Good grades do make you teachers' favorite whereas parents shower excessive love if you are their 'A' grader child. And now a new research has revealed that they also make students healthier adults.
Studies have long shown that education is linked to better health showed that higher academic performance in high school plays a critical role in better health throughout life.
Pamela Herd, an associate professor of public affairs and sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, conducted the research along with colleagues.
"How well you do in school matters. We already know it matters for things like your work and your earnings, but this proves it also matters for your health," said Herd.
For those who are still in school, there's every reason to believe the link between academic performance and health exists for younger people, too, Herd said.
The conclusion relies on data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, a groundbreaking survey that has involved more than 10,000 graduates of Wisconsin's high school class of 1957 during the last 53 years.
UW-Madison researchers went back to the class members six times since they graduated, asking questions about work, life, family and now, as the class ages, health.
The report on academic performance and health looked at links between educational attainment, high school academic performance, personality and psychological characteristics, and late-life health among high school graduates.
The findings showed that the higher a study participant's high school rank was, the lower the probability that participant experienced worsening health between 1992 and 2003, when the class members neared retirement age.
Researchers are still working to learn more about why academic performance leads to better health outcomes.
Herd noted that she thought that conscientiousness would help explain the finding. Those who are more conscientious might both do better in school and also take better care of their health.
The study is published in the December issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.