A Premier League and BBC initiative supported by Albion in the Community has found strong links between physical activity and brain development in young people.
The Super Movers programme helps teachers inspire primary school children to get more active in an effort to boost their learning throughout the school day.
Super Movers brings together stars from football and television in fun, easy to follow, educational videos which capture children’s imagination and help primary school teachers to get them moving throughout the day with a series of routines and activities.
And research released today found 77% of participating schools noted an improvement in brain function and learning in pupils after exercise. Brain speed also improved in participants by up to 19% after exercise, while regular exercise improved the mood of all the children taking part in the study.
The study tested the impact of physical activity and the effects it has on learning with more than 1,000 pupils from 17 primary schools from across the UK.
The school children were split into two groups – a group that exercised and a group that did not. The exercise group completed 50 minutes of physical activity – including circuit-style training and choreography copied from Super Movers active classroom resources – and then performed a series of cognitive tasks to establish if the exercise helped boost their attention span and improve their learning, compared to their classmates who did no physical activity.
Here in Sussex, AITC worked with pupils at Balfour Primary School, in Brighton, with a highlight of the programme being a guest appearance from Brighton & Hove Albion’s Laura Rafferty, who attended a session at the school and met with the pupils taking part in the study.
The research was led by the Super Movers team and Professor Eef Hogervorst, Professor of Biological Psychology in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University.
Professor Eef Hogervorst said, “The nationwide experiment has yielded some really encouraging results and shows that with less than an hour of enjoyable physical exercise in a day, we can see some real improvements to children’s learning.
“It has long been established that exercise can boost brain function, but to see such significant results across the board confirms that fun exercise, like the Super Movers resources, can make a real difference.”