Physical fitness and academic achievement in third- and fifth-grade students

Darla M. Castelli, Charles H. Hillman, Sarah M. Buck, Heather E. Erwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The relationship between physical fitness and academic achievement has received much attention owing to the increasing prevalence of children who are overweight and unfit, as well as the inescapable pressure on schools to produce students who meet academic standards. This study examined 259 public school students in third and fifth grades and found that field tests of physical fitness were positively related to academic achievement. Specifically, aerobic capacity was positively associated with achievement, whereas BMI was inversely related. Associations were demonstrated in total academic achievement, mathematics achievement, and reading achievement, thus suggesting that aspects of physical fitness may be globally related to academic performance in preadolescents. The findings are discussed with regards to maximizing school performance and the implications for educational policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-252
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2007

Keywords

  • Cognition
  • Exercise
  • Preadolescent
  • Standardized testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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