Twenty-four leading researchers and scientists’ from eight countries and from a variety of academic disciplines gathered in Denmark, to reach evidence-based consensus about physical activity in children. The Copenhagen Consensus focused on studies examining the health of children aged 6 to 18, and analyzed the effects of exercise.
This distinguished group of leading scientists’ and researchers’ agreed on the following:
"Exercise was beneficial for nearly every aspect of a child’s well-being: physical health, cognitive ability, self esteem, motivation and psychological well-being, as well as social inclusion."
Theme I: Physical Activity In Children
And Youth: Cognitive Functioning
Physical activity and cardio-respiratory fitness are beneficial to brain structure, brain function and cognition in children and youth.
Physical activity before, during and after school promotes scholastic performance in children and youth.
A single session of moderate physical activity has an acute benefit to brain function, cognition and scholastic performance in children and youth.
Mastery of fundamental movement skills is beneficial to cognition and scholastic performance in children and youth.
Time taken away from academic lessons in favor of physical activity has been shown to not come at the cost of scholastic performance in children and youth.
Cardio-respiratory and muscular fitness levels are strong predictors of future disease, such as coronary artery disease and diabetes.
Vigorous exercise has a marked favorable impact on cardio-metabolic fitness and other cardiovascular risk factors
Frequent moderate-intensity and, to a lesser extent, low-intensity exercise improves cardiometabolic fitness
Physical activity is important in the treatment of many chronic
Children and youth participating in leisure-time sports have higher levels of physical activity, fitness and overall cardio-metabolic health, and better musculoskeletal health when involved in weight-bearing sports.
Field-based testing of cardio-respiratory fitness and waist/height scores, is a valuable tool for preliminary assessment and identification of children and youth with cardio-metabolic risk.