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Fit Kids Get Better Grades: Study

Monday, 10 December 2012 11:31 AM

Parents who want to help their kids boost their grades might want to encourage them to hit the gym as well as the books. That’s the latest word from Michigan State University researchers who found the fittest middle school do better on standardized tests and take home better report cards than their out-of-shape classmates.
The study, published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, is the first to tie children's fitness to both improved scores on objective tests and better grades, which rely on subjective teacher assessments. The study also is among the first to examine how academic performance relates to all aspects of physical fitness — including body fat, muscular strength, flexibility and endurance — according to lead researcher Dawn Coe.
"We looked at the full range of what's called health-related fitness," said Coe, who conducted the research as a doctoral student in MSU's kinesiology department and is now an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. "Kids aren't really fit if they're doing well in just one of those categories."
For the study, Coe and colleagues tracked 312 students in sixth through eighth grade at a West Michigan school. They gauged the kids' fitness levels through a series of exercises and compared them to the students' letter grades in four core classes and their performance on a standardized test.
The results showed the fittest children got the highest test scores and the best grades, suggesting schools that cut physical education may actually undermine student learning
"Look, your fitter kids are the ones who will do better on tests, so that would argue against cutting physical activity from the school day," said co-researcher James Pivarnik. "That's the exciting thing, is if we can get people to listen and have some impact on public policy."

© HealthDay

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Parents who want to help their kids boost their grades might want to push them to hit the gym as well as the books.
Monday, 10 December 2012 11:31 AM
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