Physical Fitness Improve Academic Success Term Paper

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" (Siegel, 2006) Findings of the study report that "Findings show a clear positive trend between students' fitnessgram scores and their reading and mathematic achievement. Fitnessgram scores were correlated with Stanford Achievement test (SAT) scores for 884,715 fifth, seventh, and ninth graders enrolled in California public schools during 2002. Findings of the study report existing to be a "...clear positive trend between students' fitnessgram scores and their reading and mathematic achievement. " (Siegel, 2006)

According to the work of Verkler (2005) entitled: "Fit Kids are Smart Kids" published in the Prevention Journal states that: "Reports that fit kids are smart kids" and in fact those who are physically fit "score higher on academics tests and have better memories, reaction times and problem-solving skills." (Verkler, 2005) In a separate study reported in the work entitled: "Effect of Physical Education and Activity Levels on academic Achievement in Children" a case study is reported that reports after using a 3-day physical activity recall, moderate and vigorous physical activity outside school was assessed in 214 six grade students who were randomly assigned to physical education." (Coe, et al., 2006) The assessment was made using grades from "four core academic classes and standardized test scores" (Coe, et al., 2006) which revealed that "academic achievement is significantly related to physical education enrollment" (Coe, et al., 2006) and that vigorous physical activities were shown to be associated with scoring higher on grades.

III. Conclusions of the Literature Review

Obesity among school children has been noted as being a problem in many U.S. states in recent years with schools attempting to address these problems. One major factor that is only making obesity a further problem and is as well perpetuating diminishing grades for students is the stringent standards set out for testing by the "No Child Left Behind Act" which is referred to as 'every child left behind' by many teachers in the United States. The focus on testing has resulted in physical education classes being reduced in terms of the time and importance allotted to these classes and that time being instead diverted to core curriculum in the attempt to raise scores on the Standardized Achievement Tests (SAT) of students.

Recent studies have shown that physical education supports academic achievement and that lack of physical education results in lower grades for students. The findings of recent studies are stated to be of an empirical nature. For instance, this literature review related the study conducted by Paul Zientarski which showed that physical education classes just prior to remedial reading classes raised student's scores 1.4 grade levels. (Breslin, 2006) The work of Siegel (2006) related findings that: "physical fitness has a positive effect on the cognitive function and academic performance of children." The work of Coe, et al. (2005) related a study which states findings that academic achievement was found to be significantly related to physical education enrollment and that vigorous physical activities were shown to be associated with scoring higher on grades. The Surgeon General has laid out twelve best practices for schools which include physical education instruction that is age appropriate and cultural sensitive that assist students in the development of "the knowledge attitudes, skills, and behaviors to adopt, maintain, and enjoy healthy eating habits and a physically active lifestyle." (NIHCM, 2004) Furthermore the Surgeon General states that schools should offer meals that meet nutritional standards and ensure that the vending machines and school stores offer snacks that are healthy. The provision of physical education and recess periods are inclusive of the twelve best practices stated by the Surgeon General as well.


Are you Fit Enough to Be Smart? (2006) Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology Vol. 28, Issue 3 p407-407. Academic Search Premiere Database.

Breslin, M. (2006) School Tests Notion that Exercise Makes Learning Easier. Chicago Tribune 2006 September 13.

Bucceri, Elizabeth (2005) Student Health Taking Center Stage. ACSA Online. Retrieved 2007-01-16. Online available at

Coe, D.P.; et al. (2006) Effect of Physical Education and Activity Levels on Academic Achievement in Children. Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise Journal 2006 Aug Vol. 38, Issue 8. Academic Search Premier.

Gazmararian, Julie A. (2005) Symposium on Physical Activity, Physical Fitness, and Academic Performance. Emory Center on Health Outcomes and Quality, Rolins School of Public Health. Retrieved 2007-01-16. Online available at

Healthy Children, Healthy Schools (2004)The Learning Connection: Executive Summary. NIHCM Foundation 2004. Retrieved 2007-01-16 Online available at

Siegel, Donald (2006) Physical Fitness and Academic Achievement. The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance. Feb 2006. Department of Exercise and Sports Studies, Smith College, Northampton. EBSCO MegaFile.

Vail, K. (2004) New Research Ties Physical Activity and Fitness to Academic Success. American School Board Journal, March…[continue]

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