely Seems odd to put it in that category.

    3. Buster Hymen says:

      re: religion – it gives the mentally retarded something to do

      1. Terry says:

        And it is the most successful scam of all time

  3. Brisben says:

    I was in print journalism for 45 years. Back in the day it was an exciting occupation. Today I wouldn’t want to be part of it. The pay sucks and woke is more important than the facts. Anyone who believes it’s exciting isn’t in the business.

  4. Bdohb says:

    Hahahahaha, this article fits right in, it was so boring I couldn’t even finish reading it LOL.

    1. Skeet says:

      This has to be one of the stupidest articles I’ve ever read, and I’m shocked I read the whole thing, considering the lack of intellect behind it. Captivatingly inept.

  5. TomB says:

    I refuse to believe mathematics is a more boring hobby than my beloved diagramming sentences.

  6. Lighthope says:

    Isn’t “boring” subjective? So how can you quantify it?

    1. Honor Williston says:

      This article “quantifies” it by asking a bunch of morons their uninformed opinions. Then you add them up and voila! Idiots sharing worthless views.

  7. Billy Bob Nunya says:

    Seriously? Sleeping is now a hobby? I need to take that hobby up in the future. And mathematics? Who even does that for fun…

  8. Chris says:

    this is a stupid article.

    1. Jay Elle says:

      Seriously, how can you be bored if you are sleeping?

  9. Rich says:

    You’re kidding right? These are exciting jobs?
    Performing arts
    Science
    Journalism
    Health professional
    Teaching
    Meh. The people thinking these jobs are exciting need to find a life.

    1. Freudman Sig says:

      Exciting: performing arts where people assume other personalities and views, science which accordingly is NOW all settled no debate it’s all over, Journalism is dead just repeat the mantra handed to you by your overlords. Teaching is a fraud. Which one is different? Health professional.

  10. Ro Bo says:

    I must admit that I enjoy “Observing animals” but it does seem to bore the animals.

  11. Ninu says:

    All those animal programs are staged these days. They take a shot of a lion running one day and then combine it with a shot of a gazelle running the next day and splice them together as if the lion was chasing the gazelle. I always used to think animal observation was interesting but it really only is if you just see the highlights

  12. lar says:

    They must have interviewed 5th graders.

  13. Jimmy not that jimmy says:

    Why didn’t the government employee stare out the office window all morning? Well, because he would have nothing to do after lunch.

  14. jack mccready says:

    The thing that worries me the most is that my tax dollars go to pay for this buffoonery.

    1. Stef says:

      Tax in the united kingdom?

  15. Kjunlandr says:

    Bored is a choice. An attitude. The most interesting people I have ever met are those religious who are authentically on the path to holiness. There isn’t anything boring when you live happy, joyful & free.

    1. Mark Rusnak says:

      Oh Yes, the Psalm says “In Your presence is fulness of joy; in Your right hand are pleasures forever!”

  16. Jim copeland says:

    If you think tax accounting is boring then you also think it isn’t an art.you would be wrong on both counts.

  17. Randy Raines says:

    The man never stood guard duty. especially, the midnight watch!

  18. Gregg Powell says:

    So says those doing the study. What is considered boring is completely subjective. Those who like mathematics and data science do not find it boring. I am a mathematician and Data Scientist and I find both subject fascinating. While I am only a sample size of one, my subjective opinion refutes this study. I find it nonsense.

  19. nicholas timcisko says:

    Boring is in the eyes of the beholder. Much like happiness is mostly a choice. Today, people have no imagination, and a brain that can’t stand still and focus on the task at hand.