Good Grades Now For Teens Equals Good Future Health

Students in a computer lab

A new study links A students to better health as they age

As if high school students weren’t under enough pressure in high school to excel so they could get into college, a new study published in the December issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior suggests a correlation between grades and health later in life.

The study shows that the higher a person’s class rank, the less likely they were in their early 60s to report chronic conditions and more likely to claim excellent or very good health, reports Time magazine.

The professor who ran the study admits to not being 100 percent clear why the link exists, but hypothesizes that good students are just as conscientious about their health as their studies, and that things like self-discipline required to study also works in avoiding vices like tobacco.

How parents will choose to interpret the study is another matter. Knowing good grades can affect future good health is important to know, but should kids study more now in lieu of more exercise, which affects their current health? And will a student with all Bs on their report card who also exercises really fare that much worse at the doctor’s office later in life than a straight A student who eschews exercise?

Of course this study makes me look back at my high school record and cringe a bit. I was a B student hiding in an A student’s body. That is, I had the ability to do well, but I was fairly challenged when it came to buckling down and working just hard enough to take it to the next level. And while I played on the tennis team, my efforts (and talent) were halfhearted at best. Is my high school performance really an indication that I’ll be semi-chronically ill as I age? Yikes.

Would you put more pressure on your high school kids to study over exercise if you thought it might yield a better health report card later in life? Or do you think Bs on the report card are just fine if it also means your kids getting out for some exercise now?

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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