Physical Activity and Student Performance at School

School fo Medicine, Division of Community Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, 92093, USA.
Journal of School Health (Impact Factor: 1.43). 09/2005; 75(6):214-8. DOI: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2005.00026.x
Source: PubMed


To review the state of research on the association between physical activity among school-aged children and academic outcomes, the author reviewed published studies on this topic. A table includes brief descriptions of each study's research methodology and outcomes. A review of the research demonstrates that there may be some short-term improvements of physical activity (such as on concentration) but that long-term improvement of academic achievement as a result of more vigorous physical activity is not well substantiated. The relationship between physical activity in children and academic outcomes requires further elucidation.

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Available from: Howard L Taras,
    • "To fill this gap in knowledge systematic studies in school settings are needed to examine interrelationships among nutrition, obesity, physical fitness and other indices of health status, measures of cognitive dimensions such as memory, decision-making processing speed, interference suppression, and measures of academic achievement, such as standardized test scores, overall grade point average (Coe et al., 2006; Etnier et al., 2006; Hillman et al., 2008; Strong et al., 2005; Taras, 2005; Tomporowski et al., 2008; Trudeau & Shephard, 2010). These studies would permit researchers to assess how variations in the effectiveness or degree of exposure to school-wide health intervention sare related to both academic and cognitive performance at the level of the student. "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper describes an exploration of the relationship between mathematic achievement and the school health environment relative to policy-driven changes in the school setting, specifically with regard to physical education/physical activity. Using school-level data, the authors seek to understand the relationship between mathematics achievement and the school health environment and physical education minutes. This work provides a description of the aspects of the school health environment, an exploration of the interrelationships between school health and student achievement, and an assessment of the effects of the school health policy and practice on student performance and health status. Based on these findings, we identify additional research necessary to describe the relationship between obesity and learning in children. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Appetite 06/2015; 93. DOI:10.1016/j.appet.2015.06.001 · 2.69 Impact Factor
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    • "As a result, the effectiveness of regular exercise behavior as a means to improve cognitive performance remains a subject of debate, not only among scientists, but also among policy makers. When published findings are summarized , associations between exercise behavior and cognitive performance appear positive on average, but vary considerably in strength (Fedewa & Ahn, 2011; Hindin & Zelinski, 2012; Ploughman, 2008; Singh, Uijtdewilligen, Twisk, van Mechelen, & Chinapaw, 2012; Taras, 2005; Trudeau & Shephard, 2008; Verburgh, Konigs, Scherder, & Oosterlaan, 2014). The literature provides four major sources of heterogeneity among study outcomes, the first concerning sample constitution (Singh et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Regular exercise has often been suggested to have beneficial effects on cognition, but empirical findings are mixed because of heterogeneity in sample composition (age and sex); the cognitive domain being investigated; the definition and reliability of exercise behavior measures; and study design (e.g., observational versus experimental). Our aim was to scrutinize the domain specificity of exercise effects on cognition, while controlling for the other sources of heterogeneity. In a population based sample consisting of 472 males and 668 females (aged 10-86years old) we administered the Computerized Neurocognitive Battery (CNB), which provided accuracy and speed measures of abstraction and mental flexibility, attention, working memory, memory (verbal, face, and spatial), language and nonverbal reasoning, spatial ability, emotion identification, emotion- and age differentiation, sensorimotor speed, and motor speed. Using univariate and multivariate regression models, CNB scores were associated with participants' average energy expenditure per week (weekly METhours), which were derived from a questionnaire on voluntary regular leisure time exercise behavior. Univariate models yielded generally positive associations between weekly METhours and cognitive accuracy and speed, but multivariate modeling demonstrated that direct relations were small and centered around zero. The largest and only significant effect size (β=0.11, p<0.001) was on the continuous performance test, which measures attention. Our results suggest that in the base population, any chronic effects of voluntary regular leisure time exercise on cognition are limited. Only a relation between exercise and attention inspires confidence. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Brain and Cognition 05/2015; 97:32-39. DOI:10.1016/j.bandc.2015.04.001 · 2.48 Impact Factor
    • "Studies that have sought more rigorously to identify causal channels are far less common. Systematic reviews from the public health perspective conclude that increased physical activity at school, of which participation in school sport is only one component, tends to be positive for academic performance, despite the associated reduction in time spent on academic study (Taras, 2005; Trudeau and Shephard, 2008 "
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    ABSTRACT: We examine the impact of participation in sport at secondary school on post-school pathways using a survey of Irish school-leavers, distinguishing between those who dropped out of sport during their secondary school years and those who continued playing in their final school years. We find that members of this latter group are, on completion of secondary schooling, significantly and substantially more likely to continue their education rather than to join the labour market. This effect survives controlling for individual background traits, school characteristics, attachment to the school and academic achievement. Our results are also robust to the use of propensity score matching to control for selection into participation in sport based on observable characteristics. We relate our findings to previous work on the potential labour market benefits of participation in sport and to the emerging literature on the role of consumption value in educational choice.
    National Institute Economic Review 05/2015; 232(1):R51-R66. DOI:10.1177/002795011523200106
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