Presentation Abstract

Session: D-23-Assessment and Promotion of Physical Activity in School Children
Thursday, Jun 03, 2010, 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Presentation: 2148 - Relationships Between Physical Fitness And Academic Achievement In Middle School Students
Location: Hall C, Poster Board: 27
Pres. Time: Thursday, Jun 03, 2010, 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Category: +503 physical activity promotion
Keywords: Physical Education; plasticity; Academics
Author(s): Ronald W. Bass, Dale D. Brown, FACSM, Kelly R, Laurson, Margaret Coleman. Illinois State University, Normal, IL.
Email: bassr@District87.org
Abstract: Childhood obesity has been a problem that schools have been and will be dealing with over the next several years. Much emphasis has been placed on schools to achieve higher standardized test scores because of the NCLB act. As a result, funding for PE and physical activity programs is in jeopardy. Research has stated that academic achievement and fitness are related. With research supporting this, schools may want to place more emphasis on PE and physical activity programs to not only better students health but aid in academic achievement as well.
Purpose: To determine if children meeting Fitnessgram physical fitness standards were more likely to meet academic standards. Methods: Participants were 6th grade students (n = 338, mean age = 12.1 ± 0.4 years) at a small, urban middle school in central Illinois. The Fitnessgram test battery was used to assess students’ fitness in body composition, cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength, muscular endurance and flexibility. The Illinois Standardized Achievement Test (ISAT) was used to assess academic achievement in reading and math. Pearson correlations and logistic regression were used to analyze the data. Results: In boys, significant correlations were found between body mass index and reading scores (r= -0.17, p = 0.030) and curl-ups and reading scores (r = 0.16, p = 0.046). In girls, significant correlations existed between cardiorespiratory fitness and both reading (r = 0.26, p = 0.001) and math scores (r = 0.26, p = 0.001). Also in girls, muscular strength was significantly correlated with math test scores (r= 0.16, p = 0.042). The results of the logistic regression demonstrated that students in the Fitnessgram healthy fitness zone for cardiorespiratory fitness were six times more likely to meet/exceed ISAT reading test requirements and over two and a half times more likely to meet/exceed ISAT math test requirements than students that were not in the healthy fitness zone. Conclusion: Students who are more physically fit, particularly in cardiorespiratory fitness, tend to perform better on standardized academic achievement tests. .
Disclosures:  R.W. Bass, None.