SOURCE: The Little Gym International

The Little Gym International

January 16, 2018 16:32 ET

Studies Reveal Correlation between Physical Activity and Academic Performance in Children

Child development professionals at The Little Gym encourage families to make active, physical play a priority during winter's shorter days

SCOTTSDALE, AZ--(Marketwired - January 16, 2018) - A recent review of 26 previously published studies involving more than 10,000 children between four and 13 years old demonstrates that incorporating physical activity into a child's daily routine can help improve the child's performance in math and reading. Researchers believe that this benefit has a neurobiological explanation, since exercise increases blood flow to the brain, as well as a social component that benefits children's overall mental health.

"This research highlights the fact that regular physical activity benefits not only the body, but the brain," said Alex Bingham, president and CEO of The Little Gym. "Children have a natural inclination to be active. Providing opportunities for active, physical play helps improve children's behavior and performance in school and at home."

The study revealed the strongest correlation between physical activities that are integrated into the school day and improved academic performance. For many school systems, however, an emphasis on increasing the number of academic hours makes finding time in the school day for physical activity difficult. "In those situations," said Bingham, "after-school sports or kid-focused indoor programs like those offered by The Little Gym can provide a necessary outlet for children's energy, providing physical and social benefits that help bolster academic performance."

With winter's shorter days, it can be a challenge to schedule regular outdoor activities for school-aged children. For many working parents, it is tempting to allow children to fall into sedentary pursuits like watching TV or playing video games. But Bingham cautions that the need for regular physical activity isn't seasonal; it's important to make it a priority all year long. "Instilling healthy exercise habits at an early age can help reduce the risk of serious illnesses and contribute to the development of a healthy body image," said Bingham. "Regular exercise also helps children perform better in class and can be critical to their future emotional well-being in their personal and professional lives."

From 4 months through 12 years, programs at The Little Gym provide parents with a year-round outlet for their child to get and stay physically active. Through unique programs that revolve around active play, classes at The Little Gym complement and enhance the traditional school experience -- even before children are school age. The Little Gym provides children with a safe and inspiring space to direct their energy, build confidence, and develop skills for life. For more information, please visit https://www.TheLittleGym.com.

About The Little Gym

The Little Gym is an internationally recognized program that helps children build the developmental skills and confidence needed at each stage of childhood. The very first location was established in 1976 by Robin Wes, an innovative educator with a genuine love for children. The Little Gym International, Inc., headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., was formed in 1992 to franchise The Little Gym concept. Today, The Little Gym International has over 350 locations in 32 countries. For more information, visit The Little Gym at https://www.TheLittleGym.com.

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