Everyone knows that physical activity is good for kids, actually its good for everyone. However, partly because of the increasing pressure to include more academic work in the classroom, most kids aren’t getting the recommended levels of physical activity at school. Now, there’s growing evidence that physical activity and academic achievement go hand in hand. A growing body of research is finding that there’s a connection between school-based physical activity and academic performance. To better understand these connections, the CDC recently published a review of published studies to find out what’s up.
The report examined 50 studies from 43 published articles and found 251 associations between physical activity and improved academic performance. They looked at academic achievement, academic behavior, cognitive skills and attitudes. The report found what is intuitively obvious, that physical activity during the school day improves cognitive skills and attitudes and enhanced concentration and attention as well as improved classroom behavior.
Maybe it’s time to think about PE as a subject that’s not just important for physical wellness, but as a tool to improve academic performance.