Physically fit students score higher on tests than their less fit peers

Test scores dropped more than one point for each extra minute it took middle and high school students to complete a 1-mile run/walk fitness test.

65% of the students were below the state fitness standard. Compared with these students, students who met or exceeded fitness standards had higher average test scores. Overweight and obese students also scored significantly lower on tests.

Schools may have to reverse their recent disinvestment in physical education ostensibly for the purposes of boosting student achievement.

Exercise slows telomere shortening (and aging). Telomeres are the chromosome tips which shorten each time a cell divides, making them a possible marker of aging. A study of 2400 twins showed that physically active people had longer telomeres than sedentary people.

Human chromosomes (grey) capped by telomeres (white). Image source: Wikipedia, public

If you need any more convincing, please see this Thai Health Promotion Foundation video that clearly shows the benefits of exercise:

Participation in sport is associated with a with a 20—40% reduction in all-cause mortality compared with non-participation. Exercise might also be considered as a fifth vital sign, according to the Lancet:

Physical, academic fitness tied at the hip: study. Reuters, 2010.
The Journal of Pediatrics, published online January 25, 2010.

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