February 19, 2015

Sporting activity increases employment prospects and income

Sporting activity increases employment prospects and income

Studies show that sports and physical activity can:

  • increase re-employment rates, especially among long-term unemployed
  • ​​​​​​​improve motivation and productivity levels, and increase wages
  • boost skills in teamwork, self-discipline, endurance, and stress-management

Who would have thought that sport and fitness could play a part in gaining employment? Many studies have shown that exercise not only improves your health, but can also boost skills such as teamwork, self-discipline, endurance, stress management, and self-confidence.

Michael Lechner investigates this trend in his new article for IZA World of Labor. He concludes that promoting physical activity could increase re-employment opportunities, especially among the long-term unemployed.

Studies find that active sportspeople generally benefit from increased motivation and productivity levels. This appears to impact upon their success in the labor market, and can lead to significant wage increases. More physically active people are also likely to search more intensively for job opportunities, and are generally more confident throughout interview processes.

Furthermore, empirical studies negate the concern that sporting activities reduce educational or labor outcomes; instead, they tend to replace “unproductive” activity, such as watching TV.

Overall, evidence suggests that we should devote more attention to sporting activities in order to improve re-employment prospects around the world.

Sports, exercise, and labor market outcomes by Michael Lechner is published by IZA World of Labor

19th February 2015.  http://wol.iza.org/sports-exercise-and-labor-market-outcomes

IZA World of Labor is a free, online resource created by the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in collaboration with Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. Articles focus on global labor economics issues, drawing on empirical, evidence-based research in order to offer pertinent comment and evaluation, and best-practice policy advice.

Michael Lechner is the Director of the Swiss Institute for Empirical Economic Research at the University of St. Gallen. He obtained his PhD from the University of Mannheim, before spending time at the London School of Economics, Harvard University as a John-F.-Kennedy-Fellow, and the University of Mannheim as an Assistant Professor.  He joined IZA as a Research fellow in 1999.