Sedentary lifestyle may impair academic performance in boys
Boys ages 6-8 who lead a sedentary lifestyle are more likely to develop poorer reading skills than those who are involved in moderate to physical activity, according to a new study.
The study investigated the relationship of physical activity and sedentary time with reading and arithmetic skills in 153 children ages 6-8. It was conducted at the University of Eastern Finland in collaboration with the University of Jyväskylä and the University of Cambridge and was recently published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport.
“Boys who had a combination of low levels of physical activity and high levels of sedentary time had the poorest reading skills through Grades 1-3," said Dr. Eero Haapala from the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Jyväskylä.
The study showed that high levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, low levels of sedentary time, and particularly their combination in the first grade were related to better reading skills in Grades 1-3 in boys. High levels of physical activity and low levels of sedentary time were also associated with better arithmetic skills in Grade 1 only in boys.
The results of the study suggest that a combination of low levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and high levels of sedentary time might be particularly harmful for the development of academic skills in boys, and that increasing physical activity, reducing sedentary time, and especially their combination may improve academic achievement.
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