Teaching Children to Swim Helps Them Perform Better Academically

Swimming kids are smarter

That’s what Griffith University professor Robyn Jorgensen concluded after conducting a four year study of approximately 7000 children that confirmed that children who learned how to swim at a young age, under five years, were able to achieve a greater range of skills including academic skills than young children who were not taught to swim. The study based its conclusion on research Jorgensen and her colleagues gathered from parents in the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

Children test higher

Jorgensen and her primary research colleague Bob Funnell also studied 180 children under five with the help of researcher Patricia Funnell and swimming coaches Laurie and Ross Gage to assess additional benefits associated with preschoolers who were taught to swim and concluded, “In early swimming lessons, young learners are exposed to new experiences that extend their repertoire of skills, knowledge and dispositions.”  Their studies established that young children who swam regularly tested higher and performed better than non-swimmers in their “language, intellectual and social capital.”

Children achieve competency quicker


What surprised Professor Jorgensen was that “children also scored significantly better in literacy, numeracy, mathematical reasoning, visual motor skills (cutting paper, drawing lines, colouring) and oral expression. She also added, “Quality swimming lessons are rich in opportunities for learning beyond swimming skills…which may help in the transition to school.”

There were so many positive outcomes from swimming besides the obvious benefits of exercise for children in general, Jorgensen was astounded that her study had unearthed so many benefits she had not been originally testing like learning to socialize, gaining self-confidence and encouraging controlled risk taking.

Children read sooner and understand math concepts quicker

Letter word recognition, understanding directions, passage comprehension, increased vocabulary, applied problems and quantitative concepts were all rated higher in preschool children who had the benefit of early swim training according to Jorgensen’s report.

Jorgensen and her team of scientists also report that preschoolers who swam regularly were able to count to ten and understand general math concepts quicker than their peers who did not have the benefit of swim training.

Whole child development

Jorgensen is not alone in her conclusions about the many benefits of early swimming lessons. Studies conducted at the German Sports College also conclude that:

• Early childhood swim lessons advanced a child’s mental, physical and emotional development
• Early swimmers were stronger and more coordinated than their non-swimming peers
• Swimmers scored higher for intelligence and problem solving
• They showed more self-discipline and a greater sense of self-control
• They also rated higher for independence, adapting to social situations and self-esteem

Contact Emily’s Swim School today for more information on how we can help your child develop their swimming skills.