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March 6, 2008

Want to increase academic performance among girls? Give them more physical education, study says

If childhood obesity and health-related reasons were not enough proof, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now reports that time spent in physical education may help improve girls’ academic performance.

While this sounds like good news, teachers and administrators will probably tell you that it is a serious struggle to incorporate more physical education into the school day. Many educators are busy trying to live up to mandates that focus on standardized test scores and increases in student achievement in math and reading.

The study, which is published online in the Journal of American Public Health, indicates that trimming physical education programs may not be the best way to raise test scores in schools, this USA Today article states.

Researchers tracked the reading and math skills of more than 5,000 students between kindergarten and fifth grade as shown on a series of standardized tests, according to the article. They discovered that girls who received the highest levels of physical education, or 70 to 300 minutes a week, scored consistently higher on the tests than those who spent less than 35 minutes a week.

Posted by John-John Williams IV at 6:02 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Around the Nation, Teaching, Trends


I am glad to see more information coming out dealing with the importance of physical activity in our schools. It seems like physical education classes are the first thing sacrificed when test scores drop. Something positive is being done, however. I will be a teacher at Afya Public Charter School of Baltimore, opening in the Fall. We will be a healthy middle school in the Belair-Edison neighborhood that believes students learn best when physically active, interacting with their peers. We have a partnership with Union Memorial Hospital to provide routine wellness assessments to our students in an attempt to increase their overall well-being. Our students will be physically active every day for at least 75 minutes and have the opportunity for extra-curricular activities. Explicit teaching in healthy food and fitness choices will not only be taught to our students but also the surrounding community of Belair-Edison. We are excited to offer a public middle school that fosters the health and wellness of Baltimore's early adolescents.

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