We all know how important it is for young minds and bodies to be active. Recent studies have shown that children who are given play time and are encouraged to be active are more successful in their academic worlds.
In a recent study by a VU University in the Netherlands, senior researcher, Amika Singh, has revealed new information about the importance of physical activity, specifically in young children. Singhs research, which was published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, explains that regular exercise and physical activity in young bodies can help stimulate stronger academic results.
Singh and her associates studied fourteen different cases and found “higher GPA’s and better standardized testing scores,” were a commonality for those individuals with more active lifestyles. The cases studied were of a variety of young people who were observed by teachers and parents, who had an accurate record of how much physical exercise each child received. Singhs team was able to report, “…the more physical activity the children had, the higher their scores in school, particularly in the basic subjects of math, English and reading,” three subjects that are crucial to standardized testing.
Physical activity in young people will not only help them academically, but will prevent them from being ill as well. The Center of Disease Control stressed the important link between physical wellbeing and time spent engaging in physical activity for young people, especially students.
If the studies of physical activity and academic advancement are linked so closely, it will be a big boost for school gym programs, which in the past have been suggested to be part of the reason that testing scores were as low as they have been. Singhs research would suggest a completely different approach to this idea. Singh reports that, “…academic performance may just be the short term benefit of exercise; there are a whole range of social and behavioral benefits that go beyond grades as well.”
While Singh is pleased with her research, she hopes to continue to study the physical activities and behaviors of young children and how their level of activity positively or negatively affects their academic and developmental lives. Singh has explained that her fourteen cases were all objective studies, and that there is still a scale of possible bias being used by some of the subjects, who speculated and estimated just how much physical activity the individual children received, which may have affected some of her findings.
Singh plans to continue her research and hopes to find more solid examples of how academics and physical activity work symbiotically. The fact remains that children who engage in even segments of time of physical activity are better off in classrooms and achieve better academic success, not simply a single one hour long break.
Author Byll Monahan, 24, is a graduate from Cabrini College in Radnor, PA. He hopes his readers will go out for more walks in the New Year and continue to explore healthy living options.