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Study: Physical Education Impacts Academic Success

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It has been a major concern to me for many years and now there is strong science to back up what always seemed so logical. Many school districts have reduced physical education classes to devote more time to academics. However, a Nebraska study found that physically fit children were more than twice as likely to pass math and reading tests.

It was a big study: 11,000 students in 47 public schools in Nebraska. There is an association between aerobic fitness and better academic performance.

Obesity didn’t have a significant effect on academic success either – it was the children’s exercise ability, not their weight, which seemed to matter.

The findings suggest that Phys. Ed. may be just as important as reading, writing, and arithmetic. We now have evidence. Let’s make some changes.

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