Faktaa and Facts Express

Facts Express 1C/2018: Physical activity during the school day and learning

Basic education Physical education
Facts Express 1C/2018 cover

Facts Express 1C/2018
(pdf, 6.49 MB)


Summary of the status review

Research on physical activity as a learning pathway provided by the child's growth environment has increased considerably in the past few years. For example, leisure-time physical activity and good cardiorespiratory fitness are known to be linked with good academic achievement in school. Physical activity has also been found to strengthen children's cognitive activity, especially their memory and executive functions. It also affects pupils' behaviour in the classroom.

New information has been published especially on the links of physical activity during the school day with academic success and cognitive activity, but also with physical activity and factors that enable learning, such as concentrating on exercises, behaviour and social activities in the school environment.

What, then, have studies revealed about the effect of physical activity during the school day? The Finnish National Agency for Education and the LIKES Research Centre for Physical Activity and Health have published a status review for which information has been collected from studies published in science magazines between 1990 and 2016. Their cooperation partners were the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Finnish Schools on the Move programme and the Future of Learning, Knowledge and Skills programme of the Academy of Finland. This Facts Express contains a summary of the content of the status review.

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