Physical Education and Academic Achievement in Elementary School: Data From the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 4770 Buford Highway, NE, Mailstop K-46, Atlanta, GA 30345, USA.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.55). 05/2008; 98(4):721-7. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2007.117176
Source: PubMed


We examined the association between time spent in physical education and academic achievement in a longitudinal study of students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
We used data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998 to 1999, which employed a multistage probability design to select a nationally representative sample of students in kindergarten (analytic sample = 5316). Time spent in physical education (minutes per week) was collected from classroom teachers, and academic achievement (mathematics and reading) was scored on an item response theory scale.
A small but significant benefit for academic achievement in mathematics and reading was observed for girls enrolled in higher amounts (70-300 minutes per week) of physical education (referent: 0-35 minutes per week). Higher amounts of physical education were not positively or negatively associated with academic achievement among boys.
Among girls, higher amounts of physical education may be associated with an academic benefit. Physical education did not appear to negatively affect academic achievement in elementary school students. Concerns about adverse effects on achievement may not be legitimate reasons to limit physical education programs.

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    • "In another study, an aerobic dance intervention with high school girls resulted in a significantly greater decrease in body weight, whereas body weight in the control group remained unchanged (Viskic-Stalec et al. 2007). Due to concerns regarding loss of academic time as a result of greater involvement in PE classes and activities, numerous studies have investigated the positive effects of physical activity involvement on academic achievement and classroom behavior (Carlson et al. 2008; Coe et al. 2006; Nicholson et al. 2011; Sallis et al. 1999). Research with adults and animals has suggested that exercise results in an increase in oxygen levels to areas of the brain that support memory and learning (Hillman, Erickson, and Kramer 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Schools have been suggested as a viable avenue to combat childhood obesity. School administrators are sometimes faced with the conflicting demands of improving the health of their students and maintaining academic performance. Dynamic furniture such as stand-biased desks may be one way to address both academic and health demands placed on schools to prevent childhood obesity. Classrooms with stand-biased desks were compared with classrooms using traditional seated desks in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades. The academic engagement of 282 participants was observed in the fall and spring during one academic year. The engagement of the treatment classrooms was compared with the engagement of the control classrooms. Both groups showed general increases in their academic engagement over time. Stand-biased desks do not seem to result in adverse effects on academic engagement when used in elementary classrooms. The data suggest promising results for the use of stand-biased desks in elementary school classrooms. The results suggest that stand-biased desks can be introduced in the classroom to combat childhood obesity through increasing energy expenditure without affecting academic engagement.
    International Journal of Health Promotion and Education 04/2015; DOI:10.1080/14635240.2015.1029641
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    • "The benefits to psychological well-being and achievement levels at school are becoming increasingly well-evidenced (Carlson et al., 2008; Fedewa & Ahn, 2011; Taras, 2005; Telford et al., 2012; Trudeau & Shepherd, 2008), and the preventative role of PA in managing behavioural issues is also gaining prominence (Sandford, Armour, & Warmington, 2006). At the very least, school psychologists should support teachers, principals and policy-makers in making the informed decision to enhance PA during both classroom and PE time and to combat the drops in quality instruction, time spent being physically active, promotion of PA, and enjoyment of PE that have been observed in this study. "
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    ABSTRACT: Physical activity affords a host of physical and cognitive benefits for children. Physical education classes are one such venue where children can reap recommended amounts of physical activity. However, little research has explored evidence-based physical education instruction, particularly in culturally and linguistically diverse schools. No studies to date have provided recommendations for a range of educational stakeholders that serve these students. The Physical Activity in Linguistically Diverse Communities study examined the evidence-based physical education opportunities and barriers at six culturally and linguistically diverse high schools in New South Wales, Australia. This article provides implications and synthesized recommendations based on Phase One
    School Psychology International 03/2015; 36(2):172. DOI:10.1177/0143034314566489 · 0.59 Impact Factor
    • "A positive association between physical activity and cognition has been documented in numerous studies contrasting high and low fit people as well as more and less active people (Guiney & Machado, 2013; Hillman, Buck, Themanson, Pontifex, & Castelli, 2009). In these studies, cognition has frequently been operationalized in terms of specific executive functions (e.g., attention, inhibition , task switching, working memory) or general academic achievement (Carlson et al., 2008; Castelli, Hillman, Buck, & Erwin, 2007; Coe, Pivarnik, Womack, Reeves, & Malina, 2006; McNaughten & Gabbard, 1993; Ruscheweyh et al., 2011; Wu et al., 2011). Although neurocognitive and performance-based measures are considered gold standards for assessing cognition, self-reports of perceived cognitive abilities have been linked with performance on a variety of measures of cognitive function (e.g., learning, memory, processing speed, flexibility; Becker, Stuifbergen, & Morrison, 2012; Benedict et al., 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives This study evaluated the role of both physical activity and sedentary behavior in daily perceptions of cognitive abilities and whether these relations exist within-person, between-person, or both. Design Non-experimental, intensive longitudinal research using ecological momentary assessments. Method College students wore accelerometers and provided end-of-day reports on physical activity, sedentary behavior, and perceived cognitive abilities for 14 days. Results Across self-reports and objective measures of behavior, daily deviations in physical activity were positively associated with perceived cognitive abilities. Daily deviations in self-reported, but not objectively-assessed, sedentary behavior also were negatively associated with perceived cognitive abilities. Contrary to previous research, overall levels of physical activity and sedentary behaviors were not associated with perceived cognitive abilities. Conclusions These findings indicate that physical activity has a within- rather than between-person association with perceived cognitive abilities although between-person associations effects may require longer monitoring periods to manifest. Further research is needed to establish the direction of causality and resolve whether the nature (rather than quantity) of sedentary activities influences cognition.
    Psychology of Sport and Exercise 09/2014; 15(5). DOI:10.1016/j.psychsport.2014.04.008 · 1.90 Impact Factor
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