Updated: Feb 20, 2019
The Early Years Swimming Research Project from Griffith University in Australia has concluded that teaching your children to swim as early as possibly makes the transition to school much easier. Read on for some more amazing statistics.
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 7,000 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, swimming children were:
11 months ahead of the normal population in oral expression
6 months ahead in mathematical reasoning
2 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.
“This is mind-blowing stuff because it confirms the importance of swimming lessons beyond water safety alone. It proves that swimming truly does provide added capital to children’s lives by helping them socially, physically, cognitively and emotionally,” Mr Lawrence said.
“The connection to education, to improved learning, is extremely exciting and significant,” he said.
Professor Jorgensen agreed that the project carried implications for education, especially for children from low socio-economic situations.
“Our research is categorical, evidence-based and shows that early years swimming has children well ahead in many of the skills and processes they will apply once at school.”
Learning to swim is a smart move.
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