Exercise Improves Academic Performance

54 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2017

See all articles by Alexander W. Cappelen

Alexander W. Cappelen

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Gary Charness

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Economics

Mathias Ekström

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

Uri Gneezy

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management

Bertil Tungodden

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 24, 2017

Abstract

We report the results of a randomized controlled trial testing whether incentivizing physical exercise improves the academic performance of college students. As expected, the intervention increases physical activity. The main result is that it generates a strong and significant improvement in academic performance, particularly for students who struggled at the baseline in terms of lifestyle habits. We also provide evidence on the underlying mechanisms: Students who were incentivized to exercise have a healthier life style and improved self-control. Overall, the study demonstrates that incentivizing students to exercise can be an important tool in improving educational achievements.

Suggested Citation

Cappelen, Alexander W. and Charness, Gary and Ekström, Mathias and Gneezy, Uri and Tungodden, Bertil, Exercise Improves Academic Performance (August 24, 2017). NHH Dept. of Economics Discussion Paper No. 08/2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3033774 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3033774

Alexander W. Cappelen

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen
Norway

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Gary Charness

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Economics ( email )

2127 North Hall
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
United States
805-893-2412 (Phone)
805-893-8830 (Fax)

Mathias Ekström (Contact Author)

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen
Norway
+47 55959817 (Phone)

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

Uri Gneezy

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Rady School of Management
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

Bertil Tungodden

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen
Norway

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