Yes, it is perfectly right. Exercise does help children to do better in academics and school. It has always been a known fact that exercise helps a person to relax and do better mental work. A recent study has proved that aerobic exercises help a child to perform better than a child who does not indulge in such activities.
A team of researchers from the University of Illinois carried on a study to find out if the mental faculties of a group of children in the age group of nine to ten years increased after doing aerobic exercises. These children were given tests in basic skills like reading, spelling and math. On the first day the children took the test after a period of rest of 20 minutes. On the following day they were asked to take similar tests after they had walked on the treadmill. It was revealed that the aerobic exercise improved the mental performance of the children and also made them more attentive.
However one may wonder how is aerobic exercise good for the brain. This can easily be understood by the fact that exercise helps to generate more blood that is pumped to the brain. So regular exercises helps the brain to get a steady and continuous supply of blood to the brain.
Besides exercise also plays a vital role in relieving anxiety and stress, which play an important role in decreasing attentiveness, concentration and learning. The same effect has been noticed in other vigorous and competitive activities like a game of basketball or cricket.
This study also suggests that the activities which children do during their recess period in school have an impact on their level of concentration and attentiveness. It would be best to insist on outdoor recess in schools. This would encourage children to be more active than just stand or sit and gossip. Setting up of gyms in schools would be a good idea, however this may not be viable in all schools due to the cost factor.
In addition to this proposal it would be best to make it compulsory to have about two and a half hours of formal physical exercise per week in the primary school level and about three and a half hours of physical exercise at the secondary school level.
In addition teachers should include physical activity in the learning process. However the parents, teachers and school authorities need to pay special attention to this aspect to provide long-lasting benefits to children from the young age. Exercise, especially of the aerobic nature is an asset for the growing children who not only improve in their concentration and attention, but also can easily fight the ills of obesity and diabetes.
However one thing needs to be noted, that all athletes do not necessarily perform well in school also. One could easily attribute it to the fact that academics are less important for them and they devote all their attention and time to improve their level of competence in athletics.
To conclude, exercise does play a vital role in the performance of children in schools who go to it to get better grades than competence in games and athletics alone.