Physical Exercise Influences Academic Performance

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Physical Exercise Influences Academic Performance

Physical exercise and other activity-promoting behaviors, including sports, hold incalculable benefits for children and adolescents besides physical and psychological health and quality of life [1]. A multitude factors contribute to increased brain and functional integrity [2,3] and optimal development [4,5] through exercise. Concurrently, a vast range of situations and techniques have demonstrated the marked cognitive [6], emotional [7,8] and neuroimmunological [9,10] functioning manifestations. Unsurprisingly, the influence of physical exercise upon school and academic performance is an issue of some magnitude [11-13]. In a systematic review of randomized control trials of school children, Lees and Hopkins [14] observed that there was a positive association between aerobic physical activity and cognition, academic achievement, behavior, and psychosocial functioning outcomes. Nevertheless, they indicated the necessity for more rigorous trials with adequate sample sizes assessing the impact of aerobic physical activity on children’s cognitive abilities, psychosocial functioning, behavior, and academic achievement; standardized interventions, valid and reliable tools of measurement, and long-term follow-up for sustained cognitive and psychosocial outcomes were advanced as primary targets. Furthermore, Singh et al. [15] showed that physical exercise was linked positively to children’s academic performance on the basis of two highquality studies. In their turn, they called for the examination of doseresponse relationships between extent of physical activity and academic performance. These avenues of consideration seem essential since poorer motor performance has been found to be related to inferior academic skills in school children, particularly among boys [16]. Their results beg the conclusion that early identification of children with poor motor/athletic prowess is of necessity and that actions aimed at improving these children’s motor performance and academic skills during the first school years are important investments. Latham et al. [17] showed that provision of middle school students with a choice of performing the “FitnessGram” mile run in either traditional one-mile run or the treadmill one-mile format exerted positive influences on several measures of performance. Affective status and personal attributes contribute both to academic and motor performance [18] as well as attitudes to physical exercise [19,20]. One prerequisite for compliance to exercise/activity schedules for children and adolescents (adults as well for that matter) requires that children’s motivation ought to be founded upon enjoyment and the inherent satisfaction provided by physical activity is associated with their objectively-assessed physical activity; this type of motivation (activity)needs be associated positively with perceptions of psychological need satisfaction. The psychological factors implicated here represent potential flexible targets for interventions that elevate children’s physical activity. Using structural equation modeling, Sebire et al. [21] showed the utility of a motivational model in which psychological need satisfaction was positively associated with intrinsic and identified motivation types and intrinsic motivation was associated positively with children’s time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Cognitive developmental trajectories contribute considerably to favorable strategies for optimizing such positive attributes as self-determination, internal locus of control, character and self-esteem [22,23] together with brain and central nervous system concomitants [24,25]. The successful implementation of these developmental programs places significant demands upon the caliber and professionalism of instructors and mentors. Myer et al. [26] have shown that regular, compliant training/coaching with structured and integrated modalities throughout the developmental years as a part of physical and psychosocial education improves both health and several performance variables. Physical exercise bestows a propensity for eventual manifestation of “redifferentiated” developmental trajectories that may equip even those developing individuals with a paucity of positive attributes, e.g. ADHD children, with a prognosis that is more adaptive functionally, independent of the applications of other therapeutic agents and treatments [27].

Citation: Archer T, Garcia D (2014) Physical Exercise Influences Academic Performance and Well-being in Children and Adolescents. Int J Sch Cogn Psychol 1:e102. doi: 10.4172/ijscp.1000e102 

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