The Link Between Physical Activity and Attainment in Children and Young People

Young people are not taking part in enough physical activity and alongside this, schools in England have seen significant cuts to the amount of PE on the school timetable. Young people are also affected by the attainment gap , and the current slow progress in narrowing the gap means it will persist for decades.

We know that physical activity contributes to physical health, mental and social wellbeing, and life-skill development but it has wider benefits.

Our latest evidence paper details the positive association we see between physical activity, learning and attainment in children and young people, highlighting the importance of maintaining focus and investment in this area.

It emphasises the unique role that schools can play in influencing motivation and providing opportunities for activity. Evidence shows:

  • Physical activity can enhance cognition, emotional regulation, help children to concentrate and is associated with higher levels of academic achievement
  • Children who were more active performance significantly better in writing and maths than children who were less active.

PE and Achievement evidence paper

Here you can download the full report.

Published on 31 January 2022