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Physically Fit Kids Do Better in School

January 29, 2009

 A new study in the Journal of School Health found that physically fit kids scored better on standardized math and English tests than their less fit peers.

Researchers examined the relationship between physical fitness and academic achievement in a racially and economically diverse urban public school district of children enrolled in grades 4 ““ 8 during the 2004 ““ 2005 academic year.

Results of their study show that there is a significant relationship between students’ academic achievement and physical fitness. The odds of passing both standardized math and English tests increased as the number of fitness tests passed increased, even when controlling for gender, race/ethnicity, and socio-economic status.

School time and resources are often diverted from Physical Education and opportunities for physical activity such as recess. However, this study shows that students who do well on fitness tests also do well on math and English standardized tests.

“For families and schools, these results suggest investments of time and resources in physical activity and fitness training may not detract from academic achievement in core subjects, and, may even be beneficial,” the authors conclude.

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