Physical activity linked to better academic performance in boys

Physical activity linked to better academic performance in boys

  • With all the advancements in technology and the busy lifestyle that we all have, exercise is becoming an afterthought with adults and kids. According to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, “Only one in three children are physically active every day.” This combined with poor American dietary practices has lead to a doubling of childhood obesity in the past 30 years as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • This sedentary lifestyle epidemic causes many health problems due to obesity, which in turn can increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and several types of cancers.
  • A recent Finnish study shows that higher levels of physical activity are related to better performance in school during the first three years, especially in boys. The study, which was published by the journal PLOS One, was conducted in collaboration with the Physical Activity and Nutrition in Children (PANIC) Study conducted at the University of Eastern Finland and the First Steps Study at the University of Jyväskylä.
  • The study analyzed different types of physical activity and sedentary behavior assessed in the first grade to math and reading skills in grades 1-3 among 186 Finnish children. Higher levels of physical activity during breaks were linked to better reading skills, and participation in organized sports was linked to higher math test scores in 1st through 3rd grade.
  • Boys with higher levels of physical activity, and especially walking or biking to school, showed better reading skills than less active boys. Also, boys who participated in activities related to reading and writing in their free time had better reading skills than boys who spent less time doing those activities. They also found that boys with more computer and video game time had higher math test scores than boys with less computer and video game time.
  • In girls, there were only a few links between physical activity and academic achievement.
  • The findings of this study the potential of physical activity during breaks and organized sports in relation to academics.
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  • Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

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