Higher GPA for Freshmen Who Frequent Campus Gym

September 4, 2014

First-year college students who regularly visit the campus gym are likely to have higher grade point averages than those who don't.

Or at least that's the case at Purdue University, where the university has tracked which first-year students frequently visited its France A. Cordova Recreational Sports Center and used their student ID numbers to generate a report based on their first-semester GPA. The university found that the students who visited the center 15 or more times a semester -- or about once a week -- held an average GPA of 3.08. The average GPA for students who did not regularly use the gym was a 2.81. That's the difference between a B and B-.

"The numbers show us the positive relationship, and we're still trying to identify whether there is a cause and effect," said Michelle Blackburn, assistant director of student development and assessment at Purdue's division of recreational sports. "When we talk to students who regularly use the facility they say it helps with their time management, and it also provides a sense of community which can be very important to that first-year experience."

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