Higher Academic Scores for Physically Fit Children

The New York City Department of Health recently reviewed academic and fitness records of public school children in Grades K-8. This records review revealed the following:
1. More than 20% of the students were obese and 18% are overweight totaling 38% of all students.
2. Boys were more likely to be obese than girls (except among black students).
Twenty nine percent of Hispanic boys were obese.
3. The overweight and obese children were less physically fit.
4. Students who were more physically fit had higher academic test scores.
5. Academic test scores increase consistently with increasing fitness levels for all students.

The Department of Health recommends that parents, schools and health care providers should help all children be fit through daily physical activity. In addition, adults should help children develop healthy eating habits.

Here are some suggested activity books from Your Therapy Source, Inc. to encourage daily physical activity in children:
50 Sensory Motor Activities for Kids!
Mini Movement Breaks
Motor Magic Sensory Motor Group Activities A to Z
Sidewalk Chalk Fun and Games

Reference: Egger JR, Bartley KF, Benson L, Bellino D, Kerker B. Childhood Obesity is a Serious Concern in New York City: Higher Levels of Fitness Associated with Better Academic Performance. NYC Vital Signs 2009, 8(1): 1-4.