PARIS–Regular exercise boosts teenagers’ school grades — and particularly helps girls in science, a British study said Tuesday. The more physically active they were, the better children performed in school, according to findings published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. And “girls’ science results seemed to benefit the most,” said a press statement. Physical activity has long been suspected to boost brainpower, but little scientific evidence has existed until now. For the study, researchers from England, Scotland and the United States measured the level of physical activity among nearly 5,000 11-year-olds who wore a motion-reading “accelerometer” for a week. Their academic performance in English, math and science was then assessed at the ages of 11, 13, and 16. Children who had been more physically active at 11 performed better in all three phases and all three subjects.
Every 17 minutes of exercise per day at the age of 11 led to an additional improvement in marks for boys, and 12 minutes per day for girls by the age of 16, said the findings.