Health-related fitness and academic achievement in middle school students.
ABSTRACT The aim of the present study was to determine the association between health-related fitness (HRF) and academic achievement in middle school youth.
Subjects were 312 middle school students. HRF was assessed using the FITNESSGRAM test battery. Students were grouped by the number of fitness tests in which they performed within the Healthy Fitness Zone, ranging from <1 test (lowest fitness) to all 5 tests (highest fitness). Academic achievement was assessed using grades (A - F) from four core classes, which were converted to interval data (A=5, F=1) and summed over the academic year and a standardized test (percentile). Maturity offset was calculated to control for the possible effect of maturity status on the association between HRF and academic achievement. Differences in academic achievement among HRF groups were determined using ANOVA.
Grades and standardized test percentiles were higher in HRF group 5 (P<0.01) compared to HRF groups <2, 3, and 4. Cardiorespiratory endurance and muscular strength and endurance were the HRF components most strongly associated with academic achievement.
HRF was related to academic achievement in youth. Students with the highest fitness level performed better on standardized tests and students with the lowest fitness level performed lower in class grades.
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ABSTRACT: Objective To examine the independent and combined associations of the components of physical fitness with academic performance among youths. Study design This cross-sectional study included a total of 2038 youths (989 girls) aged 6-18 years. Cardiorespiratory capacity was measured using the 20-m shuttle run test. Motor ability was assessed with the 4 × 10-m shuttle run test of speed of movement, agility, and coordination. A muscular strength z-score was computed based on handgrip strength and standing long jump distance. Academic performance was assessed through school records using 4 indicators: Mathematics, Language, an average of Mathematics and Language, and grade point average score. Results Cardiorespiratory capacity and motor ability were independently associated with all academic variables in youth, even after adjustment for fitness and fatness indicators (all P ≤ .001), whereas muscular strength was not associated with academic performance independent of the other 2 physical fitness components. In addition, the combined adverse effects of low cardiorespiratory capacity and motor ability on academic performance were observed across the risk groups (P for trend <.001). Conclusion Cardiorespiratory capacity and motor ability, both independently and combined, may have a beneficial influence on academic performance in youth.The Journal of Pediatrics. 01/2014;
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ABSTRACT: Physical fitness during childhood and adolescence has been identified as an important determinant of current and future health status. While research has traditionally focused on the association between cardio-respiratory fitness and health outcomes, the association between muscular fitness (MF) and health status has recently received increased attention. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to evaluate the potential physiological and psychological benefits associated with MF among children and adolescents. A systematic search of six electronic databases (PubMed, SPORTDiscus, Scopus, EMBASE, PsycINFO and OVID MEDLINE) was performed on the 20th May, 2013. Cross-sectional, longitudinal and experimental studies that quantitatively examined the association between MF and potential health benefits among children and adolescents were included. The search yielded 110 eligible studies, encompassing six health outcomes (i.e., adiposity, bone health, cardiovascular disease [CVD] and metabolic risk factors, musculoskeletal pain, psychological health and cognitive ability). The percentage of studies reporting statistically significant associations between MF and the outcome of interest was used to determine the strength of the evidence for an association and additional coding was conducted to account for risk of bias. Meta-analyses were also performed to determine the pooled effect size if there were at least three studies providing standardised coefficients. Strong evidence was found for an inverse association between MF and total and central adiposity, and CVD and metabolic risk factors. The pooled effect size for the relationship between MF and adiposity was r = -0.25 (95 % CI -0.41 to -0.08). Strong evidence was also found for a positive association between MF and bone health and self-esteem. The pooled effect size for the relationship between MF and perceived sports competence was r = 0.39 (95 % CI 0.34-0.45). The evidence for an association between MF and musculoskeletal pain and cognitive ability was inconsistent/uncertain. Where evidence of an association was found, the associations were generally low to moderate. The findings of this review highlight the importance of developing MF in youth for a number of health-related benefits.Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.). 05/2014;