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Physically Fit Students Do Better on Achievement Tests

by The Kid's Doctor Staff

Texas students who are more in shape than their peers are more likely to do well on achievement tests according to a new study by the Texas Education Agency. The study also showed that those same students are less likely to have discipline problems.

The study is based on annual physical assessments of more than 2-million students in the Texas public school system. It found that increased exercise helps the brain function more efficiently and enhances the ability to learn.

“Texas is the first state to require an annual physical fitness assessment of public school students,” said state Education Commissioner Robert Scott in a statement. “Today’s research results show that improving our children’s physical fitness can have positive results not only for the children, but also for the schools as well.”

State Representative Jane Nelson who is sponsoring legislation to increase physical education requirements for Texas middle school students said there is more work to do to combat obesity and get children in shape, including more P.E. time. Her proposed bill would require two more additional semesters of P.E. in middle school. Currently students already have to take four semesters. Critics of the bill, including groups that represent fine arts teachers, say it would take away students’ ability to take art, music and other fine arts classes.

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