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New studies are constantly finding direct links between physical fitness and academic success.

“In one report from the United States, second and third graders who got an extra 90 minutes of physical activity per week did better on a test of spelling, reading and math, along with gaining less weight over the next three years.

That may be because children are better behaved and can concentrate better when they get enough exercise, or because physical activity improves blood flow to the brain and boosts mood, the researchers wrote.”

‘More exercise improves academic performance.’
By Genevra Pittman (Reuters)

Recent surveys show that many children are not meeting the recommendations for physical activity.

  • The 2018 Active Healthy Kids Australia Report Card rated Australian kids D- for Overall Physical Activity Levels. This marks the third Full AHKA Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Young People, which assesses 12 physical activity indicators (physical activity behaviours, traits, and the settings and sources of influence, and strategies and investments, which have the potential to impact these behaviours and traits). As in 2014 and 2016, Australia has again been assigned a failing grade (D−) for Overall Physical Activity Levels.
  • The 2009-2010 Australian Population Health Survey found that only about a quarter of children and young people aged between five and 15 years had at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. Almost 35% of children aged 5-8 years met the 60 minutes a day recommendations, dropping to just under 20% of 9-15 year olds.
  • The 2010 Australian Schools Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey found that boys in years 6, 8 and 10 were more active than girls and that physical activity declines with age.

Australian Government department of Health recommendations

Sport during school linked to academic performance.

“Research into neural pathways, which lead to “muscle memory”, have found it takes as many as 10,000 repetitions for a new sporting technique – such as a tennis serve, a golf swing or a kick for goal to be ingrained.” Former Crows assistant coach, David Noble in ‘Goalkicking habits, cop an expert spray’