Healthy Bodies = Healthy Minds

 Active Kids Do Better

Studies show that physical activity not only helps kids stay healthy and strong, but it can also lead to:   Higher test scores,  Improved attendance,  Better behavior in class,  Lower rates of childhood obesity, and A lifetime of healthy habits

How does physical activity affect academic achievement?

Here’s the latest research linking physical activity to academic achievement from the 2014 CDC Health and Academic Achievement Report:

  • Students who are physically active tend to have better grades, school attendance, cognitive performance (e.g., memory), and classroom behaviors (e.g., on-task behavior).
  • Higher physical activity and physical fitness levels are associated with improved cognitive performance (e.g., concentration, memory) among students.
  • More participation in physical education class has been associated with better grades, standardized test scores, and classroom behavior (e.g., on-task behavior) among students.
  • Increased time spent for physical education does not negatively affect students’ academic achievement.
  • Time spent in recess has been shown to positively affect students’ cognitive performance (e.g., attention, concentration) and classroom behaviors (e.g., not misbehaving).
  • Brief classroom physical activity breaks (i.e., 5-10 minutes) are associated with improved cognitive performance (e.g., attention, concentration), classroom behavior (e.g., on-task behavior), and educational outcomes (e.g., standardized test scores, reading literacy scores, math fluency scores) among students.
  • Participation in extracurricular physical activities such as interscholastic sports has been associated with higher grade point averages (GPAs), lower drop-out rates, and fewer disciplinary problems among students.

How much physical activity do youths need?

Children and adolescents should participate in 60 minutes(1 hour) or more of physical activity daily.

  • Aerobic activities:Most of the 60 or more minutes per day should be either moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity. Vigorous-intensity physical activity should be included at least 3 days per week.
  • Muscle-strengthening activities:Include muscle-strengthening physical activity on at least 3 days of the week, as part of the 60 or more minutes.
  • Bone-strengthening activities: Include bone-strengthening physical activity on at least 3 days of the week, as part of the 60 or more minutes.
  • Activities should be age-appropriate, enjoyable, and offer variety.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2008