Gretchen Reynolds at the New York Times has written yet another article on how being active helps people, in this case, young children learn. In “Put the Physical in Education” she talks about an experiment in which forty children aged 8 to 10 were tested under two conditions: after having sat still for 20 minutes versus being active for 20 minutes. They did better after being active. The original article article “Exercise Improves Behavioral, Neurocognitive, and Scholastic Performance in Children with ADHD” MB Pontifex et al. Journal of Pediatrics March 2013 mentions that previous research has already shown that exercise helps children focus and that this just extends those results to children who have been diagnosed with ADHD. I hope to look at the other articles that this references.
I am pleased to see that this is research that suggests that children may learn more when they are active. This article does not exactly say they earn more. It says that they can focus more. However, focus is, if not a pre-condition for learning, certainly helpful to learning. We like running mainly because it makes math fun. But, we have also been saying that “children learn better when they are active” in our brochures for years. We said that based on our own experience. Now we have research to back that up.