Physically-fit score higher in reading, Maths
By Deepshikha Punj
12th August 2012 12:00 AM
If your child is physically fit, he can be exceptionally good at reading and mathematics, says a recently released report. Findings presented at the American Psychological Association’s 120th Annual Convention reveal that physically fit boys and girls score higher in reading and math. Trent A. Petrie, co-author of the study and director of the Center for Sport Psychology at the University of North Texas, uncovered that cardiorespiratory fitness was the only factor which had an impact on both boys’ and girls’ grades on reading and math tests. The report says, “This provides more evidence that schools need to re-examine any policies that have limited students’ involvement in physical education classes.”
Cardiologists concur. “It is a known fact that a healthy heart leads to healthy brain and thereby increases its ability to perform better. The left side of the brain is associated with logic, reason and scientific thought of a person, where information processing to transform it into words becomes the specialty of this ‘logical hemisphere.’ There are several left-brain functions, including control of mathematics, logic, speech, writing and numbering for instance,” Dr S K Gupta, cardiologist, Apollo Hospitals, Delhi. He says performance depends a lot on how well our brain works.
Interestingly, studies in the past have also examined this relationship and found links between physical and academic well-being. Dr Samir Parikh, psychologist, Max Hospital, New Delhi, says, “Physical fitness leads to higher threshold of stress management. A physically active child has more capability to invest his/her time and attention and has a larger capacity to perform well in academics.” He adds that the situation can only be handled if people alter their ‘be the best’ ideology. Dhriti Malhotra, principal, Manav Rachna International School, Gurgaon says, “A fine balance needs to be maintained between scholastic and co-curricular activities where a child works in a stress-free environment. Healthy competitions, rewards and appreciation surely are some ways of encouraging physical activities in the students.” So exercise each day to keep the low scores away.
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