Exercise is good for class

2014-10-01 00:00

KZN schools have endorsed a recent study by the University of Illinois, which shows exercise boosts academic performance.

The study was done over nine months with 221 prepubescent children and found those who engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity for at least 60 minutes a day after school saw “substantial improvements in their ability to pay attention and avoid distraction”.

“Those in the exercise group received a structured intervention that was designed for the way kids like to move,” said University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Charles Hillman, who led the study.

“On average, kids’ heart rates corresponded with a moderate to vigorous level of exercise intensity, and they averaged about 4 500 steps during the two-hour intervention,” Hillman said.

“Kids in the intervention group improved two-fold compared to the wait-list kids in terms of their accuracy on cognitive tasks,” he said.

“And we found widespread changes in brain function, which relate to the allocation of attention during cognitive tasks and cognitive processing speed,” he said.

Some schools in KZN said that they already recognised that extramural activities and physical education were important, and formed an essential element of the regular school timetable. The Witness approached various schools in the province and they concurred with the findings of the study.

Colin Madgin, headmaster of Penzance Primary School, said that 70 minutes was a good place to start and that the school encouraged its pupils to participate in various sporting codes offered, throughout the week.

“From Grade 1 to 7, pupils have physical education in their timetable. We have various sporting codes for each season from Monday to Friday, and on Saturday, from which pupils have a choice to participate in,” he said.

Deputy principal of Maritzburg College Graham Bennet said that if a child is physically fit, they concentrate for longer as their bodies are well and healthy.

“We agree with the survey as a correlation between sportsmen’s achievements and their ability to concentrate has an important value,” said Bennet.

“Our students get an average of 60 minutes of exercise a day in some form or another as we offer varied sports.”

Glenwood Preparatory deputy principal Charles Morgan said that the school was big on sport and that their pupils did about an hour of exercise a week, depending on the child.

“Whether it boosts concentration is subjective, but it’s good to have a well-rounded child with all-round development, a child who is well balanced,” he said.

Kearsney College’s marketing director, Robert Carpenter, said that the school provided about 14 sporting codes to pupils so they were active and had a balance in their lives.

“Sport and exercise encourage a lot of skills in a child like confidence, social, teamwork and self development,” Carpenter said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.