The majority of these reviews have focused on the relationship between academic performance and physical fitness—a physiological trait commonly defined in. Assessment of the importance of physical condition and therefore physical Key words: physical fitness, physical activity, academic performance, adolescents. Exploring the relationship between physical activity, cognition and Keywords: Physical activity, Cognition, Academic performance, School, Children, A review of 17 studies by Trudeau and Shepherd on the impact of PA on.
In the other study, eight key researchers in the PA-cognition field started from a database of articles and identified key articles to consider [ 14 ]. The review focused on two specific questions: They found promising results showing relations among PA, cognition, brain structure, and brain function, with no negative effects on children.
The 26 cross-sectional and cohort-based studies involving PA provided positive support for the relationship between PA and cognitive function, with greater amounts or enhanced forms of PA being associated with greater improvements in cognitive function [ 14 ]. For the second question, the authors stated the studies of acute PA interventions had mixed results, likely owing to the differences in tasks administered, the nature of the task, and the type of PA [ 14 ].
However, authors advise a number of methodological weaknesses including a lack of information about estimates of random variability in the outcome data, information about the time of day at which the cognitive measures were assessed was not provided, varying and inconsistent measures of fitness and academic performance, and poor control of confounders.
The analyses above show that excellent research has established that PA is associated with both cognition and academic performance for children.
However, few studies have investigated how the three areas of PA, cognition and academic performance interact. Does a relationship between PA and cognition necessarily lead to better academic performance? Does an independent relationship between PA and academic performance relationship exist, or does it act through cognition?
The relationship between physical fitness and academic achievement among adolescent in South Korea
Is the PA-cognition-academic performance relationship the same for different groups of children? Specifically, does the relationship between PA and academic performance remain once cognition is accounted for?
Methods Participants A total of participants male, female were part of an eight-week randomised controlled trial: Healthy Homework was a curriculum-based, classwork and homework schedule designed to promote PA and healthy eating [ 15 ]. This study analyses data collected from participants at baseline, prior to receiving any intervention. Eligibility criteria for the schools were as follows: Decile reflects the extent to which the school draws their students from low socio-economic communities, rather than the SES mix of the school or individual students.
For example, low decile schools have the highest proportion of students from low socio-economic communities.
Students were selected to participate from one Year 3, one Year 4, and one Year 5 class from each school; simple random sampling was used in instances where there were two or more classes per year. Their findings indicate that academic performance was unaffected by enrollment in physical education classes, which were found to average only 19 minutes of vigorous- or moderate-intensity physical activity.
When time spent engaged in vigorous- or moderate-intensity physical activity outside of school was considered, however, a significant positive relation to academic performance emerged, with more time engaged in vigorous- or moderate-intensity physical activity being related to better grades but not test scores Coe et al. Studies of participation in sports and academic achievement have found positive associations Mechanic and Hansell, ; Dexter, ; Crosnoe, ; Eitle and Eitle, ; Stephens and Schaben, ; Eitle, ; Miller et al.
Other studies, however, have found no association between participation in sports and academic performance Fisher et al. The findings of these studies need to be interpreted with caution as many of their designs failed to account for the level of participation by individuals in the sport e.
Further, it is unclear whether policies required students to have higher GPAs to be eligible for participation. Offering sports opportunities is well justified regardless of the cognitive benefits, however, given that adolescents may be less likely to engage in risky behaviors when involved in sports or other extracurricular activities Page et al.
Although a consensus on the relationship of physical activity to academic achievement has not been reached, the vast majority of available evidence suggests the relationship is either positive or neutral. The meta-analytic review by Fedewa and Ahn suggests that interventions entailing aerobic physical activity have the greatest impact on academic performance; however, all types of physical activity, except those involving flexibility alone, contribute to enhanced academic performance, as do interventions that use small groups about 10 students rather than individuals or large groups.
