Do 60 minutes of exercise everyday help kids do better in school?

According to a new study having the kids runs laps around the house or some physical activity for 60 minutes is not only good for their health, but also may help improve their brain function. Ok, running laps for 60 minutes would not be easy for me either, so let’s say playing soccer.

A study done by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and they published the results in the journal Pediatrics. The study had 221 children from ages 7-9 for a nine-month study. Half of the kids were placed on a program where they did 60 minutes of physical activity every day after school. The other half put on a waiting list for the same program. The physical activity for the children in the program was moderate to vigorous. At the end of the study, those same kids underwent brain imaging and cognitive testing. They were not shocked to find that exercise helped the kid’s physical fitness. What they found were that kids that did the 60 minutes of physical activity every day had better concentration and improved cognitive function overall compared to the children that were wait listed.

I also know that when I have my son jog a few blocks around our house with me he seems to perform better at his homework. I am not a pediatrician (and no I do not play one on TV). However, from my personal experience I can tell you that having your kids active in sport can certainly aid in helping them do better in school.

Dr. Shah, MD