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Few studies have been made to determine the amount and nature of physical exertion which is optimal for those in sedentary occupations involving primarily concentrated and prolonged activities of the higher mental centers. Observation leads to the conclusion that most persons engaged in intellectual occupations take too little physical exercise for maximum health: most medical students, for example, are inclined to indulge little or not at all in physical exercise. Those engaged in intellectual endeavors report that strenuous exertion (usually when they are not used to it) results in an appreciable decrease in ability to make constructive intellectual efforts during the immediately subsequent hours or even days. Although such observations cannot be used as scientific evidence, the problem of balancing physical conditioning with maximum intellectual output is particularly pressing today, when the curriculums of schools devoted to advanced education are being modified to include conditioning for military service.
INTELLECTUAL WORKERS AND PHYSICAL EXERCISE. JAMA. 1943;121(7):516–517. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840070044014
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