Exercise increases academic performance in children

Throughout the human history, physical activity has been the mainstay for the survival of mankind. But with the emergence of new technologies, there is sudden change in the lifestyle leading human to embrace a sedentary life style and forget the principal component of evolution. Paradoxically, with the increase in research in this area, the relevance of physical activity has become even important today irrespective of the age and moreover for the children as it impacts their academic life.

If the result of research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine is to be believed, exercise helps in improving the academic performance of children, specifically the girls.The more intensive the exercise, the greater was the influence on the test results.

The study test the relationship between physical activity and academic performance in adolescents. Physical activity of 4755 children were analyzed objectively by accelerometer when there were 11 years. Then the academic performance of these children was measured at 11 and was followed up at 13 years and 16 years.

Results showed an increase in performance in English in both sexed and increase in the performance of science in female only. Going by the results, female students benefit more from exercise than their male peers.

In brief, this study showed a long term positive impact of physical activity in the academic performance of children.

There are also a lot of other researches that are focused on exercise and academic performance. Barring a few, most of these researches have shown a positive influence of physical activity in the academic performance of children.
The increase in academic performance as a result of physical activity is also well supported by brain research done in animals. Increase in synaptic plasticity proteins is well documented in animal brain following physical activity or exercise. Increase in these synaptic plasticity proteins specifically in hippocampus is crucial for learning and memory.

To sum up, physical activity should be encouraged in schools and care should be taken that children are familiar not only with modern day gadgets, but also with the importance of physical activity that was the prime driver of human evolution.

Booth JN,Leary SD, Joinson C, et al.Br J Sports Med 2014;48:265–270

Picture source: http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/graphics/4032/activities_kids.gif

Note: Some of the views expressed here are not related to the reference article.


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