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Improving Academic Performance with Physical Activity

We know by now that physical activity is vital for those of all age categories to ensure a healthy lifestyle. However, what many of us do not know is the power that physical activity can have not only on the body but also on the brain. This article will more closely follow school and university-aged students, however, it is important to note that physical activity can have positive impacts of the cognitive performance in persons of all ages.



In many recent studies, it has been shown that physical activity can have a number of positive cognitive side effects, especially in children. Some of these include;

  • An increase in brainpower

  • An increase in motivation and concentration

  • Stronger memory and reasoning skills

  • Better controlled behaviours, especially in classroom settings

  • A stronger comprehension of language skills

Evidence shows that this is because physically active children as likely to develop faster and stronger brain synapses. In result, they are likely to develop stronger academic skills, social performance and self-esteem. This is mostly due to the enhanced focus that physical activity promotes in people. Hence, such improvements are most noticeable directly after physical activity.


In young children, this can even be linked to faster development of basic learning and social skills.


But how does physical activity assist the brain?

Well, during physical activity there is an increased flow of oxygen to the brain that in result increases our ability to concentrate, handle stress, remember and learn. As well, increased physical activity is able to improve white matter integrity, which allows communication throughout the brain, to in turn significantly improve focus and processing skills.


Additionally, physical activity produces a number of 'feel-good' chemicals to the brain that in turn promote positive emotions and behaviours among those of all ages.


How much physical activity is required to see the benefits?

It is recommended that children engage in 60 minutes of daily moderate and vigorous exercise. Though to achieve the best results children need to engage in a mixture of exercise, sedentary behaviour and rest each day.


For children a 24 hour period should include;

  • 60 or more minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise

  • Several hours of light exercise such as walking and playing

  • Approximately 8 hours of sleep a day and suitable resting periods for recovery.


Here a Bankstown physiotherapy, we are committed to ensuring the health and well being or persons of all ages. In such, we know the importance that physical health can have on overall health and development.

If you are concerned about you or your child's current physical activity feel free to contact us at 97933119 or visit our website.



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