British Journal of Sports Medicine: Physical activity is good for school

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From 4 to 7 April 2016, 24 researchers from 8 countries and from a variety of academic disciplines gathered in Denmark, to reach evidence-based consensus about physical activity in children and youth, that is, individuals between 6 and 18 years. This consensus statement presents the accord on the effects of physical activity on children's and youth's fitness, health, cognitive functioning, engagement, motivation, psychological well-being and social inclusion.

You can read the full report here

The consenus report states that physical activity has a positive influence on e.G. on cognitive functioning, engagement and motivation as well as on social inclusion:

  • Physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness are beneficial to brain structure, brain function and cognition in children and youth.

  • Physical activity before, during and after school promotes scholastic performance in children and youth.

  • A single session of moderate physical activity has an acute benefit to brain function, cognition and scholastic performance in children and youth.

  • Engagement in physical activity has the potential to positively influence psychological and social outcomes for children and youth, such as self-esteem and relationships with peers, parents and coaches.

  • Close friendships and peer group acceptance in physical activity are positively related to perceived competence, intrinsic motivation and participation behaviour in children and youth.

  • Physical activity-based positive youth development programmes that have an intentional curriculum and deliberate training are effective at promoting life skills (eg, interpersonal, self-regulation skills) and core values (eg, respect and social responsibility) in children and youth.

  • Social inclusion can be promoted by providing equal access to opportunities within physical activity and sports settings regardless of children and young people's social, cultural, physical and demographic characteristics.