Kids who are active do better in school, reports TIME Magazine. Researchers in the Netherlands reviewed 14 studies, and the overwhelming conclusion was that the more physical activity a child has, the better he or she will do, in terms of both standardized tests and grade point average. The higher scores were particularly reflected in math, English, and reading.
The study review’s author, Amika Singh, said that being active may increase blood flow to the brain, providing more oxygen to cells involved in learning and attention.
What does this mean for schools?
The Centers for Disease Control say that students should have one hour of physical exercise a day to maintain health, which only 18 percent of high school students are getting. The studies reviewed show that the one hour exercise doesn’t have to be all in one chunk to get the academic boost, though. Shorter periods of exercise that break up the school day can be just as effective.
From a mom’s perspective, here are the important take-home messages:
- Punishing poorly behaved or poorly performing students by making them “sit out” recess probably isn’t a good idea.
- Since rampant childhood obesity isn’t motivating schools to keep phys. ed. on the roster, maybe the improved standardized test scores will.
- Like most stereotypes, the “dumb jock” one is a bust.
- Everything your mother told you about fresh air and exercise was right.
- When I tell my kids to go out and play in the back yard, I’m not just hoping for a moment of sanity, I’m supporting their education. Yay me.
(Photo Credit: Photostock)