The article in the Times that brought it to my attention quoted the Opinion Matter survey and suggested that a reason for this might be that the skils that we gain from taking part in sport are similar to those soft skills that employers are seeking. This is certinaly true. Communication, teamwork and confidence, that are used and can be enhanced through sport, are harder to train on the job than technical abilities. Consequently, a candidate in interview who can display these and relate stories of their competence is more likely to appeal. These candidates potentially get better remunerated jobs.
I would suggest though that there are other benefits that accrue; keeping physically active stimulats the brain and helps us think better. This must have an impact on how we work, which will eventually have an effect on how much we earn.
On top of this, having an interest outside work that helps us to switch off from the pressure and allows us to de-stress in productive ways, whilst giving us something interesting to chat about in those down-time moments in the office make us a more appealing colleague. This can't hurt our prospects either.
I'm not suggesting that we must all go out and do sport. But the fact that there are work benefits to be found in our leisure activities is worth considering. What are you currently doing 'for fun' and how does it impact on your job and how well you do it? How can you market those benefits to your advantage? If you want to chat through some ideas then feel free to get in touch.