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Study: PE Boosts Black Girls Academic Performance in School

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Girls-playing-soccerReported by Liku Zelleke

Physical Education (PE) is a key subject in high school that improves students’ physical well-being. A new study has revealed that PE could also significantly increase the academic performance of Black high school girls.

Although it is widely known that there is a direct link between physical exercise and stimulating brain-power, study, published online in Urban Education specifically targets over 180 African American high school girls in the Midwest.

During the study, the ladies were asked daily to report all their physical activities every 30 minutes and describe the intensity of the exercise. The results showed that besides PE, they had consistent amounts of physical activities (an average of less than one hour of daily moderate-to-vigorous activity and less than 30 minutes of vigorous physical activities) each day.

But on days when the girls attended PE class, which was every other day, over half of the ladies’ physical activities came solely from phys. ed. The researchers then worked with teachers to assess their academic performances.
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The results indicated that the girls performed better on the days they were actively engaged in physical activities as opposed to the days when they didn’t have PE classes.

The researchers wrote, “Students’ effort, attention and persistence during the initiation and execution of tasks in physical education could facilitate academic learning. Learning experience, self-regulation, and values obtained through physical education could act as a necessity to enhance learning in other academic subjects.”
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Researchers reached the conclusion that schools should consider PE classes as an integral part of building students’ academic performance and that promoting PE classes should be a “coherent goal in urban and inner-city schools.”
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Unfortunately, a 2013 study found that over 40 percent of schools across the nation had either totally dropped their PE programs or had cut back on funding them. It is hoped that this new study will encourage schools to change their plans.