5 Minutes With a Money Luminary … Economics Professor Vasilios Kosteas

5 Minutes With a Money Luminary … Economics Professor Vasilios Kosteas

Image Credit: Cleveland State UniversityIn our Money Luminary series, we’re serving up fresh insight from a financial thought leader of the moment.

Today, in time for National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, we sit down with Vasilios Kosteas, Ph.D., an economics professor whose research focuses on the link between physical and financial health.

Lacking motivation to make it to the gym tonight?

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It might help to delve into the discoveries of Dr. Vasilios Kosteas, an associate professor of economics at Cleveland State University known for his work on the surprisingly strong correlation between your body and your bank account.

That’s right: Working out also has the potential to boost your bottom line.

Kosteas’ seminal 2012 study, “The Effect of Exercise on Earnings,” found that those who exercise regularly—at least three hours per week—earn as much as 10% more than their more sedentary peers.

What gives?

According to Kosteas, regular exercise can help improve your focus, mental function and energy levels. “And all of these translate to higher productivity,” he explains.

In other words, that morning fitness class can give a boost to your mental stamina, helping you tackle difficult tasks at the office—and that productivity can lead to payoffs in your paycheck.

“People with longer-term focus invest more in themselves—both financially and in terms of their health.”

Hit the Gym … to Hit Your Financial Goals?

But the sweat and salary connection isn’t the only way that fitness and finances are linked, Kosteas says.

The professor is currently researching the role exercise plays in delayed gratification—or the ability to keep slogging away at goals that don’t show immediate results.

After all, people who sock away regularly into a 401(k) won’t enjoy those savings until decades later—just as those who make physical activity a part of their daily routines won’t flaunt toned abs right away.

So it makes sense that Kosteas is now finding that people who commit to higher levels of physical activity also tend to save at one level greater than the standard deviation rate.

“This research is showing another positive result of being able to delay gratification,” Kosteas explains. “People with longer-term focus invest more in themselves—both financially and in terms of their health.”

The bottom line? People who exercise regularly not only score higher salaries—they also develop better discipline when it comes to setting aside that hard-earned cash for the future.

To read more about Kosteas’ groundbreaking work, check out his academic page.

RELATED: Checklist: I Want to Set Financial Goals for Myself

LearnVest Planning Services is a registered investment adviser and subsidiary of LearnVest, Inc., that provides financial plans for its clients. Information shown is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended as investment, legal or tax planning advice. Please consult a financial adviser, attorney or tax specialist for advice specific to your financial situation. Unless specifically identified as such, the individuals interviewed or quoted in this piece are neither clients, employees nor affiliates of LearnVest Planning Services, and the views expressed are their own. LearnVest Planning Services and any third parties listed, linked to or otherwise appearing in this message are separate and unaffiliated and are not responsible for each other’s products, services or policies.

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