2010 - Research

The Association of Health-Related Fitness with Indicators of Academic Performance in Texas Schools

This study examined the associations between indicators of health-related physical fitness (cardiovascular fitness and body mass index) and academic performance (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills).

  • Partial correlations were generally stronger for cardiovascular fitness than body mass index and consistently stronger in the middle school grades. Mixed-model regression analyses revealed modest associations between fitness and academic achievement after controlling for potentially confounding variables.
  • The effects of fitness on academic achievement were positive but small. A separate logistic regression analysis indicated that higher fitness rates increased the odds of schools achieving exemplary/recognized school status within the state. School fitness attainment is an indicator of higher performing schools. Direction of causality cannot be inferred due to the cross-sectional nature of the data.

Welk GJ, Jackson AW, Morrow JR Jr, Haskell WH, Meredith MD, & Cooper KH (2010). The association of health-related fitness with indicators of academic performance in Texas schools. Research quarterly for exercise and sport, 81 (3 Suppl):S16-23.