Regardless of the strength of the findings, the literature indicates that time spent engaged in physical activity is beneficial to children because it has not been found to detract from academic performance, and in fact can improve overall health and function Sallis et al. Single Bouts of Physical Activity Beyond formal physical education, evidence suggests that multi-component approaches are a viable means of providing physical activity opportunities for children across the school curriculum see also Chapter 6.
Although health-related fitness lessons taught by certified physical education teachers result in greater student fitness gains relative to such lessons taught by other teachers Sallis et al. Single sessions or bouts of physical activity have independent merit, offering immediate benefits that can enhance the learning experience.
Studies have found that single bouts of physical activity result in improved attention Hillman et al. Yet single bouts of physical activity have differential effects, as very vigorous exercise has been associated with cognitive fatigue and even cognitive decline in adults Tomporowski, As seen in Figurehigh levels of effort, arousal, or activation can influence perception, decision making, response preparation, and actual response. For discussion of the underlying constructs and differential effects of single bouts of physical activity on cognitive performance, see Tomporowski Diagram of a simplified version of Sanders's cognitive-energetic model of human information processing adapted from Jones and Hardy, For children, classrooms are busy places where they must distinguish relevant information from distractions that emerge from many different sources occurring simultaneously.
A student must listen to the teacher, adhere to classroom procedures, focus on a specific task, hold and retain information, and make connections between novel information and previous experiences. Hillman and colleagues demonstrated that a single bout of moderate-intensity walking 60 percent of maximum heart rate resulted in significant improvements in performance on a task requiring attentional inhibition e. These findings were accompanied by changes in neuroelectric measures underlying the allocation of attention see Figure and significant improvements on the reading subtest of the Wide Range Achievement Test.
No such effects were observed following a similar duration of quiet rest.
These findings were later replicated and extended to demonstrate benefits for both mathematics and reading performance in healthy children and those diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Pontifex et al.
Further replications of these findings demonstrated that a single bout of moderate-intensity exercise using a treadmill improved performance on a task of attention and inhibition, but similar benefits were not derived from moderate-intensity exercise that involved exergaming O'Leary et al.
It was also found that such benefits were derived following cessation of, but not during, the bout of exercise Drollette et al. The applications of such empirical findings within the school setting remain unclear. A randomized controlled trial entitled Physical Activity Across the Curriculum PAAC used cluster randomization among 24 schools to examine the effects of physically active classroom lessons on BMI and academic achievement Donnelly et al. The academically oriented physical activities were intended to be of vigorous or moderate intensity 3—6 metabolic equivalents [METs] and to last approximately 10 minutes and were specifically designed to supplement content in mathematics, language arts, geography, history, spelling, science, and health.
The study followed boys and girls for 3 years as they rose from 2nd or 3rd to 4th or 5th grades. Changes in academic achievement, fitness, and blood screening were considered secondary outcomes.
During a 3-year period, students who engaged in physically active lessons, on average, improved their academic achievement by 6 percent, while the control groups exhibited a 1 percent decrease. FIGURE Change in academic scores from baseline after physically active classroom lessons in elementary schools in northeast Kansas — It is important to note that cognitive tasks completed before, during, and after physical activity show varying effects, but the effects were always positive compared with sedentary behavior.
In a study carried out by Drollette and colleagues36 preadolescent children completed two cognitive tasks—a flanker task to assess attention and inhibition and a spatial nback task to assess working memory—before, during, and after seated rest and treadmill walking conditions.
The children sat or walked on different days for an average of 19 minutes. The results suggest that the physical activity enhanced cognitive performance for the attention task but not for the task requiring working memory.
Accordingly, although more research is needed, the authors suggest that the acute effects of exercise may be selective to certain cognitive processes i. Indeed, data collected using a task-switching paradigm i. Thus, findings to date indicate a robust relationship of acute exercise to transient improvements in attention but appear inconsistent for other aspects of cognition.
