A new study has been released that suggests exercising several times a week can lead to an increased salary, up to 9 percent higher.
The study was conducted by a professor from Cleveland State University.
Previous studies have linked bigger paychecks with exercise, but the cause and effect of the link was not clear as to why people who exercised more earned larger salaries.
The author of the study, Vasilios Kosteas
, an economics professor at the university, decided to try and make the connection. He used a statistical technique called propensity-score matching to come to his conclusion.
"The idea [of propensity-score matching] is to score each study subject on whether they fit the profile of someone who exercises, based on factors like age, education level, and whether he or she played sports in high school," Smart Money
Kosteas then compared the scores.
He writes in the study
While there has been a recent surge of interest by economists on the issue of obesity, relatively little attention has been given to the economic effects of regular physical activity apart from its impact on body composition. I find that regular exercise yields a six to nine percent wage increase. The results also show that while even moderate exercise yields a positive earnings effect, frequent exercise generates an even larger impact. These findings are fairly robust to a variety of estimation techniques.
Previous theories, cited by the author in the study's text, relating to exercise noted active individuals have higher energy levels, improved mental function and psychological function, and this translates to better productivity in the workplace.
Kosteas writes, "exercise can have a positive impact on labor market outcomes by serving as a signal to potential employers that the individual is dedicated and disciplined or through social networking effects."
He does acknowledge this theory is preliminary and feels additional studies are needed to confirm his findings. He also indicated
that exercise doesn't guarantee higher earnings, but individuals can attain other rewards such as lowered healthcare costs or improved overall health.
The paper has been published in the June issue of the Journal of Labor Research