Researchers at American University have been studying the affects of Washington D.C.’s Healthy Schools Act, reports the Washington Post. Not surprisingly, they discovered that the schools offering the most physical education also had the highest scores in math.

D.C.’s Healthy Schools Act was passed in 2010 to combat childhood obesity rates. As part of the program, schools were required to incrementally increase the amount of physical education time that students were receiving.

The researchers divided the schools into four tiers based on how much physical education time they actually offered and compared the math scores of each tier. Schools in the two upper tiers, which offered significantly more physical education time, saw higher math scores than the lower two tiers, which offered less physical education time.  

Interestingly, these dramatic results occurred even after researchers accounted for other variables, such as socioeconomic background.

Commenting on the research, the dean of American University’s School of Education, Stacey Snelling, noted:

“This finding demonstrates that students’ academic performance improves when there’s a balance between time spent on physical education and time spent on learning.”

Hopefully schools will begin to sit up, take notice, and get their students moving.

Image Credit: Green Schoolyard Network