Parents, listen up – Encouraging your child to engage in aerobic exercises like running, jumping, and other fitness activities that raise their heart rate for a sustained period of time, may encourage better learning and an improved ability to remember newly learned information, according to a new study published in the journal PLOS One.
The study separated 48 eight and nine year olds (males and females) into a higher fitness and lower fitness group. All participants learned new geography information in a “study only” and “study and testing” lesson plan, covering new map information. Both groups did better in memory tests with the “study and testing” method of learning. But the kids who were more fit and exercised regularly, did better with the study only format of the map information, compared to the less fit group exposed to the lesson plan. The experts suggest that the exercise seems to give the students an edge, when they faced a more challenging learning situation.
The experts strongly recommend that the current trend of reducing or completely removing physical education from school curriculum should be re-considered, based on this study. They also see merit in small bursts of activity during any lesson period, especially if the lesson plan being taught is particularly challenging. Other similar studies have shown that kids who are more fit appear to have better performance in specific learning and test-taking situations.