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Study Finds Physical Activity May Improve Student Math Achievement

Study Finds Physical Activity May Improve Student Math Achievement

A study from American University found that students who are allowed more time for physical activity perform better than math, said the Washington Post.

The study "examined the success of the city’s 2010 Healthy Schools Act and found that schools offering more physical activity had significantly better math success.”

Under the Healthy Schools Act schools in the district are required to increase the amount of physical activity they offer to students each year.

Despite schools struggling to meet the requirements for physical activity each year (150 minutes on average for elementary school students last year and 225 minutes for middle school students), "those that provided about 90 minutes each week saw higher standardized math scores, according to the report,” the Post said.

Overall, the study found that in schools where students received more physical activity, math achievement scores were consistently higher.

Though there are some limitations on the study as noted by the researchers, many are hopeful that the study will set help administrators pay attention to the importance of physical activity in schools.

"D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3), who authored the original 2010 legislation, applauded the report’s findings Tuesday, adding that although schools effectively provided more nutritious lunches, there is still more room for more physical ­activity,” the Post said.

Another important thing to note about the study: the researchers found that the schools in D.C. that offered more opportunity for physical activity are evenly distributed as opposed to wealthier neighborhoods hogging such a luxury.

"Sarah Irvine Belson, one of the authors of the report, said schools offering the most amount of physical education time are distributed relatively evenly throughout the District and are not clustered in wealthier ­neighborhoods".

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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