Friends of the Behavioral Economics Blog, this week we present the paper “The role of physical activity promoting thinking skills and emotional behavior of preschool children”, by Wang, Changwei (2022), in whichthe authors main purpose is to determine the relationship between physical education and emotional development of preschool children.
This study involved 366 children (188 boys and 178 girls) at the age of 5 and 6 years old.
There has been shown that regular physical activity provides psychological benefits, like reducing symptoms of depression, positive moods, reduced anxiety, and increased self-esteem, but is not much information about how it affects young children.
Now, doing exercise with classmates involves a lot of more than just the physical aspect. It makes them realize the importance of working together, meeting new people, and developing thinking skills.
These activities can also help them with initiative, individual imagination, and independence to achieve a game result and responsibility to a team.
Physical activity improves the overall level of concentration, allows children to cope better with anxiety and stress, and improves motor skills and brain development.
The author remarks that Social-emotional development of preschoolers is one of the basic components of mental health, the ability to experiences emotions and understand them, and even try to regulate their expressions can lead to a mature child.
The concept of social-emotional competence (SEC) has these characteristics: self-awareness, empathy, motivation, self-regulation, thinking skills.
Now back to the study, the three main purposes were:
- Determining the relationship between physical education classes and critical thinking
- Identify social and emotional problems of young children before and after intensive physical education classes
- Determining the impact of gender and age differences among study participants on physical activity
The research was carried out for two months, children took physical education classes daily, with the supervising of health care professionals to ensure that these exercises did not exceed the body of the children.
A research limitation that needs to be clarified is that children in the age of 5 and 6 years old have different levels of development and social-emotional problems and thinking skills.
The data obtained indicate that after 3 months of physical education according to the enhanced program, the performance of children in all main aspects of emotional and social criteria increased in a positive direction.
Physical activity has the most significant effect on interaction with people, education improves communication skills and promotes better adaptability to external factors.
Before physical education, children had more perceptible problems with communication and adaptation to the external environment, and interconnection with people.
There are also less problems after physical activity in shifting attention from one activity to another, the ability to self-organize, and the ability to play alone.
The study showed that physical activity has a positive effect on social and emotional well-being.
This can allow us to conclude that children who are immersed in an environment of physical activity, outdoor games, and rhythmic improved their mood and became happier.
In accordance with the results of the test establish that of interaction with people, after a long period of intensive physical education, children prefer group games and react more positively to new people make new acquaintances and become more sociable.
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