They found that adult males who exercised more as kids (in this study, between ages 9-15) earned between 12% and 25% more in average annual earnings over a 10-year period than adults who weren’t very physically active. These higher earnings were independent of other variables, such as family income, parents’ education and physical activity, and an individual’s chronic medical conditions or body fat.
Let’s just do a little math.
To keep it simple, let’s compare Johnny, a habitual exerciser as a kid, to Steve, a video-game junkie who rarely left the couch. Let’s say they both finished school and entered the workforce at age 30. Johnny got a nice job starting at $70,000, while Steve got a job paying 20% less than Johnny, or $56,000.
If we apply these study statistics, using a 20% difference in annual earnings, by the time they’re 40 years old, Johnny will have earned $140,000 dollars more than Steve. If we take it a little further and assume they each get a cost-of-living pay raise of 3% each year and they each invest 20% of their income at 5% annual return, by the end of the 10 year period, Johnny has over $200,000 more than Steve.
That’s a lot of dough, and all because he exercised more as kid.