A recent study has found that Minnesota students are improving test scores with exercise.

A state study found that students who exercise have better school attendance and do better with reading and writing.

The study was conducted by the Minnesota departments of Health and Education. 14 schools each received $10,000 to implement physical activity programs for three years as part of the study. Most schools did more than enhance physical education classes.  They incorporated physical activity within the school day, in the classroom and before and after school.

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The results of the study found that physically fit students were more likely to score well on standardized tests.  They were 27 percent more likely to be proficient in math and 24 percent more likely to be proficient in reading.

“We can’t prove that any one thing makes a difference, but over the last three years we have seen an improvement in test scores, in particular reading,” said Tim Lutz, superintendent of Kelliher Public Schools.

At Kelliher, the activities included “active classrooms” where students moved around in two ten minute breaks each day. They also had before and after school activities which included running, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and yoga.

“Once kids have had that 10-minute break or run in the morning, we are finding that their brains are fired up and they are much more willing and capable to become focused again,” said Lutz.

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