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Do Fit Kids Earn Better Grades?

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A family riding bikesDo you believe that children who are more physically active make higher grades than others? If you said yes, then you are correct! A new study has found that fitter children are more likely to earn higher scores on standardized tests in reading and math. Trent Petrie, director of the Center for Sport Psychology at the University of North Texas led a study that showed children who were more physically fit received higher scores than the others. Here are the demographics of the study:

  • 1,200 middle school students from 5 schools
  • 561 boy and 650 girls
  • 57% white, 32% Mexican American, 9% African American, 2% Asian

The study also factored in age, family income, grade level, and self esteem. During the children’s physical education class they conducted their heart and lung health, and also their BMI. After seeing the results, Petrie concluded that children with higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness in turn had better scores on math and reading tests.

Petrie states that although we can’t say 100% that physical fitness leads to better academic performance, we can say that there is a strong correlation between physical fitness and academic performance. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children should be physically active for 60 minutes a day. This may be difficult if you’re a busy parent and have no time to watch your children play outside, so you may need to plan ahead.

Who wants their kids to be academically attentive, alert, and healthy? We all do!

Here are some ways to keep your kids active:

  • Playing outside
  • Limit computer and TV time
  • Give them chores such as helping clean up
  • Sign them up for sports
  • Set up play dates with neighbors
  • Keep activities fun
  • Go on family walks
  • Roller skating or biking
  • Video games such as Wii sports or Dance Dance Revolution
  • Set up treasure hunts
  • Play games in the swimming pool
  • Washing the car

 

Encourage your kids with fun activities to keep them motivated,physically active, and attentive in the classroom! 

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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