Hitting the weights could help you hit the books harder, according to new research from Michigan State University. The study, published in Recreational Sports Journal, found that college students who had gym memberships maintained higher GPAs than those who avoided campus rec centers.
James Pivarnik, a professor of kinesiology and epidemiology at MSU, found that gym members maintained a GPA that was .13 points higher, on average, than their non-member peers through the first two years of college.
“That amount could mean the difference to those students on the cusp of getting into graduate school or even advancing to the next academic year,” Pivarnik told the student publication MSU Today.
Grades—and muscles—aren’t the only beneficiaries of a collegiate gym membership, Pivarnik says. The study also found that gym rats stay in school longer. “These results provide a compelling argument to universities that a higher student retention rate could be enhanced just by having adequate recreational and fitness facilities for students,” he says.
The results also provide a compelling argument to studious undergrads who will benefit just as much from a gym card as they will from a library card.