New Study Shows That Physical Health And Fitness Play A Key Role In Professional Success

Research conducted at the Carnegie Institute of Technology has shown that only fifteen per cent of professional success is due to technical knowledge, with the other eighty-five per cent being due to other factors, called EQ (Emotional Intelligence), MQ (Moral Intelligence), and BQ (Body Intelligence.)

BQ or Body Intelligence is defined thus:

“Body intelligence[…] reflects what you know about your body, how you feel about it, and take care of it. Your body is constantly telling you things; are you listening to the signals or ignoring them? Are you eating energy-giving or energy-draining foods on a daily basis? Are you getting enough rest? Do you exercise and take care of your body? It may seem like these matters are unrelated to business performance, but your body intelligence absolutely affects your work because it largely determines your feelings, thoughts, self-confidence, state of mind, and energy level.”

Business consultant Keld Jenson gives the following advice in his report on the study for

“At least once a day, listen to the messages your body is sending you about your health. Actively monitor these signals instead of going on autopilot. Good nutrition, regular exercise, and adequate rest are all key aspects of having a high BQ. Monitoring your weight, practicing moderation with alcohol, and making sure you have down time can dramatically benefit the functioning of your brain and the way you perform at work.”

We all knew this deep down, didn’t we? It seems obvious that we perform better when we’re healthy, fit, energetic, alert and happy with ourselves. Making the time to create this kind of health can seem selfish or counter-productive in a professional context when you work in a position or industry which is not directly health- or fitness-related. After all, regular exercise can mean needing to leave the office on time or take a longer lunch-break. Eating healthy food means that you need to be organised in planning and preparing your meals. Being well-rested means making time to get enough sleep and rest.

Hopefully the findings of the Carnegie Institute of Technology will help you to remember that taking care of your health, making time for exercise and being organised in planning and preparing nourishing food is not an indulgence but an investment in both your well-being and your professional performance.

Take a moment to read the original article on and also an interesting blog post which discusses the findings of this and other research in the context of professional development.


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