Cardio fitness may help kids in school

A study from Autonomous University of Madrid in Spain says cardiorespiratory capacity and motor ability may play a large role in improving academic performance in children.

Three areas of physical fitness were examined individually and combined: cardiorespiratory capacity, muscular strength and motor ability. Analyzing 2,038 Spanish children’s data from the UP & DOWN Study, the researchers analyzed physical fitness, body composition and academic performance in the children ages six to 18.

To assess cardiorespiratory capacity and motor ability, the children performed shuttle runs. Strength was tested by hand grips and long jumps.

Cardiorespiratory capacity and motor ability were the most connected to improved school performance, both solely and combined. Children with lower levels of these two capacities also had lower school grades. Muscle strength, however, was not associated with academic performance.

Researchers conclude more effort should be placed in schools on promoting physical fitness, as well as coordination, agility and speed.

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