Backing it up

Recently I stated that there are many studies that indicate that physical activity enhances academic learning and I was questioned by a few people. I really appreciate comments from people because it means that, at the least, they are reading Gymfinity’s blog posts. But I digress….  Physical education may be disappearing from some schools, but a study finds that kids who engage in sports or physical activity may do better academically.

In this study released last year in the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. There were research articles reviewed and critiqued for accuracy. To be honest, some studies were deemed un-credible in their link between activity and academic performance. One was so precise as to affirm that there is a correlation between physical activity and language and reading skill. There were 2 studies, deemed high quality, both showing a strong correlation between exercise and better school performance. If there was any downfall to the studies, the concern was that it was difficult to measure the amount and type of activity and thus might have only a partial picture of the true results. Thus it is difficult to conclusively say exactly how much exercise a person needs to see an actual increase in learning performance. The concern, to reiterate, is over measure trigger points not in actual effect. The effect is a given.

Most studies conclude that an increase in oxygen in the blood and thus oxygen being delivered to the brain can up the level of endorphins and so also have the benefit of providing a reduction in stress and enhancing mood. Nice, huh?  Need more?

Exercise improves Kids Academics: Live Science:  In math, American fourth graders came in at 11th place of the 36 countries….Regarding student fitness, the most recent figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that the percentage of overweight or obese 6- to 11-year-olds has tripled since 1980, with more than 125 million children at unhealthy levels.

Research Finds Vigorous Exercise Equals Better Academics– Science Daily:  Middle school students who perform more vigorous physical activity than their more sedentary counterparts tend to do better in school….

Exercise Increase Students Cognitive Function– Education Week:   Regular exercise helped previously sedentary, overweight children to perform better on goal-oriented tasks and improved their mathematics ability,

Physical Fitness and Academic Achievement: Journal of Exercise and Physiology: if there is evidence that physical education has a direct positive effect on important educational domains such as reading and mathematics, it could be argued that physical education is not extracurricular. Rather, it is a vital component in students’ academic success.

Physically Active Play and Cognition– Jacob Sattelmair and John J. Ratey   :  Evidence that exercise may also improve cognitive development and academic performance provides yet another reason to promote physical activity for students.

There ya go.


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