Study: More Physical Activity Can Lead to Better Grades in the Classroom

By: Alex Villarreal Email
By: Alex Villarreal Email

Some recent studies suggest PE class is good for more than just physical health in students.

This comes at a time when school districts are dealing with widespread cutbacks.
News 3 finds out why dropping gym classes could also mean dropping grades.

There's no shortage of PE time for College Station ISD students...but, nationwide, only 30% of schools are offering daily gym classes because of budget cuts.

"It's frustrating, it's scary, some days it makes you angry," said PE teacher, Alice Keys.

28 years and Alice Keys is still in the game, as the physical education teacher at Southwood Valley Elementary.

"We know it's a problem and we're lucky to be here in a school district, that it's so important and they understand how important it is to kids," said Keys.

Walking down the hall, going from one class to another, it only takes a few minutes, but some school districts are actually counting this as part of PE time because of cut backs.

The state recommends schools provide 135 minutes of PE time a week for students.
CSISD provides 150 minutes per week, plus recess time.

Keys said, "I always say, exercise for the brain."

Another difference at College Station campuses; daily motor labs, where students perform basic movement skills like hula-hooping and jump rope.

"Kids aren't doing that anymore and as a result it's beginning to show not only in physical education class, but it's showing in the classroom with their reading skills, their writing skills, fine motor, gross motor," Keys said. "We relate that to, well, where else do you see columns and rows? And the kids will tell you, in Math."

A study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found that students who participated in an additional 90 minutes of exercise each week wound up with higher grades than those who did not.

"If they learn to love it at this age, they will continue to love it and we want them to be movers and shakers through out their lives," said Keys.

Bryan ISD has not reduced the amount of time elementary and middle school students spend in PE class.

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