Improving the quality of Phys Ed classes can increase the academic ability of children and adolescents

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Improving the quality of Physical Education (PE) classes can increase the brain power of children and adolescents and their academic skills, especially in math, suggest an analysis of pooled data from available tests published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Schools are ideally placed to promote healthy lifestyles in children and adolescents, and (PE) is the main means by which this is done. But emphasizing academic subjects often means less time for physical education, the researchers say.

Several studies have analyzed the improvement in the quality and quantity of physical activity in physical education school lessons, respectively, increasing student participation in existing physical education lessons and the amount of time allocated to physical education lessons. P.E.

But no study has systematically reviewed and pooled data on the effects of specific PE interventions on intellectual and academic ability in children and adolescents, according to the researchers.

To fill this knowledge gap, researchers dragged research databases for studies designed to optimize PE in terms of quantity, quality, or a combination of the two, among young people aged 5 to 18 years.

In total, 19 studies, which included 8676 children and adolescents, 46.5% of whom were girls, were included in the final analysis of pooled data.

The studies were conducted in 11 countries: Australia; Brazil; Canada; Denmark; Italy; WE; UK; Spain; Sweden; Swiss; and the Netherlands.

The analysis showed that the interventions focused on increasing the quality of physical education lessons by increasing brain capacity, mainly among primary school students. They also increased academic ability, mainly in math skills.

Quality interventions included adding cognitive challenge activities such as dance or martial arts, having lessons led by a physical education specialist, and / or including high-intensity fitness activities, sports, and team games.

In contrast, increasing the number (between 2 and 4 per week) or the duration of physical education lessons had a marginal and negligible effect. .

There were no differences between quantitative, quality, or combined PE interventions on overall academic performance, but there were only a few quantitative and combined intervention studies included in the analysis, the researchers warn.

Physical activity may increase and academic performance through various direct and indirect neurobiological, psychological, and behavioral mechanisms, they explain, adding that allocating more time for PE does not appear to compromise academic performance.

But they warn: “Given the small number of trials, the heterogeneity of results, and the risk of moderate to high bias, caution is needed as to the strength of the existing evidence base.

“However, the results of our meta-analysis suggest that improving the quality of physical education classes is a worthwhile investment in education that can lead to improvements in cognition and academic performance,” they suggest.

And they conclude: “Our results highlight the importance of having access to quality PE for children and adolescents, as recommended by … UNESCO. Consequently, schools should place more emphasis on PE not only for to improve the health of students, but also for their cognition and academic performance. ”


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More information:
Effects of physical education interventions on cognition outcomes and academic performance in children and adolescents: a systematic review and meta-analysis, British Journal of Sports Medicine (2021). DOI: 10.1136 / bjsports-2021-104112

Citation: Improving the quality of Phys Ed classes can increase the academic ability of children and adolescents (2021, June 29) recovered on June 29, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06- quality-phys-ed-classes-boost .html

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