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Physical activity may improve academic achievement in students
TUESDAY, JULY 05, 2011 10:50 AM

Many academic leaders advocate for physical education in schools in order to prevent child obesity. However, a new study by researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina Children's Hospital, shows that exercise can also promote learning in students.

In order to come to this conclusion, the researchers asked first- through sixth-graders who had low grades in school to spend 200 minutes per week engaging in physical activity. Previously, these children spent only 40 minutes per week in physical education classes.

The students who were in the first and second grades used an Action Based Learning lab, which required them to perform academic activities while exercising. This involved tasks such as tracing shapes while sitting on scooters.

Older children used an All Minds Exercise room as part of the program. These facilities used TV screens to promote academics. For example, children were shown geography scenes on the monitors as they ran on treadmills.

After participating in these programs, about 68.5 percent of students met their goals on state standardized tests, compared to 55 percent before engaging in physical activities.

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