Exercise Improves Cognitive Performance in Students

Kids exercise levels also have a huge impact on not just their health, but also their academic performance and behaviour. Articles published in 2012 in The New York Times and Scientific American both cite studies confirming that kids who are more physically active perform better academically. 

Functional MRI scans have shown us why; the same parts of the brain are stimulated when kids exercise as when they perform cognitive activities like math problems. It has also been shown that specific balance, co-ordination, and posture exercises activate parts of the brain associated with functions like reading, comprehension and memory.

In 2011 in Australia, The Age reported the results of a landmark study that found that primary school students who exercise regularly are more likely to have higher NAPLAN (National Assessment Plan for Literacy and Numeracy) test scores in numeracy and writing. 

Across the board, the primary schools with the top NAPLAN scores also had the highest level of physical activity among their students.

The same article listed the results of a survey of 3000 teachers in 500 schools: 

  • 91% of teachers reported that physical activity sessions had improved their students’ behaviour and social skills
  • 98% noticed a positive impact in classroom work, with students more willing to listen and co-operate in teams 
  • 89% of teachers reported improvements in student self-confidence.

Exercise can take many forms. Cardio, like walking, running, swimming or cycling, will help endurance levels, meaning they can sit up straighter for longer and concentrate for longer periods as well. Strength work for the postural muscles of the upper back and core can help maintain good posture when sitting for long periods. And mobility exercises can reduce tension in the back and neck muscles that causes pain and affects concentration.

The Sanarte Fixer Mat is a premium yoga mat engraved with a series of exercises designed by our team of health professionals to improve posture, strength and mobility in students. Check it out by clicking this link.

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