Higher Intelligence Linked to Improved Physical Performance Later in Life

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Bawa_170815A new aging study out of Denmark suggests that higher intelligence as a young adult may lead to improved physical performance as an older adult.

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen looked at data from the Copenhagen Aging and Midlife Bank on 2,848 men who were born either in 1953 or between 1959 and 1961. They discovered that the higher the participants scored on intelligence tests in early adulthood, the better they performed in physical activities between the ages of 48 and 56.

The team also discovered that a 10-point increase in intelligence as a young adult resulted in improved back force (increase of 0.5 kg), higher jumping height (increase of one centimeter), stronger hand-grip (0.7 kg increase), the ability to do chair rises (1.1 more within a 30-second span), and better balance (3.7% improvement) later on in life.

Researchers believe that their findings, which have been published in the Journal of Aging and Health, can contribute toward developing new initiatives to help aging adults stay active and fit throughout their lives.

That being said, the team suggests that more work needs to be done in order to determine why there’s a link between intelligence and physical ability. The authors hypothesize that it may have something to do with intelligent individuals’ ability to better understand information and advice about healthy living, which in turn enables them to more successfully implement this information into everyday life.

Sources for Today’s Article:
Meincke, R.H., et al., “Is Intelligence in Early Adulthood Associated With Midlife Physical Performance among Danish Males?” Journal of Aging and Health 2015, doi: 10.1177/0898264315594139.

Paddock, C., “Intelligence linked to physical performance in middle age, study shows,” Medical News Today web site, August 17, 2015; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/298214.php.