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How Physical Activity Will Help Children Perform Better In School

Updated: Aug 31, 2021

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We all want our children to perform at their personal best academically and in this world of constant screens and sedentary lifestyles, being on top of his physical game is a great way to ensure your child is topping his academic potential, too. One would assume that more studying and less time “playing” would help with academics, but the research suggests even if physical activity takes time away from academics, test scores go up. More time spent on physical activity is linked to no adverse effects on academic performance.

Physical activity is good for the mind According to the CDC, “Researchers reported that participating in physical activity was positively related to outcomes including academic achievement, academic behaviors, and indicators of cognitive skills and attitudes, such as concentration, memory, self-esteem, and verbal skills.” Many parents would agree their main concerns with school center around grades, behavior, and self-esteem making it exciting to see such that enrollment in high quality physical activities can positively impact these factors.

Wait, tell me more… Even though the link between physical activity and greater academic performance is clear, parents may be wondering, ‘why?’ How does physical activity help my child in the classroom? Specifically, it has been shown to have a great impact on cognition and learning. Charles Basch, PhD, explains, “Recent literature reviews on physical activity or physical fitness and cognition have all reached the same conclusion: physical activity (or aspects of physical fitness) favorably affects cognitive functioning.” In other words, getting active will actually help your child learn, help him grasp new concepts, and try new things. Furthermore, your child will perform better than he would have on standardized tests when he is more active.

Wow, what else? In addition to cognition and test scores, being active helps improve attendance at school simply because your child will be healthier. Especially among children with asthma, it is shown that children who engage in regular physical activity have less absenteeism at school. Improved cognition, better best scores, and a lower number of sick days can all happen by getting your child more active!


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