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Surprising Science

Is There A Link Between PE Class And Better Grades?

A study of 5,000 UK schoolchildren found that improvements in academic performance accompanied an increase in the number of minutes spent in intensive exercise. Girls in particular were shown to do better in science.

What’s the Latest Development?

A study of 5,000 UK students done by researchers at the universities of Strathclyde and Dundee found a correlation between the number of minutes spent on physical exercise and the students’ academic performance. The team saw improvement for every extra 17 minutes (boys) or 12 minutes (girls) exercised, and this improvement persisted at ages 11, 13, and 16. Notably, the effect was especially pronounced for girls taking science classes. Details of the study were published in British Journal of Sports Medicine.

What’s the Big Idea?

The team theorized that “since every 15 minutes of exercise improved performance by an average of about a quarter of a grade, it was possible children who carried out 60 minutes of exercise every day could improve their academic performance by a full grade.” However, they were careful to note that this is speculation on their part, considering how little physical activity most young people get in general. Still, the possibility of a connection between better grades and more exercise should be of interest to parents, educators, and public health officials, among others. 

Denis Kuvaev /

Read it at BBC News


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