Are children born in the fall more athletic?

Are Children Born In The Fall More Athletic?
Are Children Born In The Fall More Athletic?

Do you dream of having a child who grows up to be a superstar athlete -- or at least one who isn't picked last in gym class? You might want to take a look at this.

ABC says, "There's a new study in the Journal of International Sports Medicine that found that children born in the fall have an edge when it comes to physical fitness."

Check out these famous athletes who were born in the fall:

The Guardian reports that researchers at the University of Essex in Great Britain studied more than 8,000 children ages 10-16 for three measures of fitness: stamina, handgrip strength and lower-body power.

Researcher Gavin Sandercock says: "A boy born in November can run at least 10% faster, jump 12% higher and is 15% more powerful than a child of the same age born in April."

So what makes a November baby more likely to be the next LeBron and an April baby more likely to watch on the sidelines? The researchers hypothesize that the cause is the sun.

Babies who are in their final stage of development during the hotter summer months have increased intrauterine vitamin D levels.

Researchers such as Victoria Drake say that vitamin D acts as a hormone in the body that helps regulate skeletal growth and muscle strength.

However, another explanation could be something we're doing -- instead of a natural cause.

For years, researchers have been studying birth month phenomena. The BBC reports that in 2009, 57 percent of players in professional English youth academies had been September, November or December babies, and a mere 14 percent were born in June, July or August.

The theory of relative age effect says the September cutoff dates we impose in school allow children with birthdays immediately after the cutoff to be almost a year older than those born in July and August. According to the BBC, this means they're more physically developed than their classmates.

Since sports today are often through structured leagues, this early advantage in size leads to a greater chance of moving up to better teams with better coaching.

But if you happen to have a summer birthday, don't fret. Superstar athletes such as Kobe Bryant were born in the summer.

In the end, it's really all about loving the game.

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