Children Conceived in Late Winter Tend to Be More Physically Fit

An expectant mother's enhanced exposure to Vitamin D via summer rays likely explains new research that indicates children born in October and November have a step up athletically.

For all you heterosexual couples eager to have a kid born on the day Marty McFly visits 2015, it's time to start getting busy. Of additional interest is that children born on October 21 -- or, really, any time during mid-fall -- have an athletic advantage over kids born in other months. This is according to a new study out of the University of Essex that found a correlation between physical fitness during the formative years and birth month.


According to Tyler Moss of New York Mag, the study was designed "in part, to test whether birth month affects athleticism beyond the so-called relative age effect." Just like how the oldest kids in a Kindergarten class are typically born in September-November due to the layout of school calendars, youth sports leagues are structured in a way that offers "a calendar-based advantage at certain junctures" to kids born in certain months. While the research confirmed this speculation, there appears to be more to the mid-fall birthdate dominance than just scheduling mechanics.

Moss explains:

"Why would your birth month, on its own, affect your athleticism? The researchers think it’s because the mothers of babies born in these months have greater exposure to Vitamin D as their due date draws near, thanks to those summer rays. Vitamin D has been linked to numerous in utero health benefits, and is thought to be a stimulus for bone and muscle growth, thus influencing the future athleticism of the unborn child."

Of course, there are a ton of other variables that contribute to whether children will develop to be athletically exceptional: genetics, upbringing, and climate being major examples. Researchers also found that the birth-month advantage comes out in the wash as soon as adulthood is reached. Moss therefore pleads prospective parents to note that conceiving a child in the next few weeks is no guarantee of a big league signing bonus. 

Read more at NY Mag

Read the full study at NCBI

Photo credit: Oksana Kuzmina / Shutterstock


LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Douglas Rushkoff – It’s not the technology’s fault

It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.

Think Again Podcasts
  • It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
  • Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
Keep reading Show less

Physicists puzzled by strange numbers that could explain reality

Eight-dimensional octonions may hold the clues to solve fundamental mysteries.

Surprising Science
  • Physicists discover complex numbers called octonions that work in 8 dimensions.
  • The numbers have been found linked to fundamental forces of reality.
  • Understanding octonions can lead to a new model of physics.
Keep reading Show less

Why 'upgrading' humanity is a transhumanist myth

Upload your mind? Here's a reality check on the Singularity.

Videos
  • Though computer engineers claim to know what human consciousness is, many neuroscientists say that we're nowhere close to understanding what it is, or its source.
  • Scientists are currently trying to upload human minds to silicon chips, or re-create consciousness with algorithms, but this may be hubristic because we still know so little about what it means to be human.
  • Is transhumanism a journey forward or an escape from reality?
Keep reading Show less