We all know that exercise is important for kids to maintain their physical health and prevent nasty health conditions like obesity and type 2 diabetes. BUT did you know that regular exercise for little guys and girls can also improve their brain function, academic achievement and psychosocial skills!
Yes! It’s true! A review of the last 30 years of research demonstrates that aerobic physical activity can indeed boost brain function and development which has been shown to improve academic achievement (Lees and Hopkins, 2013). The human brain continues to grow until around the age of 20-30 where its development slows to an eventual halt. Young childhood is a crucial time for brain development as this is the foundation of where psychosocial skills are made. In children, a positive relationship between aerobic fitness and brain function and memory has been found (Erickson, KI et al 2010) which translates to the more physically active and fit a child is, the more brain power and memory function they develop!
It’s difficult to say to what degree aerobic fitness improves kid’s academic performance due to lots of people measuring this in different ways and other factors. It’s also hard to say what the best exercise characteristics (time, type, intensity, etc) are to achieve this because of the same reason! Regardless, research which has demonstrated these improvements is aligned with the Australian Guidelines of Exercise for Children.
GrowFit has a role in this in facilitating exercise into kid’s daily lives to help achieve these recommendations and also use team based activity to develop all important social skills and fine and gross motor control through activity.
- Lees, C., & Hopkins, J. (2013). Effect of aerobic exercise on cognition, academic achievement, and psychosocial function in children: A systematic review of randomized control trials.Preventing Chronic Disease, 10, E174.
- Chaddock, L., Erickson, K. I., Prakash, R. S., Kim, J. S., Voss, M. W., VanPatter, M., . . . Kramer, A. F. (2010). A neuroimaging investigation of the association between aerobic fitness, hippocampal volume, and memory performance in preadolescent children.Brain Research, 1358, 172-183. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2010.08.049