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D. Why Schools Should Not Skimp on Kids' Physical Activity

Narrator: This is Science Today. Physical activity during the school day could lead to better performance in the classroom. Researchers from the University of California , San Diego School of Medicine conducted a review of past studies and found evidence that exercise leads to increased attention span. Pediatrician Howard Taras, who led the review, discusses the benefits.

Taras : If you provide a good PE program, even though you're taking up class time, you are not necessarily going to have any problems with how you achieve or how those children achieve academically. Probably because they're more attentive in the immediate aftermath of that physical activity. So that, even though you may have lost 45 minutes, you've gained some attention span and productivity.

Narrator: Taras emphasizes that any physical activity would be helpful, including recess breaks.

Taras : We don't want to see kids miss recess. We don't want to see kids not run around during lunchtime. That's probably the worst thing you could do for their future behavior for the rest of they day! What we want to see is activity during the day so they can be more attentive to their schoolwork.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.