Academic Learning Time and On- and Off-Task Behaviors Excessive time on task, inattention to task, off-task behavior, and delinquency are important considerations in the learning environment given the importance of academic learning time to academic performance. These behaviors are observable and of concern to teachers as they detract from the learning environment.
Systematic observation by trained observers may yield important insight regarding the effects of short physical activity breaks on these behaviors. Indeed, systematic observations of student behavior have been used as an alternative means of measuring academic performance Mahar et al.
After the development of classroom-based physical activities, called Energizers, teachers were trained in how to implement such activities in their lessons at least twice per week Mahar et al.
Measurements of baseline physical activity and on-task behaviors were collected in two 3rd-grade and two 4th-grade classes, using pedometers and direct observation. The intervention included students, while served as controls by not engaging in the activities. A subgroup of 62 3rd and 4th graders was observed for on-task behavior in the classroom following the physical activity. Children who participated in Energizers took more steps during the school day than those who did not; they also increased their on-task behaviors by more than 20 percent over baseline measures.
A systematic review of a similar in-class, academically oriented, physical activity plan—Take 10! The findings suggest that children who experienced Take 10! Further, children in the Take 10! Some have expressed concern that introducing physical activity into the classroom setting may be distracting to students.
Yet in one study it was sedentary students who demonstrated a decrease in time on task, while active students returned to the same level of on-task behavior after an active learning task Grieco et al. Among the 97 3rd-grade students in this study, a small but nonsignificant increase in on-task behaviors was seen immediately following these active lessons. Additionally, these improvements were not mediated by BMI. In sum, although presently understudied, physically active lessons may increase time on task and attention to task in the classroom setting.
Given the complexity of the typical classroom, the strategy of including content-specific lessons that incorporate physical activity may be justified. Recess It is recommended that every child have 20 minutes of recess each day and that this time be outdoors whenever possible, in a safe activity NASPE, Consistent engagement in recess can help students refine social skills, learn social mediation skills surrounding fair play, obtain additional minutes of vigorous- or moderate-intensity physical activity that contribute toward the recommend 60 minutes or more per day, and have an opportunity to express their imagination through free play Pellegrini and Bohn, ; see also Chapter 6.
When children participate in recess before lunch, additional benefits accrue, such as less food waste, increased incidence of appropriate behavior in the cafeteria during lunch, and greater student readiness to learn upon returning to the classroom after lunch Getlinger et al.
To examine the effects of engagement in physical activity during recess on classroom behavior, Barros and colleagues examined data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study on 10, 8- to 9-year-old children.
Results indicate that children who had at least 15 minutes of recess were more likely to exhibit appropriate behavior in the classroom Barros et al. In another study, 43 4th-grade students were randomly assigned to 1 or no days of recess to examine the effects on classroom behavior Jarrett et al.
The researchers concluded that on-task behavior was better among the children who had recess. In a series of studies examining kindergartners' attention to task following a minute recess, increased time on task was observed during learning centers and story reading Pellegrini et al. Despite these positive findings centered on improved attention, it is important to note that few of these studies actually measured the intensity of the physical activity during recess.
From a slightly different perspective, survey data from Virginia elementary school principals suggest that time dedicated to student participation in physical education, art, and music did not negatively influence academic performance Wilkins et al.
Thus, the strategy of reducing time spent in physical education to increase academic performance may not have the desired effect. The evidence on in-school physical activity supports the provision of physical activity breaks during the school day as a way to increase fluid intelligence, time on task, and attention.
New technology has emerged that has allowed scientists to understand the impact of lifestyle factors on the brain from the body systems level down to the molecular level. A greater understanding of the cognitive components that subserve academic performance and may be amenable to intervention has thereby been gained.
Research conducted in both laboratory and field settings has helped define this line of inquiry and identify some preliminary underlying mechanisms.
The relationship between physical fitness and academic achievement among adolescent in South Korea
The Evidence Base on the Relationship of Physical Activity to Brain Health and Cognition in Older Adults Despite the current focus on the relationship of physical activity to cognitive development, the evidence base is larger on the association of physical activity with brain health and cognition during aging. Much can be learned about how physical activity affects childhood cognition and scholastic achievement through this work.
