Exercise in children improves cognitive and academic achievements: Study
The famous saying "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" has proven to be true. Physical inactivity has become an important health concern worldwide.
A population based study by Kenji Takehara, and team has revealed that lack of exercise affected cognitive and academic achievement in children and exercise program significantly improved children's academic achievement.
The findings of the study are published in Pediatrics journal.
The objective of the study was to examine the effects of an exercise intervention on children's academic achievement, cognitive function, physical fitness, and other health-related outcomes.
The study was a population-based cluster randomized controlled trial among 2301 fourth grade students from 10 of 11 public primary schools in 1 district of Ulaanbaatar between February and December 2018. The intervention group received a 3-minute high-intensity interval exercise program that included jumps, squats, and various steps implemented twice weekly over 10 weeks for 10 to 25 minutes per session. The control group received the usual physical education class. The primary outcome was academic achievement assessed by scores on the national examination. A linear mixed-effects model was applied. The difference between preintervention and post intervention was compared by least-squares means, estimated on the basis of the interaction of group, measurement time point, and school location. Only 1 statistician, responsible for the analysis, was blinded.
The results of the study were
• A total of 2301 students, 2101 (1069 intervention; 1032 control) were included in the analysis.
• Intervention group members in an urban area showed an 8.36-point improvement (95% confidence interval: 6.06 to 10.66) in academic scores when compared with the control group.
• Those in a mixed residential area showed a 9.55-point improvement (95% confidence interval: 6.58 to 12.51). No intervention-associated injuries were observed.
Takehara, and team stated that the exercise program significantly improved children's academic achievement and other cognitive and health outcomes.