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Sedentary Kids Lag in Reading Skills

Lower Scores in Less Active Boys

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A study from the University of Eastern Finland, in Kuopio, has found that less active boys perform worse in reading and arithmetic classes than their more active counterparts. Researchers studied 89 boys and 69 girls ages 6 to 8 and measured their sedentary time and moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) time using a heart rate monitor, movement sensors and body fat percentages. The subjects’ arithmetic and reading skills were calculated using standardized test scores.

Comparing the data, the researchers found that higher levels of MVPA were associated with higher reading fluency in grade one and that lower reading levels were associated with more sedentary time in grades one through three.

A significantly stronger correlation was discovered when male subjects were the focus. Sedentary boys that spent less time engaged in MVPA displayed consistently poorer scores in both reading fluency and comprehension than their peers. For girls, more sedentary time was associated with better arithmetic scores.


This article appears in the April 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

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