G-36 Free Communication/Poster - Physical Activity and Cognition in Youth and Young Adults Saturday, June 4, 2016, 7: 30 AM - 11: 00 AM Room: Exhibit Hall A/B
There is a growing trend of decreasing physical fitness among adolescents, which may not only result in poorer physical health, but also poorer academic achievement.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the changes in aerobic fitness and academic achievement in reading and mathematics during middle school.
METHODS: Fifty-two sixth grade adolescents were followed from sixth grade through eighth grade. In the spring of sixth, seventh, and eight grade students completed PACER tests measuring aerobic fitness. In addition, students also completed ISAT academic achievement tests in reading and mathematics.
RESULTS: Changes in aerobic fitness between sixth and eighth grade were positively related to changes in academic achievement in both reading and mathematics between sixth and eighth grade.
CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that changes in aerobic fitness may modulate changes in academic achievement. These findings highlight the importance of physical activity and have broad relevance for educational systems and policies.
This research was supported by the Division of Nutritional Sciences Vision 20/20 Research Program.
Lauren Raine was supported by the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture under the Illinois Transdisciplinary Obesity Prevention Program grant (2011-67001-30101) to the Division of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Illinois.