Friday, June 04, 2010

More Exercise = Higher GPA?

It is difficult to differentiate between the cause-and-effect observation versus the correlation observation when we deal with public health. So I wouldn't pass this out as a fact, but I'll just mention it.

It seems that the latest study presented at American College of Sport Medicine's annual meeting shows a correlation between college students who engages in daily 20 minutes of vigorous physical activity and higher GPA.

A study presented Thursday at the American College of Sport Medicine's annual meeting demonstrated the relationship and reinforced the notion that exercise reduces stress, improves performance and increases a sense of well-being.

Joshua Ode supervised the study at a university in the northern U.S., of students ages 18-22. Ode said, "If the students are improving in the classroom, it may create a better campus environment. You're creating more successful students, which is the goal of universities."

Researchers studied 266 undergraduates and defined moderate activity as those exercises which don't make you sweat or breathe hard, and vigorous activity for those which do, of any type. Their findings were consistent regardless of gender or major.

So then, let's examine this in light of the common stereotypes. We associate engineers, physicists, etc. as nerdy, wimpy looking guys, which presumably are thought to be smart and, therefore, would tend to have higher GPA. Don't look like they exercise much. Yet, we also often associate muscular, athletic, and physically fit guys as dumb jocks, not someone who would tend to have higher GPA.

So the stereotypes are in contradiction to the study, assuming that we buy into one or the other, or none. And yes, I'm being wishy-washy here. :)



David said...

I'm in the UK so we don't have GPA. However from my experience I do not find this true. There are exceptions to the rule, there are a very small minority of smart people in my class who do regular exercise, but at the very top of my class we are incredibly lazy in virtually all aspects of life.

I know that is nowhere near scientific, but I am just saying that my class wouldn't support the study.

Cindi said...

You can not just look at the upper echelon students, you must look at the average student.