DEBInet Nutrition Blog » Blog Archive Study shows connection between physical fitness, concentration and quality of life in elementary school children

Author: Dr. oec. Christina Bächle, editor: Dr. Bertil Kluthe
© Kluthe Foundation Nutrition and Health

Thursday 28 July 2022

Physically fit elementary students can concentrate better and feel better, too. This is the result of a study conducted by the Faculty of Sports and Health Sciences of the Technical University of Munich (TUM). Additionally, the scientists involved report a connection between athletic performance and the switch to high school.

Numerous studies have analyzed the beneficial effects of exercise on health. In contrast, the Munich scientists’ approach to the connection between physical fitness, concentration, and health-related quality of life in elementary school students is new.

For the study, the scientists evaluated data from 3,285 girls and 3,248 boys aged six to ten years from the Berchtesgadener Land district. They used internationally known and standardized test methods to record strength and endurance, ability to concentrate, and health-related quality of life.

© pixabay

According to the study results, children’s physical fitness was correlated with their ability to concentrate and their health-related quality of life: physically fit children were able to concentrate better and also reported feeling better. When comparing boys and girls, boys performed better on fitness tests. The girls, on the other hand, were superior to them in the concentration tests and in terms of quality of life.

At the same time, there was a clear difference between elementary school children who were overweight or obese (adiposity) and children who were underweight or normal weight. Overweight or obese children not only performed worse in terms of physical fitness. Obese children in particular also reported lower overall health-related quality of life. Their physical well-being, self-esteem, and well-being in friendships and school were also affected.

In their current publication, the scientists also report a connection between physical fitness and receiving a recommendation from a high school: “Primary school children with good physical shape and ability to concentrate are more likely to make the leap to high school”explains Prof. Renate Oberhoffer-Fritz, Professor of Preventive Paediatrics and Dean of the Faculty of Sports and Health Sciences. “It is even more important to encourage children to develop motor skills at an early stage, because this can also have a positive influence on the development of mental fitness.”Oberhoffer-Fritz continues. Therefore, parents, schools, communities and sports clubs must work together to create a national range of exercise programs that are suitable for children.

To date, there have been no longitudinal studies examining the connection between physical fitness, quality of life, and ability to concentrate throughout childhood development. Therefore, the authors point out the need for more research to better understand the connection and to be able to design specific prevention programs.

written by dr. oec. trophic Christina Bächle on July 28, 2022 at 07:45

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