Physical Activity and Academic Performance

Children who are physically active on a daily basis are healthier and tend to do better academically. Studies have shown that active students are more likely to achieve higher scores than their classmates who are inactive. Since students spend a large part of each day at school and in the classroom, it is essential that they are being active and accumulate at least one hour of physical activity on a daily basis.

Explained below are several ways that you can work toward helping your child to be active.

  • Be a role model. Try to lead an active lifestyle each day. By seeing you being active, your child may be more inclined to do so as well.
  • Advocate for Physical Education (PE) and recess. As schools continually take out PE classes, take advantage of any opportunity to voice the importance of physical activity, especially as it relates to happier, healthier, and smarter students!
  • Encourage playfulness. After school each day, ask your child what they did during recess that day. Encourage your child to try new activities with friends during recess.
  • Establish an active routine. Make it a habit to always do something active when your child comes home from school. For instance, spend 30 minutes in the backyard playing catch, go for a bike ride, or have your child dance to music while you are folding the laundry. Since they may not have daily opportunities for physical activity at school, make sure your child has the opportunity to be active at home.
  • Bike to school. If it is safe and accessible, consider biking to school with your child one day a week. This is a great opportunity to be active both to and from school.

Children who are physically active, and who continue to be active through the school years, tend to establish healthy habits that will last as they grow into adolescents and adults. As a result, they will be happier, healthier, and may achieve at a higher level.

Two empty swings on playground during fall.

Did You Know?

Breaks during the school day for physical activity can help to improve both student behavior in the classroom and cognitive performance. Be an advocate for more physical activity breaks throughout the day at your child’s school.