If I do sport, am I better at school and at work?

Arthur, 11 years old. Future choreographer.

We all know that sport is good for your health. But it's also worth asking whether sport has other benefits. For example, am I considered better at school and at work if I'm sporty? Of course, you don't have to be sporty to be a good student, but researchers have conducted studies to answer this question. As far as school is concerned, they found that in the USA, more sporty students finish their studies, and that they also have better grades on average on their last diploma.

In terms of professional life, researchers have found that sportsmen and women looking for work are more likely to find it than someone who doesn't play sport. On average, those who write on their CV that they like and practice sport are more likely to get the job they want. It's as if the athlete's passion makes him or her more interesting in the eyes of his or her future boss. To take this a step further, studies have shown, particularly in the USA, that sportsmen and women have access to better-paid jobs. People who played sports at university and wrote about it on their CV can earn up to 9% more than someone who has never played sport. It's safe to say that companies love sportsmen and women! The question remains as to why sportsmen and women are such a popular way to get a job...

Several researchers have come up with a list of qualities that recruiters readily attribute to people who take part in sport: resistance to pressure, self-confidence, ease of working with others and motivation. So, of course, playing sport is good for your health, but it's also good for meeting friends, feeling good and, if these results are to be believed, doing better at school and at work. A word of caution, however: taking part in sport is not a magic recipe for success. These results are mainly obtained in the United States, and studies in France should be carried out to compare these two countries, where the culture around sport is different. Even if practicing a sport has many advantages, studies should also be carried out on the benefits of practicing other activities outside school, such as music, theater, etc., because not everyone is lucky enough to be able to easily find and practice a sport they like!

Noémie Bobin - doctoral student at the Centre d'économie de l'environnement de Montpellier (CEE-M)

An article in partnership with The Conversation website.

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