Early childhood plays a significant role in the advancement of a child’s motor and cognitive development in human life. It is important to note that there is a paucity of literature examining the relationship between physical activities and cognitive development in children, however, the few published literature have shed some hopes where they report a positive correlation between cognitive development and physical activities in children. The main areas of cognitive development researchers focus on when assessing the relationship between physical activity and cognitive development in children include, language learning, academic achievement, attention, and working memory. To help you understand the relationship between cognitive development in children and sports we have highlighted how the following areas’ attention, thinking, language, and memory are affected by participating in physical activities.
Attention in children have been observed to improve with participation in regular physical activities, in a cross-sectional study evaluating effects of participating in regular physical activities in children between age 13 to 14 years it was noted that engaging in regular moderately intense physical activities improved focus of children toward given tasks significantly, this was evident in class in a three-hour lesson where the processes that need attention to start to deteriorate, other studies have also indicated that children who participate in sports are calm and controlled in class compared to those who spend most of their time playing passive games or watching videos on computers.
Thinking is another cognitive area in children that have been observed to positively affected by participating in physical activities, a few studies that have investigated this relationship have reported that children who participate in regular physical activities demonstrate a significant level of creativity compared to children with a sedentary lifestyle, some cross-sectional studies have reported that planning process for children who engage in sports such as football and karate are more developed than those of their peers who are not in any organized sport.
Children who participate in regular physical activities were observed to have improved speech-language, a good number of studies have associated participation in sports with a high level of understanding of complex words and improved capacity to detect syntax errors in children, this has contributed to many scientists associating good grades with participation in regular physical activities in sports.
It is important to note that scientists have identified a positive correlation between physical activities, learning, and memory in children, this is so because engaging in regular physical activities such as karate or football promotes the growth of greater basal ganglia and hippocampus capacities the areas that are associated with cognitive control and memory, some studies have found that children between age 3-5 years with improved physical activities have great cognitive functions especially in the area of working memory. Those are the main relationship between cognitive development and physical activities in children.