Fit Students Score Higher in Academic Tests

studentsA recent study has shown that physically-fit students tend to score higher on standardized academic tests compared to their less fit peers. It also shows that test scores dropped more than one point for each extra minute it took the subjects, consisting of middle and high school students, to complete a one-mile run.

The subjects consisted of 749 fifth-graders, 761 seventh-graders, and 479 ninth-graders who attended schools in Southern California between 2002 and 2003. About half of the students were girls, 60 percent were Caucasian, 26 percent were of Hispanic ethnicity, and about 7 percent were of African-American, Asian, and Pacific Islander. Almost 32 percent of the subjects were overweight, while about 28 percent were obese.

The study, which was published in The Journal of Pediatrics, estimated each student’s fitness by timing their one-mile run or walk on a flat track with a 15-minute allowed time to complete the test. The boys averaged slightly less than 10 minutes, while girls averaged less then 11 minutes.

Sixty-five percent of the students were found to fall behind the state fitness standard for their age and gender. They have also lower average test scores compared to students who have met or exceeded fitness standards.

The researchers, lead by Dr. William J. McCarthy of University of California in Los Angeles, told Reuters Health that it’s good to be both aerobically fit and to have a health body shape in order to gain optimal brain function.

Source: MSNBC

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