Move to Learn

Evidence shows that physical activity improves children’s cognitive functioning, concentration and on-task behaviour which can increase opportunities for academic success.


Why is Sport good for Boys?

Sport is beneficial for boys’ physical and mental health, their interaction with their peer group, exposure to pressure and the ability to learn valuable life lessons and skills.

There is some fascinating research that supports the link between physical activity and academic achievement. As outlined in a paper by Dr Karen Martin (2010), an increased participation in sport and other physical activity leads to an enhancement in cognitive functioning for children such as information processing, memory, concentration, behaviour and academic achievement.1

Additionally, increased participation in physical activity may also lead to greater learning and better grades among students while an increase in vigorous activity may even further enhance learning outcomes.


Studies on Intervention

There are a number of studies on Intervention (measure baseline, introduce activity and re-measure) and Correlation (explore relationship between physical activity, sport participation and academic performance retrospectively and prospectively) that support these views.

The model above called “Move to Learn” is a great visual depiction of the positive physical and mental affects that sport can have on children.

In an article cited by Dr Martin it is claimed that, in addition to the positive cognitive impacts that physical activity may have on the brain there are also a number of significant physiological impacts. For example, exercise can increase levels of brain growth factor (brain-derived neurotropic factor), stimulate nerve growth and development and increase the brain’s resistance to injury; therefore, regular physical activity is likely to provide children with the optimum physiological condition for taking full advantage of learning.2

Evidence shows that physical activity improves children’s cognitive functioning, concentration and on-task behaviour which can ultimately lead to greater opportunities to achieve academic success.3

Why Sport is important

Sport is compulsory at Newington because we know it has enormous mental and physical benefits. Hopefully in a world driven and measured by academic tables, the above information is a healthy reminder of why it is so important to move to learn.



1 Martin K. Brain Boost: Sport and physical activity enhance children’s learning. Government of Western Australia Department of Sport and Recreation. 2010.

2 Mahar MT. Effects of a classroom-based program on physical activity and on-task behavior. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006;38(12):2086

3 Sibley BA, Etnier JL. The relationship between physical activity and cognition in children: A meta-analysis. Pediatric Exercise Science. 2003;2003(15):243-256.