Fitness helps performance at school

A positive relationship may exist between physical activity and improved academic performance for children. This is the suggestion of new research from the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, which considered a number of different studies on the subject.

Amika Singh of the Vrije Universiteit Medical Center's EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research in Amsterdam - which is one of five research faculties at the institute - and colleagues looked into the matter because of worries that time set aside for exercise may be restricted because of fears regarding the mounting pressure placed on test scores.

The authors noted they used the best-evidence synthesis, which indicated "strong evidence of a significant positive relationship" between the two, adding the findings of a "high-quality intervention study and one high-quality observational study suggest that being more physically active is positively related to improved academic performance in children".

They observed background information on the topic suggests a link between increased blood and oxygen flow to the brain and improved cognition.

Professor Craig Mahoney, Chartered Psychologist, commented: "Research has consistently shown that physical activity has a positive impact on health and wellbeing. 

"Anecdotal evidence has consistently noted that children appear to concentrate better and work more effectively following bouts of physical activity. 

"This research, by Amika Singh of the Vrije Universiteit Medical Center's EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research in Amsterdam, is a timely addition to the body of evidence which clearly shows that physical activity not only impacts in a positive manner on health but also on academic performance, strengthening the case for compulsory physical education to feature more prominently in the curricula of all young people."
 

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