If you think I’m pulling your leg, you’re mistaken. The evidence has stacked up over the past five years and I’m officially pulling it all together for readers so that they can see, very clearly, how exercise impacts earnings. So go on, read some, sweat some, make more money…and consider thanking me with a pair of Jimmy Choos. 😉
Be it formal exercise or mere play – movement matters!
Evidence that Exercise Impacts the Brain
We all know that exercise impacts the body, but we typically think of the benefits in terms of muscular strength, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness and/or weight loss. But, exercise has major implications for the organ that makes us human: the brain. Just 30 minutes of exercise can pump a lot of extra blood to your brain, impacting your ability to problem solve and make decisions. In fact, exercise can even increase the size of your hippocampus, i.e. the memory center of the brain! Incredible, right?
According to Active, the extra oxygen, glucose and hormonal changes which accompany bouts of regular exercise may even lead to permanent structural changes in the brain. Here is more compelling evidence that Active has collected:
- “In a study published in Perceptual and Motor Skills, women performed 20 percent better on memory tests after running on a treadmill than they did before exercising.”
- “A study in Neurobiology of Learning and Memory found that people learned vocabulary words 20 percent faster after intense exercise than after low-intensity activity.”
- “People who exercised during their workday were 23 percent more productive on those days than they were when they didn’t exercise, says a recent study from the International Journal of Workplace Health Management.”
Wow. If this isn’t brain power, I don’t know what is!
How Spending on Gym Memberships Pays You Back
In 2012, Time Magazine‘s Josh Sanburn reported that a study published by the Journal of Labor Research revealed that employees who engaged in regular exercise earned 9% more compared with their less active colleagues. (The active employees engaged in at least three hours of weekly exercise.) Sanburn reflects “considering that the average hourly wage in the U.S. is $23.41, the time workers spend at the gym is valued at $70.23 — but the extra pay the exercising employee receives is $84.28, about 20% more than the value of the time spent at the gym.”
Older studies support this correlation between exercise and earnings by evaluating the financial well-being of less active people; women who were obese earned 18% less and women who were overweight had 25% less overall family income compared with more active women.
Considering that #2 on on the list of 6 Daily Habits of the Worlds Most Successful CEOS is “they exercise regularly,” I would venture to say we should all attempt to follow suit. For our waistlines and wallets!
What’s More: Children’s Exercise, Learning and ADHD
Dr. Mercola, a renowned alternative medicine proponent, says that research has shown that after 30 minutes of exercise on a treadmill, children are 10% more effective at problem solving.
ABC for Fitness, a school program encouraging teachers to incorporate shorts bursts of activity at the beginning of their classes, was evaluated by ABC News and the Journal Preventing Chronic Disease. ABC News found that kids who participated in the program doubled their reading scores and increased their math scores by 20%! What’s even more incredible is that the journal found that schools adopting the program had a “33% decline in ADHD medications used by its students.” Some doctors who work with ADHD children say that exercise is a regular component in their therapy treatment.
Not only is exercise an important part of encouraging physical and mental health in children, but there is strong evidence to suggest that physically active children are more likely to become active adults. Since habits are often established at a young age, let’s keep encouraging the next generation – and ourselves, no matter how old – to keep moving. Your occupational success, financial well-being, and children’s health may all pay the price if you don’t!
Yours in health and wellness,