Children's academic performance has been positively linked to physical activity by researchers at the Vrije Universiteit (Free University) Medical Center in the Netherlands.
After reviewing 14 studies involving more than 12,000 children, scientists found that exercise helps cognition by increasing oxygen and blood flow to the brain. Physical activity helps reduce stress and improves mood, making children more likely to behave in the classroom.
Study author Dr. Amika Singh said, "Children who learn to participate in sport also learn to obey rules. This may mean they are more disciplined and able to concentrate better during lessons." She advised children to be active for at least 1-hour per day.
However, more accurate and reliable measurement instruments are needed to examine the link in greater detail.
The study is published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.