Saturday, May 26, 2012

Physical Education and Academic Performance

Our concept of PE? See report from the Borneo Post Online

“Noticed the obvious declining standards of the national schools - lack of 'out-of-the class' exposures, lack of proper guidance- including cultivating good habits & manners, lack of follow-ups (ie. school work/ homework unchecked/unmarked for several weeks), lack of 'compulsory' workbook usage, lack of teachers, teachers absence during class periods increasing (especially during moral lessons), lack emphasis on non-academic subjects (ie. art, PE, Moral, KT, etc.)....just to name a few.

Very, very disturbing & frustrating...”

 a post by MOYSC in the Subang Jaya e-Community Portal 

More physical education in schools leads to better motor skills and it can also sharpen students’ learning ability.

This is shown by Assistant Professor Ingegerd Ericsson at Malmö University in a unique study where she followed more than two hundred schoolchildren for nine years in Malmö in southern Sweden.

The differences are especially clear among boys.

“The differences are significant between children who underwent expanded teaching in physical education and children who had regular instruction,” says Ingegerd Ericsson.

Ingegerd Ericsson monitored three cohorts of children in grades 1-3 (darjah 1-3 in the Malaysian school system) at Ängslätt School and Sundsbro School in Bunkeflostrand in Malmö. She compared the development of children in an intervention group that received scheduled physical education five days a week, plus extra motor training, with the development of a control group. For nine years Ingegerd Ericsson registered motor-skills observations, such as balance and coordination, in a total of 220 students. She also compared their results on diagnostic tests in grade 2 and their final grades in grade 9.

Now she has compiled the report, which shows that:

• 96 percent of the intervention group compared to 89 percent in the control group achieved the goals of compulsory school and were eligible to go on to upper-secondary school.  It is primarily the boys’ achievements—with 96 percent vs. 83 percent—that lies behind this outcome. Moreover, the boys in the intervention group had significantly higher grades in Swedish, English, Mathematics, and PE and health than the boys in the control group.

• In grade 9, 93 percent of the students in the intervention group evinced good motor skills compared to 53 percent in the control group.

The reliability of the findings is further enhanced by the homogenity in the groups under investigation: the children are the same age, go to the same school, and have parents with comparable education, income, and interest in physical activity.

“Physical education has been pared down from three lessons a week to one or two. We scientifically confirm here that daily timetabled physical education and adapted motor skills training not only improve motor skills but also school achievement. With more physical education and health considerably more students attain passing grades,” says Ingegerd Ericsson.

Professor Magnus Karlsson at the Orthopedic Clinic at the Scania University Hospital is co-author of the study. Magnus Karlsson has previously shown that daily physical education in Bunkeflostrand schools has an excellent effect on the development of the skeleton and muscles, and that children who were most physically active had the least tendency to develop overweight and risk factors for cardiovascular disease.


The above story is bsed on the May 23, 2012 newsrelease by Expertanswer. The research is published here: Ericsson I, Karlsson MK. Effects of increased physical activity and motor training on motor skills and self-esteem. An intervention study in school years 1 through 9. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2012 Apr 9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2012.01458.x.

Click HERE for the Full Text from the International Journal of Sports Psychology.

See also related research papers:

Despite its importance, physical education is often among the first on the list of subjects which are considered to be expendable.

EH Wee. Physical Education in Malaysia: A Case Study of Fitness Activity in Secondary
School Physical Education Classes. Chapter 2, Innovative Practices in Physical Education and Sports in Asia, UNESCO Bangkok, 2008. viii + 100 pp. Click HERE to read

Given competent providers, physical education can be added to the school curriculum by taking time from other subjects without risk of hindering student academic achievement. On the other hand, adding time to "academic" or "curricular" subjects by taking time from physical education programmes does not enhance grades in these subjects and may be detrimental to health.

Trudeau F, Shephard RJ. Physical education, school physical activity, school sports and academic performance. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2008; 5: 10 Click HERE for the Full Text

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