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Up to 13% Higher Pay with Frequent Workouts

Among the many excuses used to ditch workouts is the need to log long hours at the office. How else are you going to get ahead financially — right? Actually, new research suggests a more efficient way of getting that raise may be to work out more regularly.

A recent study published in the Journal of Labor Research analyzed data on 12,686 individuals in the prime of their working years — 33 to 41 years of age — which also happens to be the time when weight gain starts to set in. The author found that regular exercise such as aerobics, running, swimming, or bicycling was linked to 6% to 13% in higher wage earnings. In fact, the correlation actually became stronger, the more one exercised! Moderate exercise (1-2X/week) yielded a 6.1% salary bump, but the best return on exercise was enjoyed by women who worked out aerobically more than three times a week — a 12.9% financial bonus!

These findings echo similar research which demonstrated shrinking your waistline may fatten your wallet. In one analysis, women who shed significant weight — a 10 point drop in BMI — increased their average net worth by nearly $12,000. Why might this be? While workplace discrimination may play a role, other research links obesity with increased absenteeism and sick days. Moreover, employees were found to work faster and more efficiently on days they exercised during their lunch breaks — while those who exercised three days a week accomplished more and had fewer health care costs than their sedentary peers. Bottom line, if you’re not lured by the promise of better health and bigger biceps — let a bigger bank account be your incentive for exercising more frequently.

Published June 1, 2013

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