Trending News

Exercise added to schoolwork makes children learn faster


A new study suggests that children learn better if exercise is a part of their math and spelling lessons, CBS reports.

The Dutch researchers, who conducted the study, found that second- and third-graders who exercised as part of their math and spelling tests performed better, as compared with their peers who learned their lessons the old-fashioned way.

Sara Benjamin Neelon, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in Baltimore, said that incorporating exercise into traditional lessons could help kids learn, while also helping them stay healthy.

"The take-home message is that physically active lessons may be a novel way to increase physical activity and improve academic performance at the same time," said Benjamin Neelon, who cowrote an editorial published with the study.

However, Benjamin said that the study was done in the Netherlands and it was not clear that the results would extend to the diverse school systems in the United States.

For the study, researchers recruited 24 classes at 12 elementary schools in the northern Netherlands. Teachers in half of the classes taught students with traditional lessons, while the rest incorporated exercise into some math, spelling and reading lessons.

After two years, kids who exercised as part of the curriculum scored higher on standard math and spelling tests, lead researcher Mullender-Wijnsma, of the University Medical Center Groningen, in the Netherlands said.

There was no benefit, however, when it came to reading scores.

The study findings were published Feb. 24 in the journal Pediatrics.

According to Mullender-Wijnsma, one possibility that the children learn faster with exercise is that "information obtained by the body" may help children with mental tasks.

"We know young children use both sensory and motor activity to learn," she noted.

Exercise also boosts blood flow in the brain, Mullender-Wijnsma said.

On the other hand, according to Benjamin Neelon,

"It might be the novelty," she said.

"The children are learning in a new way. They're intrigued."

© 2024 University Herald, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Join the Discussion
Real Time Analytics