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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2012 Jan;166(1):49-55. doi: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.716.

Physical activity and performance at school: a systematic review of the literature including a methodological quality assessment.

Author information

1
Department of Public and Occupational Health, EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081 BT Amsterdam, the Netherlands. a.singh@vumc.nl

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the prospective relationship between physical activity and academic performance.

DATA SOURCES:

Prospective studies were identified from searches in PubMed, PsycINFO, Cochrane Central, and Sportdiscus from 1990 through 2010.

STUDY SELECTION:

We screened the titles and abstracts for eligibility, rated the methodological quality of the studies, and extracted data.

MAIN EXPOSURE:

Studies had to report at least 1 physical activity or physical fitness measurement during childhood or adolescence.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Studies had to report at least 1 academic performance or cognition measure during childhood or adolescence.

RESULTS:

We identified 10 observational and 4 intervention studies. The quality score of the studies ranged from 22% to 75%. Two studies were scored as high quality. Methodological quality scores were particularly low for the reliability and validity of the measurement instruments. Based on the results of the best-evidence synthesis, we found evidence of a significant longitudinal positive relationship between physical activity and academic performance.

CONCLUSIONS:

Participation in physical activity is positively related to academic performance in children. Because we found only 2 high-quality studies, future high-quality studies are needed to confirm our findings. These studies should thoroughly examine the dose-response relationship between physical activity and academic performance as well as explanatory mechanisms for this relationship.

Comment in

PMID:
22213750
DOI:
10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.716
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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