Do physically fit and healthy young people perform better academically?
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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This study examined the relationship between physical fitness, health and academic performance. The data was collected from two secondary schools in Cornwall; the participants were selected using stratified random sampling and consisted of 100 children in year 10 (males, n = 50; females, n = 50). The participants’ height and weight were measured (mean ± SD = boys; 1.71 ± 0.09m, 60.60 ± 9.96 kg, girls 1.62 ± 0.07m, 56.60 ± 8.76 kg) in order to calculate their body mass index (BMI). Results from their Key Stage 3 SATS in the core subjects (English, Mathematics and Science) were correlated (using Pearsons product correlation coefficient) against BMI and 20-MSFT (VO2max) scores. A significant relationship (r > 0.4, p < 0.05) existed between V02max and academic performance for both boys and girls, although no relationship (r < 0.4, p > 0.05) was found to exist between BMI and academic performance. The relationship between VO2max and BMI proved to be weak but statistically significant (r > 0.4, p < 0.05). The analysis revealed that the relationship between physical fitness and academic performance is stronger within boys. The results are concordant with the alternate hypothesis suggesting that physically fit children do perform better academically.
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