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Could playing outside help children with maths?

The benefits of physical activity on physical wellbeing are well known (strengthen bones and muscles, reduce risk of heart diseases, type 2 diabetes and some cancers), but what about the benefits upon ones level of intelligence and more specifically the ability to understand, retain and utilise newly learnt knowledge and skills.

Phillip Tomporowski and colleagues from the University of Georgia conducted a review of all previous research on exercise and children’s intelligence.  What was found was exercise enhances the ability of children to select, organise, and properly undertake goal-directed actions. In other words, physical activity helps children to focus on one task at a time, all the way from the creation or thought of the task through to its successful completion. Perhaps before asking your children to complete their maths homework, a quick game of poison ball will get them into the right mental state.

Tomporowski, P. D., Davis, C. L., Miller, P. H., & Naglieri, J. A. (2008). Exercise and children’s intelligence, cognition, and academic achievement.Educational Psychology Review, 20(2), 111-131.

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