Recess time and gym have been eliminated from many school programs to make more time for academics, but physical activity can improve thinking and reasoning skills in children.
There is growing evidence that physical activity enhances brain function and improves thinking and reasoning skills for children -- and adults. Some studies have also suggested that children perform better in school when they have planned periods of physical activity. This idea stands in contrast to how the pressure to provide more time for academics has eroded opportunities for physical exercise during the school day.
At a time when gym and recess time have been eliminated from many school programs and after-school sports and playtime have given way to academic support enrichment, more evidence has been needed to shape school policy.
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Past studies have suggested that as physical activity increases school performance and performance on the job improve; but some studies have been inconclusive. With this in mind, a team of researchers recently reviewed 14 studies, 12 from the United States, one from Canada, and one from South Africa. All looked at the relationship between school performance and physical activity.