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Exercising while Learning Boost Test Scores

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Exerise and Learning Study

The researchers looked at students in grades 1 through 6 at an academically low-scoring school in Charleston, S.C., who took part in a program that incorporated physical activity and classroom lessons for 40 minutes a day, five days a week.

Before the study, the students had 40 minutes of physical education classes a week.

As part of the program, students in grades 1 and 2 learned movement skills while basic academic skills were reinforced. For example, they hopped through ladders while naming colors on each rung.

Students in grades 3 to 6 used exercise equipment with TV monitors. For example, a monitor on a treadmill would feature geography lessons while a student "ran" through the scene.

The researchers compared results from standardized tests taken by the students before and after the program, and found that the percentage of students who reached their goal on the state tests increased from 55% to 68.5%.

The findings show that carefully designed physical education exercise programs can enhance students' academic achievement. The results add to growing evidence that exercise is good for the mind as well as the body.

SOURCE: American Academy of Pediatrics, news release, May 1, 2011

Last modified on Sunday, 10 July 2011 19:09
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