Boosting students' levels of physical education improves their grades, a new, small study says.
Swedish researchers followed more than 200 schoolchildren, starting from first through third grade, for nine years. Some children were assigned to an intervention group that received physical education five days a week, plus extra training in motor-physical skills such as balance and coordination. The other children were assigned to a control group that received usual levels of physical education.
What the study revealed
The study showed that 96% of students in the intervention group achieved grades that made them eligible to advance to upper-secondary school, compared with 89% of students in the control group.
This difference was especially evident among boys (96% in the intervention group and 83% in the control group). The boys in the intervention group had significantly higher grades in Swedish, English, maths, physical education and health than those in the control group.
The study also found that in ninth grade, 93% of students in the intervention group had good physical motor skills, compared with 53% of student in the control group.
"Physical education has been pared down from three lessons a week to one or two," study author Ingegerd, Ericsson of Malmo University, said in a news release. "We scientifically confirm here that daily time-tabled physical education and adapted motor skills training not only improves motor skills but also school achievement."
Bring back school sport for better health
The Nemours Foundation has more about kids and exercise.
(Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.)