Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland found that for boys, during the first 3 years of school, reading and arithmetic skills were best in those who had high levels of physical activity. Activities included walking or cycling to school and being active during recess.
The risks of sedentary behavior are increasingly well documented; a sedentary lifestyle during childhood has been found by earlier studies to increase the risk of chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease in adulthood.
In 2012, the Mayo Clinic reported that 50-70% of Americans spend 6 or more hours sitting a day, and 20-35% spend 4 or more hours a day watching television.
The authors say that levels of physical activity are decreasing, while sedentary behaviors such as watching TV are increasing among children in developed countries. Previous research has also suggested that lower levels of physical activity are associated with poorer academic achievement within children.”
- excerpt from Medical News Today
Although much of the data is dismaying, studies like this one shed a ray of hope on the fight against childhood obesity and reveal how important physical activity is to cognition. Under the weight of growing evidence, programming in many schools is starting to shift toward embracing interactive fitness as a way to engage students like never before.
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