The European Educational Researcher

The Effects of Physical Activity on Cognitive and Learning Abilities in Childhood

The European Educational Researcher, Volume 7, Issue 1, February 2024, pp. 1-30
OPEN ACCESS VIEWS: 636 DOWNLOADS: 442 Publication date: 15 Feb 2024
Physical activity breaks in the classroom are an efficient way of promoting healthy behaviors in students, enhancing the development of their cognitive and academic abilities. The effects of active breaks, which are exclusive to the academic environment, are sometimes conflicting. This research was carried out to identify the properties and consequences of active breaks and physical activity during classes in school age. We have examined multiple databases, and we have selected 41 papers accounting for a time span of 15 years. Most papers revealed positive outcomes for improving skills related to mathematics, language, reading, comprehension, as well as cognitive and executive functions. Overall, the results of this review corroborate the theory that physical education in schools is positively associated with academic performance in children. Schools are suitable for promoting physical activity in developmental age, and research shows that there are instances in which increasing it could be beneficial. Physical activity in the classroom allows children to be active at school. To achieve these results, teachers can integrate physical activity into traditional classes, thus making them physically active. However, some teachers criticized this teaching method stating that physical activity during classes might have a negative effect on the children’s behavior during assignments.  Education researchers keep investigating in order to fully assess the positive impact on academic performance, behavior during classes and cognitive functions.
physical activity, physical education, learning, academic skills, cognitive skills, child*, effect
Gennari, A. S., & Valentini, M. (2024). The Effects of Physical Activity on Cognitive and Learning Abilities in Childhood. The European Educational Researcher, 7(1), 1-30.
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