Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Reading, writing, arithmetic, and aerobics: Evaluating the new 'R' in academic performance

Date:
February 28, 2013
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
Although the long-term consequences of childhood obesity are well documented, some school districts have reduced physical education classes to devote more time to the three Rs in education -- reading, writing, and arithmetic. However, there is new evidence that leaving out an important fourth R -- aerobics -- could actually be counterproductive for increasing test scores. A new study studied the associations between aerobic fitness, body mass index, and passing scores on standardized math and reading tests.

Although the long-term consequences of childhood obesity are well documented, some school districts have reduced physical education classes to devote more time to the 3 Rs in education -- reading, writing, and arithmetic. However, there is new evidence that leaving out an important fourth R -- aerobics -- could actually be counterproductive for increasing test scores.

A new study scheduled for publication in The Journal of Pediatrics studied the associations between aerobic fitness, body mass index (BMI), and passing scores on standardized math and reading tests.

Dr. Robert R. Rauner and colleagues from Lincoln Public Schools and Creighton University in Nebraska analyzed scaled scores from standardized tests for math and reading, as well as PACER (15-20 meter timed shuttle run), BMI, and free/reduced lunch data from all students enrolled in elementary and middle schools in Lincoln, NE. They found that aerobically-fit children had a 2.4 times greater chance of passing math tests and a 2.2 times greater chance of passing reading tests compared with aerobically-unfit children. Among those receiving free/reduced lunch, the odds of passing the tests were still greater than those of students who were aerobically-unfit, but not as high as those not receiving free/reduced lunch. They also found that BMI, although an important indicator for overall general health, did not have a significant effect on academic success.

Although obesity is a concern for children, this study shows that aerobic fitness can have a greater effect on academic performance than weight. The authors found that both aerobic fitness and socioeconomic status have a similar impact on academic performance. Because aerobic fitness can be easier to improve than socioeconomic status, and it is easy to implement in a school setting, schools should think twice before taking minutes from physical education classes and recess. According to Dr. Rauner, "Schools sacrificing physical education and physical activity time in search of more seat time for math and reading instruction could potentially be pursuing a counterproductive approach."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Robert R. Rauner, Ryan W. Walters, Marybell Avery, Teresa J. Wanser. Evidence that Aerobic Fitness Is More Salient than Weight Status in Predicting Standardized Math and Reading Outcomes in Fourth- through Eighth-Grade Students. The Journal of Pediatrics, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.01.006

Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "Reading, writing, arithmetic, and aerobics: Evaluating the new 'R' in academic performance." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130228080547.htm>.
Elsevier. (2013, February 28). Reading, writing, arithmetic, and aerobics: Evaluating the new 'R' in academic performance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130228080547.htm
Elsevier. "Reading, writing, arithmetic, and aerobics: Evaluating the new 'R' in academic performance." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130228080547.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Researchers say women who diet at a young age are at greater risk of developing harmful health habits, including eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. 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:
from the past week

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