Monday, April 2, 2012

Effects of Physical Education on Academic Achievement in Children

This article is about a study at Michigan State University in order to show the positive relationship between academic achievement and physical activity.  It advocates the necessity of physical education in schools by claiming numerous studies have shown the positive relationship, while little studies have shown the inverse relationship of physical education and academic performance.  The study included 214 sixth-grade students from a single public school in western Michigan. Students were placed into two groups. One group was enrolled in physical education during the first semester and the other group was enrolled in physical education the second semester. All classes met every day of the week for 55min. Once consent forms were obtained, the students were assessed three times throughout the school year, at the beginning, middle, and end. Academic achievement was based on individual grades for each student in the core classes and a standardized test score.
The results showed that no significant differences were found in academic achievement and Terra Nova scores as a function of activity level during either semester. However, students who performed vigorous physical activity at a level that met or exceeded the Healthy People 2010 guidelines achieved higher academics cores compared with the other students in both semesters. Using SOFIT, it was determined that an average of 19 minutes of the55 minute class was spent in moderate to vigorous activity. This low level of activity could not provide sufficient stimulation to influence academic achievement. The study cite a study done in Quebec at Trois Rivers that indicates that students who received an hour of physical education in addition to the standard physical education class showed better academic performance compared with control subjects who only had the standard physical class.

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