Students who purchased a gym membership at Michigan State University got better grades and were less likely to drop out, according to a study by MSU Professor of Kinesiology James Pivarnik.
Pivarnik says there are studies that show K-12 students do better in school if they get exercise, but this is one of the first studies suggesting there could be an academic benefit for college students who work out.
And there's ample evidence that exercise is good for people's mental and physical health.
"The hard part is, well, how do we get people to do it?" asks Pivarnik. "And if part of it is, having to pay this fee, then, okay."
Pivarnik says he has to do other studies to rule out what else could account for the better grades.
He says it's possible the students who could afford to pay a gym fee were wealthier and went to better high schools before college.
But he thinks it's more likely the fee encouraged students to keep their commitment to work out, because money came out of their pockets every month.