|Picture by Miao Sun (Maggie) from Flickr.com|
In an American study, a group of forty-eight 9-10 year old kids had their memory tested (after briefly seeing four-letter place names on a map) and those fitter outperformed the less fit kids on the memory test. Their fitness was measured using a standard treadmill test.
The researchers suggest that higher levels of fitness have the greatest impact in more challenging situations. They found this is consistent with previous research showing the hippocampus (the part of the brain thought to be responsible for forming new memory) benefits from fitness and exercise.
The Education Ministry recently announced that our Singapore students will go through the National Physical Fitness Award (NAPFA) test once every two years instead of yearly from 2014. Their idea is so that the kids have more time for other games and activities instead of just preparing for NAPFA.
Hopefully, this will not have any implications on their learning.
Raine LB, Lee HK et al (2013). The Influence of Childhood Aerobic Fitness on Learning and Memory. PLoS ONE 8(9): e72666. doi10.1371/journal.pone.0072666.