The study, “Physically Active Math and Language Lessons Improve Academic Achievement: A Cluster RCT,” of Pediatrics examined whether adding physical activity could help children better learn math and spelling.
Researchers in the Netherlands worked with 499 children in second and third grade. They were placed in two groups; one continued with standard lessons, while the other participated in the “Fit & Vaardig” program — a series of lessons in which physical exercise is used when teaching math and language.
After two years, children in the Fit & Vaardig group showed greater gains in math and spelling standardized test scores compared to children in the control group. In fact, the increases in scores were equal to four months more learning in comparison with the control group. No differences were found on the reading test.
The authors conclude that physically active teaching lessons improve math and spelling skills and offer a promising new way of teaching.