Any kind of physical activity seems to boost kids’ school performance, according to a recently published international analysis. Researchers reviewed 14 studies that compared kids’ physical activity with their grades or test scores.
Ten of the studies included in the analysis were “observational” – researchers asked parents, teachers and the kids themselves how active they were and then tracked the youngsters’ academic performance for months or years.
The other four studies compared the test scores of groups of kids who attended extra physical education classes or other types of exercise against the test results of those who didn’t get any additional exercise. Here, again, the kids who performed the most exercise scored higher on tests.
The investigators concluded that kids may be better behaved and better able to concentrate on schoolwork when they get enough exercise. Another theory: exercise improves blood flow to the brain and improves mood.