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Team sports cool aggressive boys: study Add to ...

He's the kid who practices bodyslams on his little brother and tells you where to go when you ask him to eat his broccoli. Instead of lecturing your son, enroll him in basketball.

New research from Tel Aviv University suggests physical education can be more effective than verbal therapy to treat aggression in boys, according to Medical News Today.

Scientists studied 649 children from low socioeconomic backgrounds over a six-month period. Half the group was introduced to after-school sports programs for five hours a week. They played team sports such as basketball or soccer three times a week and learned martial arts such as karate twice a week.

Compared to the control group, who did not participate in the after-school sports programs, the physically active group showed greater self control, problem solving and a decline in aggressive behaviour. The results were far more prominent with boys than girls. Researchers noticed the change after comparing evaluations and questionnaires administered before the intervention and then after.

The lead researcher says getting kids into physical activity is more useful than verbal therapy because the former reduces negative emotions, while the latter does not.

According to the group Active Healthy Kids Canada, only 7 per cent of kids meet the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines of at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day.

How active are your kids? How has exercise affected their behaviour?

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