MONDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- Exercising while learning
might improve kids' test scores, a new study finds.
The researchers looked at students in grades 1 through 6 at an
academically low-scoring school in Charleston, S.C., who took part
in a program that incorporated physical activity and classroom
lessons for 40 minutes a day, five days a week. Before the study,
the students had 40 minutes of physical education classes a
As part of the program, students in grades 1 and 2 learned
movement skills while basic academic skills were reinforced. For
example, they hopped through ladders while naming colors on each
Students in grades 3 to 6 used exercise equipment with TV
monitors. For example, a monitor on a treadmill would feature
geography lessons while a student "ran" through the scene, the
study authors explained.
The researchers compared results from standardized tests taken
by the students before and after the program, and found that the
percentage of students who reached their goal on the state tests
increased from 55 percent to 68.5 percent.
The findings show that carefully designed physical education
programs can enhance students' academic achievement. The results
add to growing evidence that exercise is good for the mind as well
as the body, said the researchers, from the Medical University of
South Carolina Children's Hospital.
The study was slated for presentation May 1 at the annual
meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in Denver. Experts note
that research presented at meetings isn't subjected to the same
type of scrutiny given to research published in peer-reviewed
The Nemours Foundation has more about
kids and exercise.