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Res Q Exerc Sport. 2010 Sep;81(3 Suppl):S16-23.

The association of health-related fitness with indicators of academic performance in Texas schools.

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  • 1Department of Kinesiology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA.


This study examined the associations between indicators of health-related physical fitness (cardiovascular fitness and body mass index) and academic performance (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills). Partial correlations were generally stronger for cardiovascular fitness than body mass index and consistently stronger in the middle school grades. Mixed-model regression analyses revealed modest associations between fitness and academic achievement after controlling for potentially confounding variables. The effects of fitness on academic achievement were positive but small. A separate logistic regression analysis indicated that higher fitness rates increased the odds of schools achieving exemplary/recognized school status within the state. School fitness attainment is an indicator of higher performing schools. Direction of causality cannot be inferred due to the cross-sectional nature of the data.

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