New Study investigating the impact of the INPP Developmental Exercise Programme for Schools in elementary schools in Germany

Published.12/2012.Niedersӓchisches Ӓrzteblӓtt.pp.43-47

Ruhe durch mehr Bewegung

Kann sich die Schule selber helfen? Eine Studie über ein neurophysiologisches Übungsprogramm belegt positive Auswirkungen auf das Lernverhalten bei Schulkindern

Schulkinder zeigen heute andere und mehr Auf- fälligkeiten als in zurückliegenden Zeiten. Dies wird unter dem Begriff „Neue Morbidität“ zu- sammengefasst und ist in verschiedenen Stu- dien (z.B. KiGGs-Studie des Robert-Koch-Insti- tutes) nachgewiesen. Dazu gehören Verhal- tensstörungen, Teilleistungsstörungen, Kon- zentrationsstörungen und Wahrnehmungsstö- rungen. Psychische Störungen, Allergien, Ess- störungen, Störungen der Motorik und Auffäl- ligkeiten, die unter ADS/ADHS zusammenge- fasst werden, sind ebenfalls weit verbreitet

Translation of main findings:

Study took place between 2008 and 2011

  • 4 primary schools took part in the district of Goslar
  • 139 children (6 classes) given exercises over the course of a year
  • 2 classes with a total of 34 children were the control group and had no exercises
  • study started in the Autumn term of their second year (so teachers had already known the children for just over a year and it also gave the children chance to have settled back into the school routine)
  • teachers trained over one and a half days to learn the exercises

Main question of the study: will the children show changes in their learning and social behaviour?

 Hypothesis: ‘Children who follow the programme will improve more in learning and social behaviour than the children who haven’t carried out the exercises’ will be proven.


Results are reported as clear. Whilst the average scores contrast on the Teacher’s Questionnaire between the two groups, it can be seen that across the board, the average Treatment Group scores increase, but some of the control groups scores decrease (though it may be due to the pressure of starting in year 3 when grading begins)

 This is a surprisingly good result, when you consider how many other influences are acting on the development and learning of children (eg home life as well as wider social surroundings, intelligence, nutrition, class size etc)

 Especially of note was the effect on the ‘Speech Therapy’ class.

Shown in Graph 4. In particular, it shows (as in Graph 1) that at the end of the exercise programme, the reflexes had been further integrated. This effect on the brain, and how, after completing the exercises it leads to further learning and maturation, is known in Sports Science (medicine).

 The results of the study means that we can conclude that with the help of the ‘Games’ (exercises), which can be carried out without great cost, that lots of children’s learning and social behaviour can be improved.

 The Speech Therapy class shows clear improvement in school performance. As the reflex scores reduced, so the school performance improved.


The results of the study show an extremely positive impact. The exercise programme has a positive effect on the whole class, is easy to incorporate into the school routine, no great costs to carry it out, no negative effects and shows a direct link between the prominent difficulties and reflexes.

In our (authors of the study) view, this should be integrated into all school as quickly as possible.

To increase motivation and troubleshoot any difficulties, there should always be follow-up from a fully trained professional during the first year.

Further study is still required. The authors hope, that through this study, schools will be encouraged to incorporate the exercise programme and that there will be further studies to examine the importance and the impact of Primitive Reflexes on the psychological and health difficulties of these ‘new morbidities’



Category: INPP