Experts from Birmingham, Chester, London and Exeter universities all agreed, with 21 separate findings about the power of physical activity for children. Exercise helps children do better at school. Allowing kids time away from the classroom to run around boosts their brain power, according to the team of international researchers. A consensus statement signed by 24 researchers from eight countries, including the UK, says exercise is vital to children’s physical and mental health and improves academic results.
Published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the statement says “time taken away from academic lessons in favour of physical activity has been shown to not come at the cost of scholastic performance”. It adds that “physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness are beneficial to brain structure, brain function and cognition” and “physical activity before, during and after school promotes scholastic performance in children and youth”.
Just a single session of moderate exercise has been shown to have an “acute benefit” on brain function, cognition and academic performance in children, while there are also many benefits in terms of mental health the statement added.Self-esteem as well as relationships with other children, parents and teachers are enhanced by the benefits of exercise, which also promotes social inclusion. More