Posted on Sep 23, 2015, 6 a.m.
Intelligence in your 20s may predict better physical performance in your 50s, among men.
Previous studies suggest that exercise, health status and socioeconomic factors may influence physical performance. Researchers are exploring the role that childhood factors may exert on as well. Rikke Hodal Meincke, from the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), and colleagues analyzed data collected on 2,848 men enrolled in the Copenhagen Aging and Midlife Biobank, revealing an association between male intelligence in early adulthood and their subsequent midlife physical performance. Specifically, the higher intelligence score, the better physical performance: a 1 standard deviation increase in intelligence resulted in 1.10 more chair-rises, a 1.03 cm higher jump, a 3.69% smaller balance area, a 0.71 kg increase in handgrip strength and a 5.03 N increase in back force. The lead author comments that: “"Our study clearly shows that the higher intelligence score in early adulthood, the stronger the participants' back, legs and hands are in midlife. Their balance is also better. Former studies have taught us that the better the results of these midlife tests, the greater the chance of avoiding a decrease in physical performance in old age.”
Meincke RH, Osler M, Mortensen EL, Hansen AM. “Is Intelligence in Early Adulthood Associated With Midlife Physical Performance Among Danish Males?” J Aging Health. 2015 Jul 6. pii: 0898264315594139.