Study: Improved Fitness Can Impact Learning

Oct 26, 2011, 11:10 ET from Legacy Charter School

GREENVILLE, S.C., Oct. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Legacy Charter School is successfully addressing two major concerns impacting society today: American students falling behind academically and sedentary lifestyles that make our children less healthy.

Furman University researcher Dr. Julian Reed released the results today from his second year of examining the links between physical activity and cognition among Legacy Charter School children. Legacy is the only school in South Carolina to provide 45 minutes of daily physical education for each student.

Reed compared Legacy student data to two control schools with similar demography. Legacy students significantly improved on 59 percent of the cognitive measures, compared to a 25 percent improvement among controls. Legacy students also showed a 92 percent improvement in fitness, compared to only an 8 percent improvement among controls. Furthermore, Legacy students expressed increased levels of enjoyment of regular physical activity.

"We all want to see healthier kids," said Reed, a professor of health sciences at Furman. "A growing body of research is showing that improved physical fitness puts children in better position for academic achievement."

In developing its focus on physical fitness, Legacy has collaborated with The Cooper Institute. The Dallas-based organization is a pioneer in the field of aerobic fitness.

"Ten years of research has repeatedly shown a strong association between children's fitness and academic performance," said Connie Tyne, vice president of external affairs with The Cooper Institute. "Physical activity improves a child's ability to learn."

William Brown, Legacy board chairman and a former high school basketball coach said the goal for every student is to become a college graduate and enjoy a physically active lifestyle.

"We want our students to have the opportunity to create a better life for themselves, their families and their community," said Brown. "Our vision at Legacy Charter School is to offer a quality, rigorous, and relevant educational program leading to college graduation and empowering underserved urban students to become productive, fit, principled citizens in a changing society. Dr. Reed's findings show that we are well on our way to making that vision a reality."

Legacy Charter School is a free, public charter school open to all students in Greenville County. The school has approximately 750 students in grades K5-10 and is located on two campuses in Greenville's Westside. The Parker Campus serves students in grades 5-10, while a newly renovated campus at the site of the former Greenville County Fine Arts Center serves K5-4th grade. For further information about the school, visit

SOURCE Legacy Charter School