Excerpt from: Science Daily (click for full article)
This research has been carried out by scientists from the University of Granada.
New scientific evidence seems to confirm the famous Roman saying "Mens sana in corpore sano." Researchers from the University of Granada have demonstrated that people who normally practice sport have a better cognitive performance than those with bad physical health. More specifically, the results of this research indicate that the former have a better sustained attention span (they react more rapidly to an external stimulus introduced randomly while carrying out a monotonous task). Their autonomic nervous system also appears to work better when dealing with cognitive loads over a longer time period.
In an article published in the latest edition of the journal PLoS One scientists compared the cognitive performance in specific tasks such as sustained attention, time-oriented attention (generating expectations of when an event will occur) and time perception.