Fit Boys Are Smarter, Says Study

by Ryan Halvorson on Feb 16, 2010

Making News

Boys interested in improving report card scores may want to take up running or bicycling. A study of 1.2 million men born between 1950 and 1976 determined a link between cardiovascular fitness and “intelligence.” Researchers from the Institute of Medicine at the University of Gothenburg, in Sweden, analyzed the physical capacity, brain power and socioeconomic status of men when they reported for military duty at age 18. The data, published in the December 8 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2009; 106 [49], 20906–911) suggests that those men with greater cardiovascular fitness were more likely to be more intelligent and experience greater success.

Interestingly, there was no association between muscular fitness and the intelligence markers. “Male subjects with improved predicted cardiovascular fitness between 15 and 18 years of age exhibited significantly greater intelligence scores than subjects with decreased cardiovascular fitness,” stated lead study author H. Georg Kuhn. The authors could not say whether higher intelligence scores are a result of increased physical capacity. “We cannot assume that fitness per se increases cognitive function, so joining a gym does not by itself make you ‘smarter,’” added Kuhn. “But in order for optimal cognitive function/development to take place, regular cardiovascular fitness is needed.”

IDEA Fitness Journal, Volume 7, Issue 3

© 2010 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson IDEA Author/Presenter

Ryan Halvorson is the chief content officer for Fit Scribe Media (www.fitscribemedia.com); contributing editor for IDEA Health & Fitness Association; director of group training at Bird Rock Fit in La ...

0 Comments

Trending Articles

How to Teach HIIT to Everyone

High-intensity interval training has been riding a wave of popularity, and it seems everyone wants to give it a try. However, intense interval training is nothing new. Group fitness instructors have b...

20 IDEA World-Renowned Presenters Share Advice on Success and Happiness

We asked some of this year’s most influential and motivating IDEA World Fitness Convention™ presenters to share the single piece of advice they would give another fitness/health pro to hel...

Smooth Move: Creative Additions to Consider for Smoothies

When looking for a quick breakfast or post-workout nourishment, almost nothing beats a smoothie. Whirl in the right ingredients and the blen...

Can You Isolate the Lower Abs?

Most people find it difficult to add appreciable muscle to the lower abdominal region. While the upper abs generally respond rather easily t...

Mindful Walking

Walking can be more than just moving physically from one location to another. It can be a metaphor for your larger life journey. Things you&...

Cut Risk of Alzheimer’s with MIND Diet

Conservative adherence to a new diet, appropriately known by the acronym MIND, could significantly lower a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to a paper published o...

Yes, You CAN Develop Better Eating Habits

Analogous to laying out your exercise gear so it’s the first visual reminder you have of your commitment to exercise each day, imagine...

Nuts and Peanuts Reduce Cardiovascular Risk and Prolong Lifespan

While there have been numerous studies in recent years touting the health benefits of nuts and peanuts, new research published online March ...

Nutrition Coaching: Scope of Practice

Historically, many fitness pros have avoided nutrition discussions for fear of straying beyond their scope of practice or have gone overboar...

Second-Chance Recess Workout

Do you remember being a kid? Before you could even pronounce “perceived exhaustion” or “cardiovascular exercise,” yo...

Show More