Children's academic performance could be linked to their level of physical activity, Dutch scientists have claimed.

The researchers, from the Vrije University Medical Center in Amsterdam, looked at 14 studies involving more than 12,000 children. They claim there is a strong link between exercise and academic performance.

Writing in the journal Archives of Paediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, lead researcher Dr Amika Singh said: "According to the best-evidence synthesis, we found strong evidence of a significant positive relationship between physical activity and academic performance.

"The findings of one high-quality intervention study and one high-quality observational study suggest that being more physically active is positively related to improved academic performance in children."

It is thought exercise may help academic performance by increasing blood and oxygen flow to the brain, reducing levels of stress and improving mood.

However, the scientists claim more quality research is needed in the field to test the link.

Posted by Robert Mair on 4/1/2012