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Physical activity, perceptual-motor performance, and academic learning in 9-to-16-years-old school children
The relationship between physical activity in school children, academic performance and their perceptual-motor skills is unclear. The aim of this study was to look at the relationship between perceptual-motor and cognitive skills. 487 subjects (249 girls, 238 boys) from 6 public centres of primary and secondary schools in the Barcelona area (Spain) volunteered to participate in this study. The participants were divided into two groups (9-12 years old) and (13-16 years old). Four tests were used to evaluate cognitive (Linguistic Skills [LS] and Math Skills [MS]) and perceptual-motor skills (Tower of Cubes [TC] and Target Throwing ITT]). Stepwise multiple linear regression analyses demonstrated that TC and age were significant predictors of Linguistic Skills (LS) and Math Skills (MS) in both age groups. (R2=0.64, 9-12 years old) and (R2=0.45, 13-16 years old). The results from this study suggest that enhanced motor skills are associated with better academic performance.