Improving physical education for children in school could improve their academic skills, according to a new study.
Improving the quality of physical education classes can lead to a small increase in a student’s cognition, especially among elementary school students, the study found.
It also helped increase academic performance – especially in math.
The new study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, pooled data from previous studies to assess the impact of changes in physical education in students on their academic performance and cognitive skills.
A team of international researchers sifted through research databases for studies aimed at optimizing sport in five- to 18-year-olds in terms of quantity, quality, or a combination of both.
In total, they evaluated data from 19 studies from around the world with almost 9,000 children.
They found that improving the quality of physical education increased intelligence, especially in elementary school students. They also increased academic skills, mostly in math.
This boost was achieved through cognitively challenging activities such as dance or martial arts.
They have also been improved through the involvement of a sports specialist and / or the inclusion of high intensity fitness activities or sports and team games.
However, they found that increasing physical education lessons had a negligible impact on academic performance.
The authors concluded: “Improving the quality of physical education can lead to small increases in student cognition, mainly in primary education, and academic performance, particularly math skills.
“Our results underline the importance of having access to high quality sports and youth welfare, as recommended by Unesco.
Accordingly, schools should place more emphasis on sport, not only to improve the health of students, but also to improve their cognition and academic performance. “
electricity Orientation aid from the Department for Education suggests that children in both elementary and secondary school should receive at least 90 minutes of exercise per week.