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Exercise and Academic Performance By THE EDITORIAL SOARD May 24. 2013

As schools everywhere strive to improve the academic performance of


their students, many have cut physical education and recess periods to leave more time for sedentary classroom instruction. Asensible new reoort from the Institute of Medicine, a unit of the National Academy of Sciences, shows how shortsighted thL'i trend can be. It found that exercise can significantly improve children's cognitive abilities and their academic performance, as weU as their health.


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Students who exercise have lower body fat, greater muscular strength, and better cardiovascular and mental health. While admitting that the


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studies are limited, a panel of e.xpert:s 1'/ATt:ITI!AilER assembled by the institute says that "a body of evidence" suggests childr·en who are more active are better able to focus their attention, ar e quicker to perform simple tasks, and have better working memories and problem sohing skills than less·active children. They also perform better on standardized academic tests. Academic performance is influenced by factors like parental involvement and socioeconomic status, but the panel reported that active children tended to have stronger performance, especially in reading and mathematics. Jt beliC\'es that the benefits of exercise during the school day outweigh the benefits from increasing class time.

The report recommends that all students get at least 6o minutes a day of \igorous or moderate physical activity, equivalent to a brisk walk. Only about half of all school·age children meet this guideline, according to the panel. The way to increase exercL'ie is to promote physical education classes, recess and classroom breaks during the school day; encouraging after"'school sports and walking or biking to school ,.,.·hen feasible would also help. Physical acth~ty should be a core educational concern, not a dispensable option. Meet The New York Times-:.. Editorial Board» A ver&Kwl or u.s ecitOOel appeered ll pri'\! on May 25. 2013. on page Af8 of the NewYcwk ediOOn Y.tih the ~ ExetaseandAcademic Pwfoii811C8.





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NY Times Article - Exercise and Academic Performance  
NY Times Article - Exercise and Academic Performance