Physical Activity and Math Skills in Elementary School

Physical Activity and Math Skills in Elementary SchoolPhysical Activity and Math Skills in Elementary School

The Journal of Physical Activity and Health published research on physical activity and math skills in elementary school. In the study, a group of eighty-five 4th-grade students were randomly assigned to a physically active group or a classroom group.  The physically active group of students participated in moderate to vigorous activity for 20 minutes, 3 times per week for 6 weeks while learning their multiplication tables during the exercise sessions.  The control group learned the same material on multiplication but while seated.  Data was collected on multiplication accuracy, general numeracy, aerobic fitness, and body mass index.

Results of the Study

The results of the study on physical activity and math skills in elementary school indicated the following:

  • both groups improved similarly on multiplication tables.
  • general numeracy was significantly greater for the physically active group versus the control group.
  • there was not a significant difference between groups on improvement in aerobic fitness.
  • body mass index was unchanged.

The researchers concluded that combining aerobic exercise while learning multiplication tables was effective.  The addition of the aerobic exercise helps to meet daily physical activity guidelines while possibly boosting learning.

Reference: Vetter, M., O’Connor, H., O’Dwyer, N., & Orr, R. (2018). Learning “Math on the Move”: Effectiveness of a Combined Numeracy and Physical Activity Program for Primary School Children. Journal of Physical Activity and Health20(XX), 1-7.

Movement Flashcards

Movement Flashcards – Movement Flashcards digital download includes 10 aerobic exercises with flashcards templates. Students can get physical activity while reviewing material. The 10 aerobic activities include: run in place, jumping, hopping, squats, lunges, skipping, twists, cross crawls, jumping jacks and marching. Each page includes a picture image of the aerobic exercise along with a blank template to type in 18 flashcards. You choose what to work on for academic material.  FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE MOVEMENT FLASHCARDS HERE.

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Physical Activity and Math Skills in Elementary School