Despite earlier investigations into the relationship of physical activity to cognitive aging see Etnier et al. Specifically, older adults aged 60 and 75 were randomly assigned to a 6-month intervention of either walking i. The walking group but not the flexibility group showed improved cognitive performance, measured as a shorter response time to the presented stimulus. Results from a series of tasks that tapped different aspects of cognitive control indicated that engagement in physical activity is a beneficial means of combating cognitive aging Kramer et al.
Cognitive control, or executive control, is involved in the selection, scheduling, and coordination of computational processes underlying perception, memory, and goal-directed action. These processes allow for the optimization of behavioral interactions within the environment through flexible modulation of the ability to control attention MacDonald et al. Core cognitive processes that make up cognitive control or executive control include inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility Diamond,processes mediated by networks that involve the prefrontal cortex.
Inhibition or inhibitory control refers to the ability to override a strong internal or external pull so as to act appropriately within the demands imposed by the environment Davidson et al. For example, one exerts inhibitory control when one stops speaking when the teacher begins lecturing. Working memory refers to the ability to represent information mentally, manipulate stored information, and act on the information Davidson et al.
In solving a difficult mathematical problem, for example, one must often remember the remainder. Finally, cognitive flexibility refers to the ability to switch perspectives, focus attention, and adapt behavior quickly and flexibly for the purposes of goal-directed action Blair et al. For example, one must shift attention from the teacher who is teaching a lesson to one's notes to write down information for later study.
Based on their earlier findings on changes in cognitive control induced by aerobic training, Colcombe and Kramer conducted a meta-analysis to examine the relationship between aerobic training and cognition in older adults aged using data from 18 randomized controlled exercise interventions.
Their findings suggest that aerobic training is associated with general cognitive benefits that are selectively and disproportionately greater for tasks or task components requiring greater amounts of cognitive control. A second and more recent meta-analysis Smith et al. In older adults, then, aerobic training selectively improves cognition.
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Hillman and colleagues examined the relationship between physical activity and inhibition one aspect of cognitive control using a computer-based stimulus-response protocol in individuals aged Their results indicate that greater amounts of physical activity are related to decreased response speed across task conditions requiring variable amounts of inhibition, suggesting a generalized relationship between physical activity and response speed.
In addition, the authors found physical activity to be related to better accuracy across conditions in older adults, while no such relationship was observed for younger adults.
Of interest, this relationship was disproportionately larger for the condition requiring greater amounts of inhibition in the older adults, suggesting that physical activity has both a general and selective association with task performance Hillman et al. With advances in neuroimaging techniques, understanding of the effects of physical activity and aerobic fitness on brain structure and function has advanced rapidly over the past decade. In particular, a series of studies Colcombe et al. Normal aging results in the loss of brain tissue Colcombe et al.
Thus cognitive functions subserved by these brain regions such as those involved in cognitive control and aspects of memory are expected to decay more dramatically than other aspects of cognition. Colcombe and colleagues investigated the relationship of aerobic fitness to gray and white matter tissue loss using magnetic resonance imaging MRI in 55 healthy older adults aged They observed robust age-related decreases in tissue density in the frontal, temporal, and parietal regions using voxel-based morphometry, a technique used to assess brain volume.
Reductions in the amount of tissue loss in these regions were observed as a function of fitness. Given that the brain structures most affected by aging also demonstrated the greatest fitness-related sparing, these initial findings provide a biological basis for fitness-related benefits to brain health during aging.
In a second study, Colcombe and colleagues examined the effects of aerobic fitness training on brain structure using a randomized controlled design with 59 sedentary healthy adults aged The treatment group received a 6-month aerobic exercise i. Results indicated that gray and white matter brain volume increased for those who received the aerobic fitness training intervention. No such results were observed for those assigned to the stretching and toning group.
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