Fitness Helps Children’s Language Skills

Fitness Helps Children’s Language Skills

Researchers in the US have found that children who are physically fit have better reading and language skills than their less fit peers. 

Electroencephalography (EEG) readouts showed pattern waves that are associated with different tasks, such as reading. These patterns, called ‘event-related potentials’ (ERPs), vary according to the person being evaluated and the nature of the task.

For example, if you hear or read a word in a sentence that makes sense, the component of the brain waveform known as the N400 is less pronounced than if you read a sentence that is nonsense.

Another waveform, the P600 is associated with the grammatical rules of a sentence.

The researchers looked at these two waveforms and found that children who were fitter had higher amplitude N400 and P600 waves than their less fit peers when reading normal or nonsensical sentences.  The readouts showed that the N400 waves were shorter in children who were fitter, suggesting that they processed the same information more quickly than their peers.

The study’s author Professor Hillman concluded: ‘Many studies conducted in the last decade, on children and older adults have repeatedly demonstrated an effect of increases in either physical activity in one’s lifestyle or improvements in aerobic fitness, and the implications of those health behaviours for brain structure, brain function and cognitive performance.’ Visit so you can be fit everyday.

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