Study: Swimming boosts young children’s development

Children who start swimming at a young age achieve a wide range of skills earlier than the normal population, a new study finds.

Researchers at Griffith University surveyed parents of 7000 children under 5 from Australia, New Zealand and the United States. They also further tested 180 children aged 3, 4 and 5 years on cognitive and physical developmental milestones, making this particular study the world’s most comprehensive one into early-years swimming to date.

Young swimmers were found to reach cognitive and physical milestones earlier than the norm.

“Many of these skills are those that help young children into the transition into formal learning contexts such as pre-school or school. The research also found significant differences between the swimming cohort and non-swimmers regardless of socio-economic background,” Professor Robyn Jorgensen, who led the study, notes.

She and her team also found there were no gender differences between the research cohort and the normal population.

In addition to achieving physical milestones faster, the young swimmers also scored significantly better in visual-motor skills such as cutting paper, drawing lines and shapes, colouring them in and other mathematically-related tasks. Their oral expression, literacy and numeracy were also better.

Remember to encourage your children to engage in physical activity and sports that promote hand-eye and physical co-ordination, which boost not only agility and athleticism but also academic performance and attitudes on learning.

SOURCE: Griffith University

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