Utah schools test link between exercise, test scores

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DAVIS COUNTY — Several studies over the past few years have linked fitness and brain power. The latest from the University of Michigan shows fit students outscored those who did not exercise.

It's something two schools in the Davis School District are studying right now.

West Point Elementary principal Nannette Robertson said that school got a grant for the Healthy Body, Healthy Mind program.

"It's really helping our teachers and our students be more engaged and use movement for learning," she said.

The program gets students up and moving for 15 minutes at the beginning of the school day and another 10 minutes in the afternoon. Various activities are used every day, many connecting core concepts with the movement.

Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness Study Conclusion
Health-related fitness was related to academic achievement in youth. Students with the highest fitness level performed better on standardized tests and students with the lowest fitness level performed lower in class grades.

Robertson said they are already seeing many benefits.

"Seeing the engagement directly after - they are just ready. They sit up, they put their feet on the floor, they listen to the teacher," she said.

They'll see at the end if it has an impact on test scores, though teachers and parents say regardless, they like the results so far.

Parent Becky Merrick said, "I haven't seen any test scores or anything but I know they are excited about it. If they are excited about it then they are excited about being in class and doing what the teacher asks, so I think it's a great thing for our students."

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Mary Richards


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