Aug 28, 2023
Study: Team sports aids in improved child cognition

According to a recent European study, children who participate in team sports at a young age are more likely to have higher intelligence.

Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland studied more than 500 children between the ages of 6 and 9 for two years and found that children who spent more time playing team sports and reading books developed better thinking skills than those who focused on other activities.

team sportsA recent story from details the University of Eastern Finland study linking team sports and increased intelligence in children.

Below is an excerpt from the story.

The best results came when children combined increased sports and reading time with a healthy diet, which the researchers defined as a traditional Nordic diet featuring low-fat dairy products and less red meat or sausage.

“Improved diet quality and increased organized sports and reading were associated with improved cognition,” the neuroscientists wrote.

One particular part of the study’s findings stands out: the suggestion that structured physical activity, like organized sports, can improve kids’ cognitive skills. The finding builds on past research, which showed a clear link between increased physical activity and improved brain function, including memory and learning ability.

Kids who play youth sports often have higher self-esteem and lower rates of anxiety and depression than their peers, according to the National Institutes of Health. Team sports especially offer a mental health boost by blending physical activity with social development.

Still, experts often recommend a healthy mix of structured and unstructured play for children: The former can provide more targeted learning, while the latter can help foster creativity and self-motivation.

To read the full story from CNBC, click here. 

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