Mind-body, brain, education: A neuroscience perspective about physical education


  • Diana Olivieri


Given the growing concern about physical inactivity in youth, linked, among other things, to contemporary technologies usage, the purpose of this paper is to highlight the benefits that active play, physical activity and sport can have in contributing to positive development.
The link between physical activity and cognitive benefits has been well-established by neuroscience, educational and cognitive research, primarily in the areas of school performance, attention deficits, and psychological well-being. Physical activity/recreation programmes, in particular intensive aerobic exercise, prepare the brain for learning by putting the brain in a more optimal learning state. Physical education in schools offers an advantageous opportunity to promote physical activity among the population of school-aged children. As we explore neuroscience findings, we can think about translating research into
classroom practice, through a brain-based Physical education curriculum. Considering recent results supporting the hypothesis that exercise and physical activity impact structural brain growth and functional neurocognitive development, particularly the development of executive functions, neuroscience can be used as the new frontier in Physical education advocacy. To sum up, the positive responses to regular physical activity among students are overall good reasons for recommending regular exercise and active play not only in school, but also outside.



How to Cite

Olivieri, D. (2017). Mind-body, brain, education: A neuroscience perspective about physical education. Formazione & Insegnamento, 14(1 Suppl.), 89–106. Retrieved from https://ojs.pensamultimedia.it/index.php/siref/article/view/1882

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