Parents, want your kids to get better grades? Make them exercise!
Aerobic fitness can boost learning and memory in children aged nine to 10, a new research has claimed.
Researchers from Lauren Raine and colleagues from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign asked 48 children aged nine to ten to memorise names and locations on a fictitious map, either only by studying the information or being tested on the material as they studied.
Half the children were in the top 30 per cent of their age group on a test measuring aerobic fitness, while the other half scored in the lowest 30 per cent.
When asked to recollect the information studied, children who were fitter performed better than those who were not as fit.
The difference between the high-fitness and low-fitness groups was also stronger when the initial learning was performed by studying alone than when testing and study were interspersed.
Based on these results, the authors suggest that fitness levels may influence learning differently when the study method used is more challenging, and that higher levels of aerobic fitness can benefit learning and memory in school-age children.
“Future research should focus on the manner in which these factors impact the neural processes of children during learning,” researchers said.
The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.