Primary school students who are physically active feel better and can concentrate better. They are more likely than students with less athletic ability to attend higher-level secondary grammar schools. This was confirmed for the first time in a study conducted by the Technical University of Munich’s Department of Sport and Health Sciences (TUM).
Regular movement keeps kids healthy and fit for school. Numerous research have shown that sports are beneficial. A research team at the Technical University of Munich has discovered evidence of a link between physical fitness, concentration, and health-related quality of life in primary school students.
The survey included 3285 girls and 3248 boys from the Berchtesgadener Land area of Bavaria. The scientists found the important criteria to be physical strength and endurance, concentration ability, and health-related quality of life using internationally accepted test techniques.
However, research shows that short bursts of moderate physical activity are excellent for enhancing concentration soon after exercise. This might be a quick stroll, a run, or even a leisurely cycle. However, the best sort of physical activity is one that you enjoy and that you can easily fit into your regular life. Finally, people must be able to engage in regular physical activity in order to reap both immediate and long-term advantages.
Primary school pupils with good physical fitness and a good ability to concentrate are more likely to make it to secondary grammar schools.Prof. Renate Oberhoffer-Fritz
Promoting children’s motor skills at an early stage is important
According to the study’s findings, the higher the degree of physical fitness of youngsters, the better their ability to concentrate and the higher their health-related quality of life. While the boys performed better on the fitness tests, the ladies performed better on the focus and quality of life assessments.
At the same time, in all physical fitness assessments, overweight and obese children performed significantly worse than underweight and normal-weight children. Obese children also had considerably lower values for overall health-related quality of life, physical well-being, self-esteem, and well-being in friendships and at school.
Sport is a social phenomenon. The positive influence of sport helps improve the quality of life of a person. Subjective dimensions of quality of life can be perceived as person’s individual perception of his/her life experience with all the influences he/she encounters and how they affect him or her.
Sport helps on the way to higher-level secondary grammar schools
Another significant finding from the study: “Primary school pupils with good physical fitness and a good ability to concentrate are more likely to make it to secondary grammar schools,” says Prof. Renate Oberhoffer-Fritz, holder of the TUM Chair of Preventive Pediatrics and Dean of the TUM Department of Sport and Health Sciences.
“This makes it even more crucial to support motor development in children at an early age, as this can also have a favorable impact on the development of mental fitness,” Prof. Oberhoffer-Fritz says. “When it comes to providing a broad and acceptable range of alternatives, collaboration among parents, schools, communities, and athletic groups is extremely vital.”
Dr. Thorsten Schulz, TUM study team leader: “Based on the findings of the study, the Berchtesgadener Land District Administration Office has been providing vouchers for a one-year membership in a sports club to all first-grade students in the region since 2019. This is an excellent example of how various stakeholders may collaborate to encourage youngsters to participate in more sports activities.”
The information was gathered using age-appropriate exams that were internationally recognized and standardized. Thus, physical strength and endurance were assessed using FitnessGram guidelines, concentration ability was assessed using the d2-R test, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) was assessed using the KINDL questionnaire.
The study was carried out in accordance with the principles of the Helsinki Declaration and was authorized by the local ethics commission. In a subsequent study, the researchers looked into older children and young adults in secondary schools. A second scientific article based on these findings is in the works.