The early and middle years of childhood are pivotal for positive cognitive development throughout life, resulting in healthier societies.
The early and middle years of childhood are pivotal for positive cognitive development throughout life, resulting in healthier societies.

Circus activity can improve mental health in children

ANI | Updated: May 11, 2019 23:26 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], May 11 (ANI): Researchers have discovered the true value of circus skills and their unique ability to deliver significant mental health benefits.
"Mental illness has risen alarmingly in Australia with one in five adults and one in seven children experiencing a mental illness in any one year. Our research shows that for every dollar invested for a child in a circus training programme, seven dollars are potentially saved in their future mental health costs," says lead researcher Dr McGrath.
Researchers used an internationally recognised methodology and qualitative and quantitative research tools to track the experiences of 55 children (aged 8-14 years) across a six-month Cirkidz Tweenz program, where children had the opportunity to learn, improve and extend new skills in acrobatics, balance, juggling, and aerial activities.
After participating in the circus programme children showed significant improvements in four areas of mental wellbeing: stress relief; self-esteem; confidence; and socialisation.
"Children reported that circus training helped them feel much better about themselves, both physically and mentally. They felt a greater sense of freedom, confidence and happiness, far less worry and stress than when they first started the program and reported feeling brave and proud of their achievements," explained Dr McGrath.
According to the study published in the Journal of Sociology of Leisure, it is important to support positive mental health initiatives from childhood to ensure lifelong societal and economic benefits.
The early and middle years of childhood are pivotal for positive cognitive development throughout life, resulting in healthier societies.
Healthier societies can mean a reduction in lifestyle-related illnesses and can potentially reduce our reliance on healthcare resources. Furthermore, healthier societies have been shown to be more economically productive.
"If we want to address these issues, we need to start exploring the value and contribution of unique programs like circus skills so that we can ensure happier children now, and healthier adults and communities in the future," concludes Dr McGrath. (ANI)

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