A healthy lifestyle to increase academic performances?

Is their a link between health and academic performance? Well, according to studies that are mentioned in a paper about the health of students and their academic achievements (see link at the bottom of this post) their is indeed a link between the two fields. The paper states that healthy children are in a better position to acquire knowledge than unhealthy children. It also says the there are already a lot of publications that concluded that health and academic performance are intertwined. Unhealthy habits as alcohol, tobacco and other kinds of drugs can lead to less concentration, a more negative attitude towards school, more health risks,… that can result in more absence and eventually lower grades. Another bad influence on academic performances is a bad diet. Poor nutrition has a negative effect on learning, concentration and the energy level of the child which again can lead to lower grades.

Different schools in America have school health policies to try to make their student live healthier and give them a better chance in succeeding. Physical activities are an important aspect of these health plans. Study shown that exercising has a positive influence on academic outcomes, maintenance of relationships with people and reduce of depression, anxiety and fatigue.

Personally, I wouldn’t live healthier for better academic performances only. I would do it for other advantages as less chance of diseases, living longer, the energy you get from it and the healthy look it will give you. But of course a better academic performance is a big advantage and is something to keep in mind as motivation to live healthy.

Would you change your lifestyle to a healthy one (if it’s not already the case) only to influence your academic performances positively? Or would all the other advantages convince you to live healthy?

Reference:

Symons Wolford, C., Cinelli, B., James, T., Groff, P., 1997, Bridging student health risks and academic achievement through comprehensive school health programs, Journal of School Health, Vol.67, No. 6

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