Reading and math skills are the cornerstones of learning and academic success. A recent study at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland found that children with good motor skills in the first grade are proficient in reading and mathematics by the third grade. However, physical activity did not affect the development of these academic skills.
Motor skills refer to the ability to purposefully control the body and provide the basis for all movements and daily activities. The study found that children who had good motor skills in the first grade improved their academic performance by the third grade. However, physical activity did not predict academic or athletic performance.
Athletic capacity did not predict physical activity after 2 years. However, children who were physically active in the first grade improved their motor skills by the third grade. A variety of early movements such as running, jumping, rolling, climbing and balancing support motor development. Developing a child’s motor skills is a process that takes time and patience, and each child develops at a different rate. Therefore, children should be encouraged to challenge their motor skills at all ages.
This research helps us understand the complex dynamics between movement, motor skills and academic performance, and highlights the importance of motor skills as an underpinning of academic performance. The results also provide important information to help develop new ways to promote the health and well-being of children. ”
Dr. Eero Haapala, Faculty of Sports and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä
This study was published in a prestigious journal Medicine and Science in Sport and Exerciseinvestigated the relationship between athletic performance, athletic performance and academic achievement in Finnish primary school children. A total of 189 children from grades 1 to 3 were followed up. Their physical activity was measured by a combination of heart rate and activity monitors, their motor skills were measured with the agility shuttle run test, and their academic performance was measured with reading and mathematical fluency tests.
Harpara, EA, other. (2023) Reciprocal time-lag relationships among physical activity, motor performance, and academic achievement in elementary school students. Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise. doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000003163.