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Prev Med. 2016 Oct;91:322-328. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.09.005. Epub 2016 Sep 7.

Effects of physical activity on schoolchildren's academic performance: The Active Smarter Kids (ASK) cluster-randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
Sogn og Fjordane University College, Faculty of Teacher Education and Sports, Sogndal, Norway. Electronic address: gk@hisf.no.
2
Sogn og Fjordane University College, Faculty of Teacher Education and Sports, Sogndal, Norway. Electronic address: Eivind.Aadland@hisf.no.
3
Sogn og Fjordane University College, Faculty of Teacher Education and Sports, Sogndal, Norway. Electronic address: vegard.fusche.moe@hisf.no.
4
Sogn og Fjordane University College, Faculty of Teacher Education and Sports, Sogndal, Norway. Electronic address: katrine.Nyvoll.Aadland@hisf.no.
5
Sogn og Fjordane University College, Faculty of Teacher Education and Sports, Sogndal, Norway. Electronic address: turid.skrede@hisf.no.
6
Sogn og Fjordane University College, Faculty of Teacher Education and Sports, Sogndal, Norway. Electronic address: mette.stavnsbo@hisf.no.
7
Sogn og Fjordane University College, Faculty of Teacher Education and Sports, Sogndal, Norway. Electronic address: laura.Suominen@hisf.no.
8
Sogn og Fjordane University College, Faculty of Teacher Education and Sports, Sogndal, Norway. Electronic address: jostein.steene-johannessen@nih.no.
9
Sogn og Fjordane University College, Faculty of Teacher Education and Sports, Sogndal, Norway. Electronic address: oyvind.glosvik@hisf.no.
10
Sogn og Fjordane University College, Faculty of Health Studies, Førde, Norway; Førde Central Hospital, Centre of Health Research, Førde, Norway. Electronic address: john.andersen@hisf.no.
11
Sogn og Fjordane University College, Faculty of Health Studies, Førde, Norway; University of Bergen, Department of Chemistry, Bergen, Norway. Electronic address: Olav.Kvalheim@uib.no.
12
Sogn og Fjordane University College, Faculty of Teacher Education and Sports, Sogndal, Norway; Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Department of Sports Medicine, Oslo, Norway. Electronic address: gunn.engelsrud@nih.no.
13
Sogn og Fjordane University College, Faculty of Teacher Education and Sports, Sogndal, Norway; Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Department of Sports Medicine, Oslo, Norway. Electronic address: lars.bo.andersen@hisf.no.
14
Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Department of Sports Medicine, Oslo, Norway. Electronic address: i.m.k.holme@nih.no.
15
Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Department of Coaching and Psychology, Oslo, Norway. Electronic address: yngvar.ommundsen@nih.no.
16
Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute, University of Zürich, Hirschengraben 84, CH-8001 Zürich, Switzerland. Electronic address: susi.kriemlerwiget@uzh.ch.
17
Department of Public and Occupational Health and EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: w.vanmechelen@vumc.nl.
18
The University of British Columbia, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Family Practice, Vancouver, Canada. Electronic address: heather.mckay@ubc.ca.
19
Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Department of Sports Medicine, Oslo, Norway. Electronic address: ulf.ekelund@nih.no.
20
Sogn og Fjordane University College, Faculty of Teacher Education and Sports, Sogndal, Norway; Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Department of Sports Medicine, Oslo, Norway. Electronic address: s.a.anderssen@nih.no.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the effect of a seven-month, school-based cluster-randomized controlled trial on academic performance in 10-year-old children.

METHODS:

In total, 1129 fifth-grade children from 57 elementary schools in Sogn og Fjordane County, Norway, were cluster-randomized by school either to the intervention group or to the control group. The children in the 28 intervention schools participated in a physical activity intervention between November 2014 and June 2015 consisting of three components: 1) 90min/week of physically active educational lessons mainly carried out in the school playground; 2) 5min/day of physical activity breaks during classroom lessons; 3) 10min/day physical activity homework. Academic performance in numeracy, reading and English was measured using standardized Norwegian national tests. Physical activity was measured objectively by accelerometry.

RESULTS:

We found no effect of the intervention on academic performance in primary analyses (standardized difference 0.01-0.06, p>0.358). Subgroup analyses, however, revealed a favorable intervention effect for those who performed the poorest at baseline (lowest tertile) for numeracy (p=0.005 for the subgroup∗group interaction), compared to controls (standardized difference 0.62, 95% CI 0.19-1.07).

CONCLUSIONS:

This large, rigorously conducted cluster RCT in 10-year-old children supports the notion that there is still inadequate evidence to conclude that increased physical activity in school enhances academic achievement in all children. Still, combining physical activity and learning seems a viable model to stimulate learning in those academically weakest schoolchildren.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02132494.

KEYWORDS:

Academic performance; Children; Cluster RCT; Elementary school; Physical activity; Physically active educational lessons

PMID:
27612574
DOI:
10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.09.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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