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J Pediatr. 2014 Aug;165(2):306-312.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.04.044. Epub 2014 Jun 19.

Independent and combined influence of the components of physical fitness on academic performance in youth.

Author information

1
Department of Physical Education, Sports, and Human Movement, Autonomous University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
2
Department of Physical Education, School of Education, University of Cadiz, Puerto Real, Spain.
3
Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the independent and combined associations of the components of physical fitness with academic performance among youths.

STUDY DESIGN:

This cross-sectional study included a total of 2038 youths (989 girls) aged 6-18 years. Cardiorespiratory capacity was measured using the 20-m shuttle run test. Motor ability was assessed with the 4×10-m shuttle run test of speed of movement, agility, and coordination. A muscular strength z-score was computed based on handgrip strength and standing long jump distance. Academic performance was assessed through school records using 4 indicators: Mathematics, Language, an average of Mathematics and Language, and grade point average score.

RESULTS:

Cardiorespiratory capacity and motor ability were independently associated with all academic variables in youth, even after adjustment for fitness and fatness indicators (all P≤.001), whereas muscular strength was not associated with academic performance independent of the other 2 physical fitness components. In addition, the combined adverse effects of low cardiorespiratory capacity and motor ability on academic performance were observed across the risk groups (P for trend<.001).

CONCLUSION:

Cardiorespiratory capacity and motor ability, both independently and combined, may have a beneficial influence on academic performance in youth.

PMID:
24952710
DOI:
10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.04.044
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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