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Recess Makes Good Grades

January 5, 2012

(Ivanhoe Newswire) — Skipping recess may be detrimental to your grades. Often times, when pressure arises to improve test scores many conclude that more time for instructional classroom subjects should be allocated and less time for physical activity, but that may not necessary be the best step to take. A systemic review of previous studies suggests that there may be a positive relationship between physical activity and the academic performance of children.

Amika Singh, Ph.D., of the Vrije Universiteit University Medical Center, EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and her colleagues, reviewed evidence between the relationship of physical activity and academic performance. The authors identified 10 observational and four interventional studies for review. Twelve studies were conducted in the United States and the other two in Canada and South Africa. Sample sizes ranged from 53 to about 12,000 participants between 6 and 18 years of age. During this study, strong evidence of a significant positive relationship between physical activity and academic performance was found. The findings of one high-quality intervention study and one high-quality observational study suggest that being more physically active is positively related to improve academic performance in children.

However, Singh and her colleagues do admit that “relativity few studies of high methodological quality have explored the relationship between physical activity and academic performance. The authors concluded that, “more high-quality studies are needed on the dose-response relationship between physical activity and academic performance and on the explanatory mechanisms, using reliable and valid measurement instruments to assess the relationship more accurately.”

SOURCE: JAMA, January 2012.




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