Quality Physical Education Advocacy
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Articles on Physical Activity & Academic Achievement
Active Education: Growing Evidence on Physical Activity and Academic Performance."This research brief reviews published scientific articles that examine how physical activity and fitness may help school-aged children maximize their academic performance. It also provides an overview of the effects of physical activity on the developing brain."
Associations Between Prolonged Sedentary Time and Breaks in Sedentary Time with Cardiometabolic Rrisk in 10–14-year-Old Children: The HAPPY Study. "This study provides evidence that avoiding periods of prolonged uninterrupted sedentary time may be important for reducing cardiometabolic disease risk in children."
Be Smart, Exercise Your Heart: Exercise Effects on Brain and Cognition. "An emerging body of multidisciplinary literature has documented the beneficial influence of physical activity engendered through aerobic exercise on selective aspects of brain function. Human and non-human animal studies have shown that aerobic exercise can improve a number of aspects of cognition and performance. This article examines the positive effects of aerobic physical activity on cognition and brain function, at the molecular, cellular, systems and behavioral levels. A growing number of studies support the idea that physical exercise is a lifestyle factor that might lead to increased physical and mental health throughout life."
Before-School Running/Walking club: Effects on Student On-Task Behavior. "Results provide evidence for the positive impact of before-school PA programs on children's classroom behavior and readiness to learn. Such programs do not take time away from academics and may be an attractive option for schools."
Effect of Classroom-Based Physical Activity Interventions on Academic and Physical Activity Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. "Results suggest classroom-based physical activity may have a positive impact on academic-related outcomes."
Executive Summary - Designed to Move. "A Physical Activity Action Agenda."
Healthy and Ready to Learn. "This article focuses on research, which shows that nutrition and physical activity affect student academic achievement. Fewer than 25 percent of children in the U.S. get at least 30 minutes of any kind of daily physical activity and fewer than 30 percent of the U.S. high school students attend physical education class every day."
Health-Related Behaviors and Academic Achievement Among High School Students — United States, 2015 (CDC). "Analyses of nationwide 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey data reveal that high school students who received mostly A’s, mostly B’s, or mostly C’s had significantly higher prevalence estimates for most protective health-related behaviors and significantly lower prevalence estimates for most health-related risk behaviors compared with students with mostly D’s/F’s."
High-Intensity Training Enhances Executive Function in Children in a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial. "This study suggests a promising alternative to enhance cognition, via short and potent exercise regimens."
Independent and Combined Influence of the Components of Physical Fitness on Academic Performance in Youth. "Cardiorespiratory capacity and motor ability, both independently and combined, may have a beneficial influence on academic performance in youth."
Independent Associations of Organized Physical Activity and Weight Status with Children's Cognitive Functioning: A Matched-Pairs Design. “Findings suggest independent associations of children's weight status with selective attention, and physical activity with higher-order processes of executive function.”
Is There a Relationship Between Physical Fitness and Academic Achievement? Positive Results from Public School Children in the Northeastern United States. "This articles objective was to determine relationships between physical fitness and academic achievement in diverse, urban public school children. Results show statistically significant relationships between fitness and academic achievement, though the direction of causation is not known. While more research is required, promoting fitness by increasing opportunities for physical activity during PE, recess, and out of school time may support academic achievement."
Justifying Physical Education Based on Neuroscience Evidence. "Because school administrators are under more scrutiny in recent years to provide quantitative evidence, more time and dollars are allocated to subjects that are assessed on state achievement tests. [...] research from the neurosciences appears to offer additional evidence that strengthens the case for daily physical education in K-12 education."
Physical Activity, Fitness, Cognitive Function, and Academic Achievement in Children: A Systematic Review. "The present systematic review found evidence to suggest that there are positive associations among PA, fitness, cognition, and academic achievement."
Physical Education, School Physical Activity, School Sports and Academic Performance. "Given competent providers, PA can be added to the school curriculum by taking time from other subjects without risk of hindering student academic achievement. On the other hand, adding time to "academic" or "curricular" subjects by taking time from physical education programmes does not enhance grades in these subjects and may be detrimental to health."
Physical Fitness and Academic Achievement in Third- and Fifth-Grade Students. "This study examined 259 public school students in third and fifth grades and found that field tests of physical fitness were positively related to academic achievement. Specifically, aerobic capacity was positively associated with achievement, whereas BMI was inversely related."
Relationships of Physical Activity to Brain Health and the Academic Performance of Schoolchildren. "This review examines possible relationships between academic performance and participation in sports, physical education, and other forms of physical activity. Several quasi-experimental studies of other types of physical activity have been completed, mainly in primary school students; these have found no decrease in academic performance despite a curtailing of the time allocated to the teaching of academic subjects. Indeed, in some cases, experimental students undertaking more physical activity have out-performed control students. From the practical point of view, it can be concluded that the physical activity needed for healthy child development can be incorporated into the school curriculum without detriment to academic achievement."
The Association Between Aerobic fitness and Language Processing in Children: Implications for Academic Achievement. "The current findings extend previous ERP research explicating the cognitive benefits associated with greater aerobic fitness in children and may have important implications for learning and academic performance."
The Effect of Physical Activity on Sleep Quality, Well-Being, and Affect in Academic Stress Periods. "Results suggest that physical activity and exercise in the academic examination period may be able to buffer the negative effects of stress on health-related outcomes."
The Effect of Physical Activity Interventions on Children's Cognition and Metacognition: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. "Physical activity benefits several domains of cognition and metacognition in youth. Curricular physical education interventions and programs aimed at increasing daily physical activity seem to be the most effective.
The Influence of Daily Structured Physical Activity on Academic Progress of Elementary Students with Intellectual Disabilities. “Trend analysis graphs displayed academic results that showed most of the intermediate students consistently improved academic work following the physical activity while the inconsistent performance was seen in more of the primary aged students. Teachers in both classrooms commented that their students appeared to be focused more on classwork following the physical activity sessions.”