Swimming a smart move for kids.
24 minutes duration.
Children who swim are demonstrating more advanced cognitive and physical abilities than other children, according to world-leading research led by Griffith University.
The findings of a four-year study by the Griffith Institute for Educational Research, Laurie Lawrence’s Kids Alive Swim Program and Swim Australia have surpassed expectations and indicate that swimming children have an advantage when starting school.
Lead researcher Professor Robyn Jorgensen said swimming children were anywhere from six to 15 months ahead of the normal population when it came to cognitive skills, problem solving in mathematics, counting, language and following instructions.
Researchers surveyed parents of 7000 children aged five years old and under from Australia, New Zealand and the US.
To overcome parental bias, a core group of 176 children were involved in a more intensive assessment process. Results were weighed against the expected progression of children through established milestones.
On average, the swimming children were eleven months ahead of the normal population in Oral Expression, six months ahead in Mathematics Reasoning and two months ahead in Brief Reading. As well as achieving physical milestones faster, they also scored significantly higher in visual-motor skills.
Furthermore, they were a staggering 17 months ahead in Story Recall and 20 months in Understanding Directions.
Legendary Australian swim coach Laurie Lawrence said the findings were beyond his wildest dreams and confirmed yet again the need for every child to learn to swim.
The research will be shared with Federal and State governments.