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Children Who Learn to Swim Early are Smarter: Study

Update Date: Nov 17, 2012 02:24 AM EST

A new study suggests that children who learn to swim at a young age develop faster and are smarter than other kids their age.

A research by scientists from the Griffith Institute for Educational Research, which surveyed parents of 7000 children from Australia, New Zealand and the US revealed the findings. The children in the study were all below five years of age and the study lasted for a span of three years.

An additional 180 children, aged 3-5 years, were involved in the test, making it the world's most comprehensive study into early-years swimming, Medical Xpress reported.

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"Many of these skills are those that help young children 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. While the two higher socio-economic groups performed better than the lower two in testing, the four SES groups all performed better than the normal population," lead researcher Professor Robyn Jorgensen said, according to the report.

There was no gender difference found in the research cohort and the normal population.

Apart from better physical development, it was also apparent that the children scored better significantly in visual-motor skills such as cutting paper, colouring in and drawing lines and shapes and mathematical tasks. They were also found to be more expressive orally, and performed better in areas such as literacy and numeracy.

"Many of these skills are highly valuable in other learning environments and will be of considerable benefit for young children as they transition into pre-schools and school," Jorgensen added.

 

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