As reported in the current issue of the journal Perceptual & Motor Skills, William D. S. Killgore, PhD, and Zachary J. Schwab, BS, asked healthy adult men and women from the Boston area to gauge their weekly exercise habits and then take an intelligence test. Higher intelligence matched with exercise frequency and duration for women — but not for men.
Intelligence, the authors said, was linked to workout frequency and the total minutes of exercise per week, and the findings remained even when considering demographic variables that normally affect physical activity and intelligence. What is not known, however, is whether more exercise actually causes higher IQ or whether higher IQ leads women to exercise more.
“Overall, these findings suggest that physical exercise is significantly related to relatively stable intellectual capacities among healthy adults,” the authors wrote. “The relationship between physical exercise and measured intelligence was most evident for women.”
Perceptual & Motor Skills, established in 1949, is an independent, peer-reviewed, bimonthly journal which specializes in empirical, theoretical, mainstream, and alternative views on issues in perception and motor skills.
McLean Hospital is the largest psychiatric affiliate of Harvard Medical School and a member of Partners HealthCare. For more information about McLean, visit www.mclean.harvard.edu or follow the hospital on Twitter@McLeanHospital.
Read a summary of the study here: www.amsciepub.com/doi/abs/10.2466/06.10.50.PMS.115.5.605-617