The Link Between Sports and Performance in School
By Kids In Sports
Posted December 9, 2017
In general, it has been scientifically demonstrated that physical exercise is tightly correlated with mental acuity. A 2010 article in the Washington Post cited John J. Ratey, a Harvard University psychiatrist who synthesized volumes of research for his intriguing 2008 book Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. In his book, Ratey describes taking MRI scans of the brains of sedentary people who have suddenly improved their fitness – and increased volume in the hippocampus and frontal and temporal lobes, the regions of the brain associated with cognitive functioning.
A recent article of the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) cited a university study carried out on about 5,000 children and adolescents, which found links between exercise and exam success in English, mathematics and science and discovered an increase in performance for every extra 17 minutes boys exercised, and 12 minutes for girls. The study was carried out by the universities of Strathclyde and Dundee, and found physical activity particularly beneficial to girls’ performance at science; the authors said this could be a chance finding or reflect gender differences in the impact of physical activity on the brain. Overall, though, children who carried out regular exercise, not only did better academically at 11 but also at 13 and in their exams at 16, the study suggested. Dr Josie Booth of Dundee University in the UK, one of the leaders of the British study, said physical activity is more than just important for your physical health. There are other benefits and that is something that should be especially important to parents, policy-makers and people involved in education.