GPA on the rise for rec center regulars

GPA on the rise for rec center regulars

GPA on the rise for rec center regulars
October 02
00:17 2014

For students looking to raise their GPAs, the answer may be as simple as raising a couple of barbells.

Statistics show that those who are using the Pohl Recreation Center tend to have a higher GPA than those who are not. Last fall, the average GPA among Rec Center users was 2.88, while the average GPA of non-users was 2.69.  In the spring, Rec Center users held an average GPA of 2.85 versus 2.73 among non-users. The GPA gap was highest among freshman, but leveled out slightly for upperclassmen.

The Pohl Recreation center has been collecting this data each semester since 2003, when the facility opened. Students scan their IDs upon entrance. The ID numbers are sent to the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness where the data is calculated. Recreation Center Director Laurie Klein said the results are consistent every single semester. 

“We know, and lots of research supports, that when a student maintains a healthy lifestyle, it’s going to help them out in the classroom,” Klein said. “No doubt about it, working out reduces stress and keeps your mind clear. We absolutely believe that a healthy student is a successful student.”

While there may not be a definitive answer as to why the GPA gap exists between students using the Rec Center and those who do not, Chair of the Department of Kinesiology Health Promotion and Recreation Allen Jackson points out the correlation between an active lifestyle and a sharp mind.

“I can tell you from a large and growing number of studies that children, adolescents, young adults, middle-aged adults and older adults all function cognitively at higher levels and have better mental health profiles than inactive and unfit populations,” Jackson said.

Additionally, it has been found that chemicals beneficial to the areas of the brain responsible for memory and learning are released during physical activity. The brain-derived neurotropic growth factor that revives brain cells is produced more during exercise, allowing you to boost your capacity to learn.

“If I get my workout in the morning, my mind feels sharper during the day,” photojournalism freshman Nathan Stolzer said. “Feeling physically well helps me focus on studying.”

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A graph comparing the GPAs of students who do and don’t use the Pohl Recreation Center from 2013. Graphic by Hannah Lauritzen – Intern Writer

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A graph comparing the GPAs of students who do and don’t use the Pohl Recreation Center from 2014. Graphic by Hannah Lauritzen – Intern Writer

Chemistry sophomore Alexia Pena, left, and advertising senior E.J. Stancil lift weights at the Pohl Recreation Center on Wednesday night. Photo by Byron Thompson – Senior Staff Photographer

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