Publication Date

2014

Abstract

Objective: To examine the independent and combined associations of the components of physical fitness with academic performance among youths. Study design: This cross-sectional study included a total of 2038 youths (989 girls) aged 6-18 years. Cardiorespiratory capacity was measured using the 20-m shuttle run test. Motor ability was assessed with the 4 × 10-m shuttle run test of speed of movement, agility, and coordination. A muscular strength z-score was computed based on handgrip strength and standing long jump distance. Academic performance was assessed through school records using 4 indicators: Mathematics, Language, an average of Mathematics and Language, and grade point average score. Results: Cardiorespiratory capacity and motor ability were independently associated with all academic variables in youth, even after adjustment for fitness and fatness indicators (all P ≤ .001), whereas muscular strength was not associated with academic performance independent of the other 2 physical fitness components. In addition, the combined adverse effects of low cardiorespiratory capacity and motor ability on academic performance were observed across the risk groups (P for trend < .001). Conclusion: Cardiorespiratory capacity and motor ability, both independently and combined, may have a beneficial influence on academic performance in youth.

School/Institute

Institute for Health and Ageing

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

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