On the same theme as last post, I’m today writing about how important physical activity is for our children’s brains.
Obviously, it’s great to help our kids with the homework. But it’s probably just as important for our kid’s school results to take them outside to do some physical activity. Studies shows how running make kid’s brains grow.
P.E has the last 10 years been cut down in hours in favor of other subjects, but the school results in the other subjects have not improved. Instead, a PISA survey showed that Swedish students lost significantly in results compared to the rest of the world.
The PISA study measures 15-year-olds ability in school and is used to compare students’ school performance around the world. The survey saw that Swedish students’ knowledge of mathematics, science and reading comprehension was particularly poor. And this is after the P.E hours been cut down and therefor more time for the other subjects.
The politicians talk about the importance of discipline and order, and of course you can focus on that, but even wiser would be to focus on more hours with physical activity.
More P.E hours or integrated physical activity during all lessons would probably produce great results in school, since it is not only the schoolwork itself that affects learning and outcomes, physical activity is extremely important to improve brain capacity.
One of the most important Swedish studies in the subject is the Bunkeflo study, which was done for several years at the school in Bunkeflo, outside of Malmö. In it, two classes in grade 2 were have physical activity every day at school. The students’ school results were compared with another grade 2 who had physical activity twice a week. There were major improvements in the school results of the students who had more sports. They had better results in math and language even though they hadn’t any extra lessons in these subjects. There were also more of the students who graduated grade nine with pass grades.
Why do you get smarter by running. It has been seen that the brain grows from cardio activities. A study of 10-year-olds found that children with good fitness had a larger hippocampus, which is the brain’s memory center. The connection between different parts of the brain is enhanced by regular physical activity. Even in the short term, right after a workout, you get better thinking ability.
The ministry of education has decided that the P.E hours will increase with 45 min a week, which is great, but far from enough.
Physical activity doesn’t just make you smarter, it makes you happier, healthier, stronger. Let’s get out and run and play as much as we can!!