The Correlation Of Physical Activity And Academic Performance Education Essay


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Carlson, S., Fulton, J., Lee, S., Maynard, L., Brown, D., Kohl, H. & Dietz, W. (2008). Physical education and academic achievement in elementary school: data from the early childhood longitudinal study [Electronic Version]. American Journal of Public Health, 98 (4), 721-727.

All of the authors were employed at the Center for Disease Control, and have no less than a PhD.

The purpose of this research was to see if children with some type of organized physical activity in their school week would have an increase in their academic achievement. The research used children from a variety of regions that ranged in age from 5 -10 years old. The research compared two different increments of time, one at approximately 30 minutes per week and the other approximately 5 hours per week. Using standardized test and other methods as indicators for the increase in academics, most of the evaluations came from math and reading. They found that the girls benefited the most, and noted that this was not the first study to come to this conclusion. Although no significant increase was found in the academic achievement, in either time allotments, children did seem to have better self-esteem. This article was helpful in supporting the theory that there is no evidence to eliminate physical education from the school day, and to confirm that for some students it can be beneficial both mentally and physically.

Castelli, D. M., Hillman, C. H., Buck, S. M. & Erwin, H. E. (2007). Physical fitness and academic achievement in third- and fifth-grade students [Electronic Version]. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 29, 239-252. hid=17&sid=fc731a03-676e-4ae5-8ad2-50233cf433bb%40sessionmgr4&vid=3

All four authors are professors with the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and have each contributed to multiple published articles related to physical activity and academic achievement. The purpose of the study was to explore the connection between physical fitness and academic achievement among third and fifth grade students. The study analyzed data gathered from fitness tests given during physical education classes, and the Illinois Standard Achievement Test (ISAT). The study concluded that there is a direct correlation between physical fitness and academic performance in third and fifth grade students. These findings supported their theory that physically fit children are more likely to achieve a greater success in standardized tests than their peers. They specifically noted that aerobic fitness was most generally related to academic success as opposed to strength and flexibility. The article was somewhat long, but easy to understand. The discussion and summary were helpful in putting together all the details.

Field, T., Diego, M. & Sanders, C.E. (2001). Exercise is positively related to adolescents relationships and academics [Electronic Version]. Adolescence, 36 (141), 105-110.

All of the authors of this study work for Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami (FL) School of Medicine, where Dr. Tiffany Field is the director. All of the authors have conducted numerous studies on adolescents. The purpose of this study was to determine what type of role that exercise played in effecting the overall lives of students in school. 89 high school seniors were given questionnaires pertaining to different areas of their lives; such as: how often they exercised, relationship with parents, depression, drug use, and grade point average. The results from this research showed students that exercised more frequently reported a better overall relationship with their parents, had less depression tendencies, less alcohol and drug use, and their grade point average was higher. I found this particular research study to be very informative and easy to understand. Students that are active and participate in exercise generally feel better about themselves, which ultimately has a positive impact in their overall daily lives.

Fox, C. K., Barr-Anderson, D., Neumark-Sztainer, D. & Wall, M. (2010). Physical activity and sports team participation: associations with academic outcomes in middle school and high school students [Electronic Version]. Journal of School Health, 80 (1), 31-37.

The authors are all professors at the University of Minnesota, each of which has obtained at least an MD or PhD. The purpose of the study was to identify correlations between general physical activity and participation in team sports to academic performance measured by GPA. The researchers collected data with multiple surveys requesting information about physical activity and sports participation from a large group of middle school and high school students. This data compared to academic performance showed a direct correlation for high school students, but not necessarily middle school students. Middle school girls seemed to show no correlation between GPA and physical activity or team participation. It appears student achievement measured by GPA is impacted by participation in physical activity and team sports. However, it cannot be completely determined to what extent other factors; such as participation requirements, overall self-esteem, and school identification may have contributed to those results. None the less, this study does show an increase in GPA for students participating in athletics and physical activity especially at the High School level. This article was very informative and easy to understand. It does a great job showing the correlation between physical activity and GPA.

Grissom, J. B. (2005). Physical fitness and academic achievement [Electronic Version]. Journal of Exercise Physiology online, 8 (1), 11-25.

The author has worked as an educational research and evaluation consultant, and is currently working for the California Department of Education in the assessment and accountability division. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between physical fitness and academic achievement in fifth, seventh, and ninth grade students in the state of California. The study sampled 884,715 students and compared data from the FITNESSGRAM and the Stanford Achievement Test. The study found that physical fitness did effect academic achievement, and reported an increase in reading and math scores for students who scored higher on their fitness tests especially for girls. It was also noted that this study used a large sample with reliable measures for both physical fitness and academic achievement as to address some of the concerns with previous studies. This was a good article with a tremendous amount of data due to the large sample group. The article also did a good job of pointing out that some results could be skewed by variables that were not included in the study.

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