Lewis W. Diuguid

Want to improve test scores? Increase recess and P.E. requirements

Updated: 2014-02-05T01:30:53Z

By Lewis W. Diuguid

The Kansas City Star

Schools should never do away with recess or physical education. As a matter of fact, they should increase the graduation requirements for both.

A new study shows a link between physical fitness and better performance on math and reading tests. The research was done in schools participating in the Kansas Fitness Information Tracking initiative, which gauged the fitness of 13,000 students from 152 schools in 2011-2012 school year.

It found that a greater percentage of students who met all five fitness standards scored above proficiency for reading and math than those kids who met only one or none of the fitness standards. Officials said the research supports efforts to increase physical activity in schools despite some districts cutting back to create more time to study for tests to meet the No Child Left Behind Act requirements, The Associated Press reports.

The study was part of the Healthy Schools Project funded by the Kansas Health Foundation. It continues this school year with more than 300 schools and 56,000 students.

To reach Lewis W. Diuguid, call 816-234-4723 or send email to ldiuguid@kcstar.com.

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