Relationship between aerobic fitness and academic achievement in Seattle secondary school children
Kowatch, Jamie Lorin
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Aerobic fitness is an important measure of physical fitness and has been shown to affect academic achievement in youth. We hypothesized that aerobic fitness was positively associated with standardized test scores, independent of demographic and medical factors. Further, we hypothesized that the academic risk score, an aggregate measure of course failure rate, standardized test performance, attendance, and number of disciplinary actions, would moderate this association. This was a cross-sectional study of 18,312 Seattle Public Schools students in grades four through twelve. For every one minute students ran the one-mile distance slower, there was a 2 percentile reduction in math and reading MAP scores. Further, meeting criterion-based fitness standards was associated with a 10 and 7 percentile increase in math and reading MAP scores, respectively. The academic risk score did attenuate these associations, but all associations stayed statistically significant. Results from this study indicate that percentile test scores on standardized tests in school-aged children are higher among children who achieve aerobic fitness standards, compared to those who do not achieve aerobic fitness standards.
- Nutritional sciences