Scientists studied 8,061 Finnish children in a database that included weight, height, physical activity, parent-reported motor function at age 8 and academic achievement at 16.
Poor motor function, physical inactivity and obesity, the researchers found, contribute independently and in complex interrelationships to academic underachievement. Poor motor function, in other words, may set a child on the developmental track to poor grades.
The authors acknowledged that their data on motor function and physical activity relied on self-reports, which are not always reliable.
Image: Toddler climbing stacks of books, via Shutterstock