August 30 2014 Latest news:
Monday, June 23, 2014
Children born in the autumn are the most physically strong according to researchers at Essex University.
Academics studied 8,000 children and found those born in autumn had a clear physical advantage over children born at other times of the year.
The research, published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine, controlled for relative age effect caused by school years and found for example that children born in November were fitter and more powerful than those born at other times, particularly in April, May and June.
A boy born in November can run at least 10% faster, jump 12% higher and is 15% more powerful than one exactly the same age born in April
Researchers have suggested higher vitamin D levels from exposure to sunlight late on in pregnancy could be the cause.
Dr Gavin Sandercock, who led the research at Essex University, said: “We know autumn babies tend to be bigger but this is the first time anyone has found this might lead to being fitter. The major problem for children born in spring and summer is as well as being relatively younger than children in their school-year it also seems they have a real physiological disadvantage too.”