Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Moderate to vigorous exercise boosts teens' academic performance

Date:
October 21, 2013
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Regular moderate to vigorous exercise improves teens' academic performance, and particularly seems to help girls do better in science, indicates research.

Regular moderate to vigorous exercise improves teens' academic performance, and particularly seems to help girls do better in science, indicates research published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The improvements were sustained over the long term, with the findings pointing to a dose-response effect -- the more intensive exercise was taken, the greater the impact on test results.

If confirmed by further research, this could have implications for public health and education policy, say the authors.

They base their findings on a representative sample of almost 5000 children who were all part of the Children of the 90s study, also known as the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). This is tracking the long term health of around 14,000 children born in the UK between 1991 and 1992 in the South West of England.

The duration and intensity of the children's daily physical activity levels were measured for periods of between three and seven days, when they were aged 11, using a device called an accelerometer, worn on an elasticated belt.

The accelerometer showed that the average daily number of minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise the 11 year olds clocked up was 29 for boys and 18 for girls -- significantly less than the recommended 60 minutes.

The children's academic performance in English, maths, and science was then formally assessed at the ages of 11 (compulsory national test key stage 1), 13 (compulsory national test, key stage 2), and 15/16 (General Certificate of Secondary Education; GCSE; key stage 4).

Factors likely to influence academic attainment, such as birthweight; mother's age at delivery; oily fish intake and smoking during the pregnancy; whether the child had reached puberty; current weight; and socioeconomic factors were fully adjusted for.

The analysis showed that at the age of 11, better academic performance across all three subjects was linked to the amount of moderate to vigorous physical activity undertaken. Physical activity benefited girls' performance in science, in particular.

Academic performance at the age of 13 was similarly linked to how much moderate to vigorous exercise pupils had had at the age of 11.

By the age of 15/16 GCSE exam results also showed a link to exercise, with an increase in performance for every additional 17 minutes/day (boys) and 12 minutes/day (girls) spent doing more intensive exercise at the age of 11.

Once again, girls' science results seemed to benefit the most. "This is an important finding, especially in light of the current UK and European Commission policy aimed at increasing the number of females in science subjects," comment the authors.

They add that this could, of course, be a chance finding, but suggest that the results may also reflect gender differences in the impact of physical activity on the brain.

Their findings prompt the authors to speculate on what might happen to academic performance if children increased the amount of moderate to vigorous physical activity they did to the recommended 60 minutes.

"If moderate to vigorous physical activity does influence academic attainment this has implications for public health and education policy by providing schools and parents with a potentially important stake in meaningful and sustained increases in physical activity," they conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J N Booth, S D Leary, C Joinson, R Ness, P D Tomporowski, J M Boyle, J J Reilly. Associations between objectively measured physical activity and academic attainment in adolescents from a UK cohort. British Journal of Sports Medicine., October 2013

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Moderate to vigorous exercise boosts teens' academic performance." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131021211712.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2013, October 21). Moderate to vigorous exercise boosts teens' academic performance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131021211712.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Moderate to vigorous exercise boosts teens' academic performance." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131021211712.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hundreds in Virginia Turn out for a Free Clinic to Manage Health

Hundreds in Virginia Turn out for a Free Clinic to Manage Health

AFP (July 24, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th - prompting hundreds in Virginia to turn out for a free clinic run by “Remote Area Medical”. Duration 02:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins