February 13, 2008

Increased Heart Rate = Increased Achievement

As NASBE has been saying since 1987, when we first partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to form the Center for Safe and Healthy Schools, exercise plays a critical role in improving student achievement. So says this Ed Week article published today..

Research that helps make the case:

  • One study found that "children who got good marks on two measures of physical fitness—those that gauge aerobic fitness and body-mass index—tended also to have higher scores on state exams in reading and mathematics. That relationship also held true regardless of children’s gender or socieconomic differences."
  • "Another study involving 163 overweight children in Augusta, GA, found, in addition, that the cognitive and academic benefits of exercise seemed to increase with the size of the dose."
  • "Students who took part in both an early-morning exercise program and extra literacy class showed 1.34 of a year’s growth on standardized reading tests, while the gain for the students in the literacy-only group was seven-tenths of a year."

It's a worthwhile read and helps solidify the point the PE has an important role in this standardized testing era.