Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Students' physical fitness associated with academic achievement; organized physical activity

Date:
March 4, 2010
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Physical fitness is associated with academic performance in young people, according to a new study.

Physical fitness is associated with academic performance in young people, according to a report presented at the American Heart Association's 2010 Conference on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism.

Related Articles


"As children's health continues to be a concern -- especially when it comes to obesity -- some have suggested that children's physical fitness is associated with their academic performance," said Lesley A. Cottrell, Ph.D., study presenting author and associate professor of pediatrics at West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va. "The research, however, had not developed enough to define the nature of that relationship."

To study the association between children's physical fitness and academic performance, Cottrell and colleagues analyzed the body mass index percentiles, fitness levels and standardized academic test scores of 725 fifth grade students in Wood County, W.Va. The researchers focused more on the children's fitness level than their weight. They then compared that data to students' fitness and academic performance two years later, in the seventh grade.

They separated the participants into four groups of students who were:

  • in high physical fitness levels in fifth grade and remained so in seventh grade;
  • fit in fifth grade but had lost their fitness by seventh grade;
  • not fit in fifth grade but were physically fit by seventh grade;
  • not physically fit at the beginning of the study, in fifth grade, nor at the end of the study, in seventh grade.

Children who had the best average scores in standardized tests in reading, math, science and social studies were fit at the start and end of the study, researchers found. The next best group, academically, in all four subjects, was made up of children who were not fit in fifth grade but had become fit by seventh grade. The children who had lost their fitness levels between fifth and seventh grades were third in academic performance. Children who were not physically fit in either the fifth or seventh grades had the lowest academic performance.

"The take-home message from this study is that we want our kids to be fit as long as possible and it will show in their academic performance," Cottrell said. "But if we can intervene on those children who are not necessarily fit and get them to physically fit levels, we may also see their academic performance increase."

Youth who are regularly active also have a better chance of a healthy adulthood. The American Heart Association recommends that children and adolescents should do 60 minutes or more of physical activity daily and they participate in physical activities that are appropriate for their age and enjoyable.

The study suggests that focusing more on physical fitness and physical education in school would result in healthier, happier and smarter children, Cottrell said.

Co-authors are: Richard Wittberg, Ph.D., and Karen Northrup, M.S.N. Author disclosures are on the abstract.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Students' physical fitness associated with academic achievement; organized physical activity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100302185522.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2010, March 4). Students' physical fitness associated with academic achievement; organized physical activity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100302185522.htm
American Heart Association. "Students' physical fitness associated with academic achievement; organized physical activity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100302185522.htm (accessed March 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, March 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) European researchers say our smartphone use offers scientists an ideal testing ground for human brain plasticity. Dr Ako Ghosh&apos;s team discovered that the brains and thumbs of smartphone users interact differently from those who use old-fashioned handsets. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Newsy (Mar. 24, 2015) According to a new study by the Alzheimer&apos;s Association, more than half of those who have the degenerative brain disease aren&apos;t told by their doctors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

Newsy (Mar. 23, 2015) Researchers found those who napped for 45 minutes to an hour before being tested on information recalled it five times better than those who didn&apos;t. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins