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HHS HealthBeat (March 8, 2011)

Tag adds up

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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Go figure: A study finds math and cognitive scores went up in overweight kids who got more physically active. And the activity didn’t have to be harder than a good game of tag.

At Georgia Health Sciences University in Augusta, researcher Catherine Davis saw it in 171 previously inactive kids ages 7 to 11. Those assigned to exercise played hard 40 minutes or 20 minutes each school day for three months.

``The improvement was greater in the higher-dose exercise group, so it seems like the more they do, the better it is for their brains.’’ (6 seconds)

Davis says the study shows an active body can help an active mind, possibly by improving the brain.

The study in the journal Health Psychology was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: May 7, 2011