advertisement
12 September 2013

Physical fitness boosts learning in children

Physical fitness can boost learning and memory in children, particularly when initial learning on a task is more challenging, according to research.

0

Physical fitness can boost learning and memory in children, particularly when initial learning on a task is more challenging, according to research published on 11 September in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Lauren Raine and colleagues from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Forty-eight children aged nine to ten were asked to memorise names and locations on a fictitious map, either only by studying the information or being tested on the material as they studied.

Half the children were in the top 30% of their age group on a test measuring aerobic fitness, while the other half scored in the lowest 30%. When asked to recollect the information studied, children who were fitter performed better than those who were not as fit.

The difference between the high-fitness and low-fitness groups was also stronger when the initial learning was performed by studying alone than when testing and study were interspersed. Previous studies have suggested that combining testing and study improves later recall in children, and is less challenging than studying alone.

Based on these results, the authors suggest that fitness levels may influence learning differently when the study method used is more challenging, and that higher levels of aerobic fitness can benefit learning and memory in school-age children. They conclude, "Future research should focus on the manner in which these factors impact the neural processes of children during learning."

In addition, the study suggests these findings may be important from an educational policy perspective. As the authors state, "Reducing or eliminating physical education in schools, as is often done in tight financial times, may not be the best way to ensure educational success among our young people."

 

EurekAlert

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X

More:

FitnessNews
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Wasting water? »

South Africa is facing a water crisis Water saving tips Water quality report shocks

SEE: How much water do you use per day?

With level 4 water restrictions in Cape Town, residents are urged to use a maximum of 100 litres per person per day. Here’s how quickly it adds up.

Life saving tip! »

SEE: 10 things to keep in your first aid kit 10 first aid myths

Here's why you need a first aid kit in the car

Emergency services are often spread thin, especially when storms and major disasters strike. When travelling on the road, having a well-stocked first aid kit could be a lifesaver.