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Monday, December 30, 2013

Exercise Intelligence


An old saying states that jocks are dumb and nerds are out-of-shape geniuses. This may be inaccurate after all.

A new study shows that children who exercise more do better on mathematics and reading tests. “There is some truth that athletes may be the brightest,” said Dr. Bob Rauner, author of the survey that compared standardized test scores of fourth- to eighth-grade children in public schools in Lincoln, Neb.

His study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, showed that children who are more physically fit tended to do better in the math and reading tests than children who were less active and heavier.

Rauner, a family physician for 15 years, who now runs Healthy Lincoln, a non-profit that advocates for childhood health, said his study was prompted by seeing a lot of obese kids. “We found that some of the most obese were in schools which did not even have recess.”

He and colleagues from Lincoln Public Schools and Creighton University in Nebraska analyzed standardized tests for math and reading in 2010-2011, and compared them to students’ aerobic fitness and body mass index (BMI).

The study found that physically fit children had a 2.4 times greater chance of passing math tests and a 2.2 times greater chance of passing reading tests compared with aerobically unfit children.

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