When parents and educators lecture kids on their studies, they typically focus on reading, writing and arithmetic. But a new study suggests that they might want to add an invigorating item to that list: Exercise. A new study shows that teens who exercise do better at school in academic studies, reported Bloomberg on October 21.
And in a nation where physical education typically is on permanent sabbatical and childhood obesity continues to be a concern, the study from the United Kingdom sends a message about the importance of encouraging kids and teens to exercise.
The results showed:
- Children who exercised more at age 11 did better in school at math, science and English at age 13 as well as ages 15 through 16.
- For every additional 17 minutes of exercise, the children got higher scores in their teens.
As a result of the research, the study’s authors predicted that students who exercise 60 minutes daily could raise their grades from Cs to Bs in exams.
“Our study suggests that the effect of physical activity may be quite large,” said John Reilly, a professor of physical activity and public health science at the University of Strathclyde.
The research showed, however, that in general the children did not get enough exercise.
“The actual levels of daily physical activity at age 11 were quite low,” Reilly said. Boys got an average of 29 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day, compared with 18 minutes a day for girls.
Previous studies have focused on how diet impacts grades. NPR recently reported on a study showing that eating a better breakfast raises grades as well.
In addition, this new study confirms First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign emphasis on healthy diets and exercise for kids. She's currently on a mission to encourage kids and teens to drink more water rather than soda in addition to moving more. Read about her views on childhood obesity by clicking here.