(ANSA) - ROME, JUL 27 - Swimming a few laps will probably not transform your child into the next Michael Phelps, but it could only help him become the next JK Rowling or Stephen King. A recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Delaware and published in the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research suggests that physical exercise, particularly swimming that is practiced a lot in the summer, can increase children's vocabulary growth.
48 children and teens ages 6 to 12 were taught new words before doing one of three options: swim, take part in CrossFit exercises, or complete a coloring sheet.
It was found that those who swam were 13% more accurate on subsequent vocabulary word check tests.
The study results make sense to lead researcher, Maddy Pruitt. "Movement helps to code new words," Pruitt said, explaining that exercise is known to increase levels of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which is important for the nervous system.
So why did swimming make a difference while CrossFit didn't? Pruitt attributes this to the amount of energy each exercise requires from the brain. Swimming is an activity that children can complete without too many instructions. It's more automatic, while CrossFit exercises are new to them.