Test Scores Go Up When Learning Is Combined With Fitness

Filed under: In The News, Diet & Fitness, Health

Learning Combined with Fitness

Exercising every school day for 40 minutes in a regimen that includes flexing a few mental muscles increased test scores in elementary school students. Credit: Getty Images

In one class, you run mathematical equations. In the next, you run laps. One is for thinking. The other is for moving.

But what if you could combine thinking and learning?

With gym classes getting cut nationwide, the Los Angeles Times reports some schools are starting to ask that question. And, research suggests, creating more of a seamless web between thinking and moving might not be a bad idea.

Exercising every school day for 40 minutes in a regimen that includes flexing a few mental muscles increased test scores in elementary school students, according to research presented recently at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in Denver.

The research involved children from an elementary school in South Carolina, where kids hopped through ladders while naming colors found on each run. They also climbed rock walls labeled with numbers that challenged their math schools.

As a result, the Times reports, their fall test scores went from 55 percent of them meeting state education goals to 68.6 percent.

"These data indicate that when carefully designed physical education programs are put into place, children's academic achievement does not suffer," lead researcher Kathryn King, a pediatric resident at the Medical University of South Carolina Children's Hospital, tells the Times.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.