Physical education classes in school could reduce insomnia and feelings of loneliness in children, according to a study.
The above findings were from a gender analysis of the impact of physical education on the mental health of schoolchildren in Brazil, published online by the open access journal, SSM – Population Health.
Scientists analysed data from more than 40,000 ninth grade (14-15-year-old) children from 3,160 schools across Brazil. The children were asked to complete a questionnaire, which included questions on whether they attend physical education classes, feel lonely and have difficulty sleeping.
The results showed that physical education reduced loneliness and insomnia in both boys and girls, but had a greater effect on boys. It has what the researchers call ‘a protective effect on mental health’.